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New Years Advice To Healthcare Travelers

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A new year means new goals, resolutions, and starting new adventures. Whether you are a seasoned healthcare traveler, or looking to start in 2019, here is my advice to you for the new year.

Give Up That Things Have To Be a Certain Way

Travel is not a linear career path. There is risk to traveling professionally for work and things will not always happen the way you want them to. Put aside the notion that things have to be a certain way for you to be happy or successful. You know, the ideas you have of how things should be, where you should work, how much money you should make, or what your housing will look like. Give into the unexpected, to the journey.

If you want a stable job where you can come into work every day and know what to expect, then work in a permanent position. If you want to take a bit of a gamble, then try travel. Embrace it for what it is: a journey, not a destination. You may drive cross-country and find out that your contract was cancelled. You may have to pay a high amount for housing in a posh city. Things are not always going to look the way you want them too. Stop complaining about it and start enjoying the ride.

Explore Outside Your Comfort Zone

A benefit of travel is that you can be you. In a new place, nobody knows you and nobody has prior knowledge of what you are like or who you are. Use this time to reach outside your comfort zone and try new experiences. Whether it is trying a new cuisine or going rock climbing, try something new for you.

There are some travelers who say they are “yes” people. Any time somebody asks them to do something (assuming it’s legal and safe, of course), they say YES! Because of that attitude, they have done things and have had experiences that they would have never had on their own. Be a YES person this year and say YES to new experiences!

Create a bucket list for each new place you visit. Make a list of things you want to do during that assignment, no matter how big or small they are. Work your way through your bucket list on assignment. If you need a place to get inspiration for “things to do” in a new location, I personally love using and pinning to boards on Pinterest. My Pinterest boards often serve as my bucket list. You can check out my boards here!

Be Your Own Boss And Stand Up For Yourself

I hear a lot of travelers say that they feel taken advantage of by staffing agencies. In some cases, this may be true, in other cases the person could be exaggerating. In any case, this is the year to be your own boss and get what you need from a staffing agency. Travel staffing agencies are a dime a dozen. If you are working with an agency or recruiter who doesn’t respect your time, then leave and find another.

How do you know if a staffing agency is taking advantage of you? Do your research. Travel job postings are fairly public and you can find out going rates for jobs, benefits, etc. all through online searches, social media networking, and talking to multiple agencies to compare. You limit yourself if you are beginning travel and only speaking to one agency. Over the years, I’ve communicated with, and have completed employment files with, at least 8 agencies. I’ve shopped around, talked to a lot of people, and done my research. If somebody tries to take advantage of me, I walk. I encourage all of you reading this to do the same. Here is my list of suggested red flags from agencies or recruiters that I do not tolerate.

Red Flags

  • Not being presented with a pay package prior to submitting for a job
  • Not being told the facility name or location prior to being submitted to a job
  • Bait and switch advertising. This means that an agency posts an ad or calls you about a highly desirable job (which actually has closed or isn’t available) and uses that job to get you into a conversation (bait). They then switch the conversation to another, less desirable job.
  • Submitting your application to a job without consent. Note: in a high demand job situation (like a job in Hawaii), you may want to give ONE recruiter only pre-approval to submit you to jobs if they cannot get in touch with you, since jobs may open and close quickly after they receive x number of job applications.
  • Guilting you for working with multiple recruiters or telling you that they will only work with you if you work exclusively with them.
  • Guilt tripping you if you take a job with another company instead of them. Jobs move quickly, if you aren’t hustling to bring them fast or giving me top pay, I’m on to the next one. If you want me to consider you for a job in the future, don’t guilt trip me about it.
  • And my new one from 2018 is bad pitches. If you haven’t read my blog on this check it out here. I’m 100% done with people approaching me from a spammy sales perspective. I have been so annoyed by spammers in 2018 that I have systematically unsubscribed from all staffing agency email lists and am blocking numbers of recruiters who call and leave “I have job opportunities in your area” type messages.

Connect With Other Travelers

One of the most joyous parts of traveling has been the ability to connect with other travelers. People who understand you, can connect with you, and share in your life experiences and goals. If you have a hard time meeting other travelers, perhaps because you are in a rural location without travelers, here are some suggestions. Join online communities for travelers. There are so many groups now for travelers that it should not be hard to connect with others. The group that I administer is for therapists only (no recruiters, staffing agency reps, housing hosts, etc.) and is called Travel Therapy Therapists.

Or, mark your calendar for The Traveler’s Conference (TravCon) in 2019. TravCon is September 6-8th in Las Vegas at Bally’s Hotel. It is the annual conference for traveling healthcare professionals and is the biggest traveler meet-and-greet of the year. This event is not only a conference filled with exhibitors and classes, but an extended week-long festivity of events. From hikes, to yoga, to all night parties – there are a million networking events happening here. It’s a great opportunity to meet other travelers!

Last but not least, continue to follow this blog for updates on traveler events that I am hosting. Hope that you have a happy and healthy new year! May your year be filled with travel, adventures, and new memories! Looking forward to sharing my adventures with you!

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