When we begin talking with providers who are interested in locums work, they typically fall into one of three major categories:
- The new graduate strapped with student loans, eager to work as much as possible…
- The soon-to-be retiree who's more interested in job flexibility as his career begins to wind down…
- And those that fall somewhere in the middle.
For many of that middle group, locum tenens assignments with a young family or spouse seems like too complicated of an option, but it's entirely possible.
In fact, with proper planning, the customized lifestyle that comes with locums can even be a great option for a young family.
Let's take a closer look.
Travel in a Way That Works for You
As we head into the summer months, the locum tenens lifestyle can benefit people who want to travel.
At Hayes, we work with many providers who intentionally choose assignments in locations where they've wanted to visit, whether that's for pleasure or where they can spend an extended period of time with family or friends.
With the increased job flexibility that many people have experienced over the last year and the ability to work remotely, many families have found it easier to travel and find the balance to work from anywhere.
Plus, depending on the locations you choose, you can see some beautiful parts of the country, from the beaches of the South to national parks of the West, to the big, bustling cities in between!
Bottom line: You can provide an exciting lifestyle for your family that most professionals don't get the chance to experience. If that's something you're interested in, locums work can make it happen.
Give Yourself the Gift of Time
Even if you're not planning on traveling all over the country, the ability to better manage your schedule is a major benefit of locum tenens work that lends itself to families.
You choose the assignments that interest you, and that commitment is set up in advance of your start date. Each assignment has a defined daily/hourly schedule that you've negotiated ahead of time, so you know the job will work for you and your family.
That flexibility is powerful, especially for accommodating kids, a working spouse, and creating an overall work/life balance. As a locums provider, you're able to leave your work, well, at work by eliminating many of the administrative aspects of medicine. In return, the time spent at home can be focused entirely on your family and other commitments.
Save for the Future
If you are a young family with the option to live frugally, locum tenens work allows you to save money and pay down school debt quickly.
Often your housing, travel, and auto will be covered, so you can save more of your income to make significant gains toward your long-term financial goals.
And as you approach those major life expenses (mortgages, college tuition, or weddings for your kids, to name a few), taking on locums work mid-career, either full-time or part-time, can be a smart solution.
But what about the cons of locums work with a family?
While we wouldn't call them cons, there are challenges and limitations to navigating locums work when you have to think about more than just yourself. Still, it can be done.
- School: If you have school-aged children, being a full-time locums provider does require some forethought and preparation. You can create a schedule that allows you to take short-term locums work over weekends or school breaks, and then opt for a more extended assignment over the summer so the whole family can travel with you.
- Living arrangements: The average locum tenens assignment will place you in an extended hotel stay — perfectly comfortable for one person, but maybe not the entire family. When it’s needed, Hayes Locums can help find accommodations that are better suited to your family. While the expense of larger living arrangements will likely not be fully covered by the hospital, our goal is to make sure that everyone’s needs are being met.
- Spouse's career: There's a good chance you're not the only one in your relationship with a job, so you will have to consider your spouse's career. If your partner happens to be a medical provider, you could certainly match in areas together. Also, because so many people are now working remotely, there may be more flexibility around your partner's job and where they can work.
At the end of the day, it’s about what lifestyle works best for you. For many, locums work means a routine that's less stressful, financially sound, and more balanced — so you can be more present with your family. You can't put a price on that!