It is no fun being a locum tenens practitioner and having to settle for whatever jobs you can find. You want the best jobs, the ones that take you to the right destinations and work well with your lifestyle choices. So how do you find them? More importantly, how do you find them consistently?
It’s easy as a locum to look across the proverbial fence and see greener grass where your peers walk. But guess what? The fence is small enough for you to hop over. It is just a matter of figuring out how to make the leap. Getting over the fence is easy, if you know how.
Always Be Ready to Communicate
One of the most important things a locum can do to land the best jobs is to always be ready to communicate. We live in a fast-paced world in which recruiters do not have time to wait for doctors to respond to inquiries. For right or wrong, the internet age has made us a society of nearly instant communication.
This is not to say that locums should allow themselves to be interrupted by text messages and e-mails in the midst of seeing patients. But it does mean that they should be checking all their message channels at several points throughout the day. When a message comes in, a response should be forthcoming as quickly as possible. In short, communicating with you should not be difficult.
Keep the CV Updated
Recruiters and employers alike want to see an updated curriculum vitae (CV). As such, every new assignment should be added to the bottom of the list. It’s a good idea to keep your CV on your computer or phone, in an electronic format that is easily edited. The easier it is to add and remove items, the easier it will be for you to furnish a perfect CV for every potential assignment.
Work with Multiple Recruiters
Locums who work only with a single recruiter or staffing agency are limiting their job choices accordingly. There is no need to do that. In fact, doing so prevents you from having access to a whole host of opportunities available only through other staffing agencies.
The real pros at finding the best jobs have relationships with multiple agencies. They have at least several recruiters all looking for jobs on their behalf. Those recruiters all know about one another, too. That motivates them to compete.
Do Your Own Research
Getting the best jobs requires doing your own research. Do not leave it to recruiters to find out all the little details about a particular facility or assignment. They have neither the time nor the resources to do that. Instead, be your own best advocate by researching things yourself.
Get a list of facilities your staffing agencies routinely work with. Then take some time to research each one. Read about them online. Ask questions on locum tenens forums. Ask other locums about their experiences with those facilities. The idea is to learn as much as possible about an employer before you even look at an available position.
Stay Ahead of Schedule
Finally, staying ahead of schedule helps a lot. If you know that the very last contract you have lined up expires six months from now, you should already be looking for a new contract to pick up where that one leaves off. Do not wait until the last few weeks of your current contract to start looking. Otherwise, most of the best jobs will already be gone. Line up your contracts as early in the game as you can.