Tips to get you started
You just contacted a recruiter at a staffing agency and made an excellent decision to join the ranks of exceptional locum tenens clinicians around the nation. You’ve already succeeded in taking the first step of finding your locum tenens agency, but now what?
How do you ensure you get a job in the specialty area you prefer? Which part of the country do you want to live in? How do you manage the transition to a career on the road with friends and family?
Diving head first into your career as a locum tenens healthcare worker doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Instead, use these five simple tips to help you better manage your locum agency relations and land to the job assignments you want.
1. Evaluate Your Wants and Needs
Before working with any locum tenens agency, you need to ask yourself a few hard questions:
What do you want out of this next career move? Are you seeking opportunities to work in certain demographic area or more interested in gaining experience with a new type of patient? Do you want to work in a traditional healthcare setting or something that will allow more flexibility in your schedule?
Answering these questions will help you identify your core goals and aspirations as a locum tenens employee. Once you’ve gathered your thoughts, share them with your recruiter to afford them more clarity on your expectations. This will enhance your relationship and make finding the perfect job for you a smoother process.
2. Establish Communication
If you aren’t sure by now, make sure you’ve identified your recruiter. Establish a friendly relationship and don’t wait for them to call you. If you have burning questions, pick up the phone and ask away. Staying in constant contact with your recruiter will keep your name top of mind for them when it comes to job assignments and allow them to better understand what makes you tick. These conversations will only help them identify career opportunities that are conducive to your needs and work style, so don’t be afraid to make your inquiries known.
Also, make sure you communicate your work schedule to your recruiter. If your schedule changes often, make sure to update your recruiter every week to ensure they can always reach you with pending opportunities that require immediate responses.
3. Get Organized
When recruiters are closing in on landing your next job, it can become a game of exchanging and paperwork and information about your professional background. You can help expedite this process by getting your routine data organized and ready to go such as your resume, references and even copies of your application. Some locum tenens agencies will utilize electronic methods to process paperwork. If this is the case, be courteous by keeping an eye out for their email communications and responding to digital file requests in a timely manner.
Extra Tip: When asked for three references, try to have at least five or more contacts to choose from. This will prevent your references from being overwhelmed and burned out from multiple reference requests during your job hunt.
4. The More, the Better
If you are thinking about traveling the country, make sure you are prepared when an opportunity approaches by securing multiple state licenses. More state licenses will increase your chances of getting the travel job assignment you want, securing higher compensation rates and expediting your start date. If you are seeking opportunities to gain additional licenses and diversity your career options, talk to your locum tenens agency about how they may be able to assist you.
5. Read the Fine Print
Once your recruiter finds you the job assignment you want, you may be overwhelmed by a list of documents, contracts and paperwork you have to complete and submit by a certain deadline. These items may be critical to your success, so be sure to read your contract before agreeing to the assignment multiple times. You may also be considering insurance options as well. Do you research, contact human resource representatives and read everything to ensure your understand your options before signing any dotted line. Once you sign your agreements and paperwork, be sure to save digital files on your computer and store hard copies in a safe place.
Don’t let managing your locum tenens agency take the joy out of a new career opportunity in your life. Balance the business needs of your agency with your personal needs with these five easy tips and save your energy for the exciting journey that lies ahead of you!