The way people want to work seems to be changing.
For instance, 216,000 people in Ireland now choose to work from home in remote positions. And the numbers keep going up.
Are traditional employment approaches coming to an end? Indeed, more and more of us appear to be opting against the typical face-to-face, office-style, location-dependent, full-time employment that’s been the norm for, well, forever.
Contracting is one form of alternative employment that’s becoming increasingly popular in Ireland. In almost every industry, employers and employees are enjoying its benefits.
The same is true for hospitals around the country, where locums work is growing in regard and usage. Have you been working in full-time hospital employment for a while now? Are you hoping for a change?
Keep reading to learn 10 benefits of being a locum.
1. You’re in Control
Traditional employment usually means you’re a subordinate.
That means taking orders, working to set hours (and probably with overtime thrown in), planning and asking for leave, requesting schedule changes, and so on. You have a set number of days for holiday and sick leave.
Sure, you’re unlikely to be the boss as a locum. Many of the above factors will be in place as you work. But you have ultimate say over your schedule. You’re in control of when you work. You choose to fill a position as and when you see fit. You decide which part of the country (or the world) you work in.
All of this means your calendar is in your hands.
2. Ultimate Freedom
That control adds up to freedom.
Full-time employment ties you into a long-term working situation. There’s no end date in place and it’s easy to get sucked into a routine. You work long hours, with minimal reward, and end up with a lack of time outside work.
Work-life balance is largely determined for you. Holidays are restricted to a set number of days and weeks, which you must book far in advance to secure. You have to apply for the time and get your boss to sign it off for you. You’re contractually obliged to fill your role and turn up to work every day. Fail to do so and you’ll face disciplinary action.
The opposite is true as a locum worker. It’s the ultimate freedom. You work as and when you want. Feel the need to take 6 months out to travel the world? Then go ahead! Outside of your locum role, your time is your own.
Get back from traveling and decide it’s time for some structure, routine, and salary? Then apply for one of the many locum positions available and get started. Remember, you’re in charge of your time.
3. You’re in Demand
Potential lack of work is a common concern for many people considering going locum.
After all, you’ll be sacrificing the security that comes with traditional full-time employment. There’s something reassuring about the consistency of a monthly pay-cheque. Go locum and for months of the year, you may not get one. However, in reality, that would only happen if you actively choose not to work.
The truth is that you’ll be in high demand. After all, you aren’t the only one to benefit from short-term, locum roles. Hospitals experience advantages too.
Indeed, they get experienced, talented staff members to fill roles at short notice. They don’t have to go through lengthy HR processes. They don’t have to onboard and train new starters. The hiring process is more straight-forward. In reality, hospitals (and employers all-round) are likely to increase their use of locum workers over time.
That’s good news for you. There’s always a job going if you want it.
4. Support Finding Positions
Remember, you’re in demand. Jobs will be easy to find.
However, you still have to go to the trouble of searching, applying, and organizing them. It can be time-consuming and frustrating to do it all yourself. Indeed, it might be a logistical nightmare if you’re on a beach on the other side of the world, looking for a job for when you get home.
Don’t worry. You can work with a dedicated recruiter to do it all for you. Sure, they’ll take their cut for the service. But you work alongside a professional who knows the business and the jobs you like. You tell them what you’re looking for, and they see what’s available.
Simply let them know you’re ready to work and they’ll set about finding you an assignment. They’ll develop the connections to learn about upcoming positions. You just sit back and relax while they figure it all out. Likewise, you get ongoing support throughout the job if you have any trouble.
Recruiters offer a one-stop shop for locum workers searching for their next role. Locum Link is one example of a healthcare agency that serves this function in Ireland.
5. Work in Different Places
Locums get to work in all sorts of new and interesting places.
It isn’t restricted in any way. They work in private and public hospitals, health clinics and wherever else they’re needed. Likewise, they’ll be able to work around the country, in cities and localities they may never have explored otherwise.
That’s good news for anyone unwilling to settle in one place for too long. Do you get itchy feet? Locum work may be exactly what you need. Remember, these are usually short-term positions. After a few months, the position will be over and you can move onto something new.
6. No Commitment Required
Traditional jobs are great for people who want stability and routine for extended periods of time.
After all, full-time employment requires commitment. There’s no end date in place. With the position secured, so is the future. For some, that’s an entirely positive thing. It removes the stress and concern that can come with not knowing where the next pay cheque will come from. That’s good news for families who need to put food on the table.
However, it also ties you into an agreement with the employer. That can feel stifling after a while. Any commitment-phobic individuals may balk at the idea. Locums are the antidote. It’s the best of both worlds for the reluctant worker. You work hard, just in short bursts!
7. Test a Career Choice Out
The lack of commitment serves a practical purpose too.
What if you’re a fresh graduate and haven’t decided the exact position you want to fill? What if you’ve done the same thing for a long time and are considering something new? Locum roles provide the opportunity to try something out without committing long term.
You can explore large public hospitals or small private clinics. You can try out someone else’s practice, alternative models of healthcare, and so on.
8. Better Pay
The pay involved is a major incentive to become a locum.
You may assume that short-term, contracted workers may get worse pay than full-time, long-term staff. However, the opposite is true. In fact, the increase in pay is one major incentive for many aspiring locums.
Hospitals often face staff-shortages that need to be rectified as soon as possible. Maternity cover, long-term sick leave, and so on, all create positions that need filling.
Hospital managers are willing to pay for skilled workers to come in at short notice. For instance, agency doctors often earn 50% more than those on the payroll in the UK. Likewise, the extra pay sometimes comes with accommodation and travel costs covered too. It depends on the role, but you can expect to be treated well as a locum worker.
9. Diversify Your Curriculum Vitae
People often discourage gaps on your CV.
Moving quickly from position to position is seen as a bad thing. However, that’s the name of the game as a locum. A future employer can’t treat a locum worker unfavorably because they’ve changed roles a lot. It’s literally what you do!
Moreover, the diversity of locations, roles and workplaces will help you amass significant experience in a short time. You’ll benefit from a diverse and lengthy CV in the process.
10. Beat Burnout
Healthcare professionals do a demanding job.
Long hours in stressful working environments can take a toll. Over time, it can all stack up, and burnout can be a very real possibility. There’s something daunting about a full-time position where you’re committed to working and that has no end to it.
Locums have flexibility, control, and the ability to take a break.
That all amounts to a salve for the intense emotional impact of hospital work. Sure, you’ll work in the same environments. It remains important to look after yourself. However, there’s always the reassuring knowledge that the demands of the job will be over soon!
The Benefits of Locums Work: Wrapping Up
There you have it: 10 benefits of locums work over full-time hospital employment.
In today’s world, people are searching for alternatives to traditional forms of employment. The popularity of flexible, short-term, commitment-free, remote positions is growing.
Contracting roles provide one example of this, and locum work falls in this category. Transitioning from full-time to locum positions might seem daunting though. However, hospitals and individuals alike are enjoying its many advantages.
Hopefully, the benefits we’ve highlighted above have demonstrated why it’s growing in popularity, and helped you make your mind up about making the change!
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