We know hearing from us about locum work cannot compare to hearing directly from a locum who's been there and done that. This is why we took the time to sit down with one of our longest-term locums, Nirma, to understand her story and offer you a glimpse into her locum journey. We hope our conversation with Nirma will help shed some light on locum work for those of you who may be on the fence and wanting to learn more.
" Before discovering locum work, I had poor work life balance. I was constantly working overtime, including from home on the weekends, and did not have enough time to care for myself. As a result, my health and wellness suffered..."
"... I initially felt guilty for going into locum work instead of going into the next full-time employment after leaving my first full-time job. But I now realize that locum work is for anyone who wants flexibility, for any reason."
SG Rehab: You shared that locum work literally saved your life – that’s really heartening for us to hear! What was your situation like before you discovered locum work and why were you looking for a change?
Nirma: Before discovering locum work, I had poor work life balance. I was constantly working overtime, including from home on the weekends, and did not have enough time to care for myself. As a result, my health and wellness suffered.
It came to a point when I felt it was important for me to have time to care for my own health in order to serve others better and I'm so glad I found Locum work because it puts me in a sweet spot where I am able to continue learning and growing professionally while being able to take better care of myself! This, in turns, gives me more love and energy to pour into my work and my clients.
SG Rehab: What were your hopes going into locum work? And how did locum work meet those hopes?
Nirma: I had no clue what locum work was about prior to journeying with SG Rehab. What I did know was that I wanted flexibility to gain experience in different programs and organizations, flexible working hours and a reasonable amount of autonomy in the way I work. I have to be honest - Locum work was unpredictable for me at the start as I did not know how things would really pan out and what it would really feel and be like eventually.
Gradually, and in fact sooner than I had expected, locum work met all of my hopes and I ended up staying with locum work till this day, which is a lot longer than I had originally expected!
SG Rehab: Many roads lead to Rome; why did you choose to work with an agency instead of going at it on your own like some others have chosen to? And was SG Rehab able to enrich your locum journey?
Nirma: When I went into locum work, I had only been in the field for 4 years and I did not think that was sufficient experience for me to know and understand the actual landscape of what I was going into. I felt that I needed someone to guide and assist me with matching my skills to available work and negotiating contractual terms that would benefit all of us.
Having SG Rehab represent me has allowed me to focus on building my skills as a clinician while I entrust them with all the other important details to ensure I can continue on my locum journey for as long as I wish. They have been very helpful in matching me to projects that meet my learning and development needs as a clinician, and keeping in mind my focus on professional growth.
SG Rehab: Thank you for your heartfelt and insightful sharing! To wrap this up, could you offer our readers the 3 most important pieces of advice you wish you had before you started your locum journey?
It’s perfectly okay to take on flexible work and it may help you realize where and what kind of work you want to do.
I was always under the impression that flexible work in my field is not a good idea to have as its viewed as unstable and has no great value. But only until I started on it, did I realize how much it re-centered me and connected me back professionally after a loss of professional identity.
Locum work requires you to hit the ground running most of the time.
This, coupled with changes that come with locum work, forces you to be more adaptable and flexible. It may seem difficult at the start but it has made me a better person and clinician and I've learned so much more about my strengths and areas to improve on after starting on my locum journey.
You don’t need a right reason to switch to locum work.
I initially felt guilty for going into locum work instead of going into the next full-time employment after leaving my first full-time job. But I now realize that locum work is for anyone who wants flexibility, for any reason. Whether it is to care for loved ones, or to spend more time in improving one's clinical skills while pursuing another passion, or simply to take better care of one's health and wellness, like what I wanted for myself going into locum work.
Locum work is still work and it is not short of things to learn about. It is just a different way of working to meet your needs differently.
Ready to find out more?
If you feel compelled to speak to us after reading this, whether it's to clarify any burning questions you may have or to understand more on how we can help you get started on locum work, feel free to drop us a call or write to us!