Six Reasons to become a Locum Optometrist
Why become a locum optometrist?
Locuming isn’t for everyone. But neither is a permanent job.
There are many reasons for healthcare professionals, including optometrists, to choose to work as locums. Some offer career benefits whilst others provide for more personal advantages.
The reasons to become a locum optometrist are quite varied. So, let’s explore the ways that locuming could benefit you:
Career reasons to become a locum optometrist
1. Gain greater experience in environments and technology
As a skilled locum, you can actively pursue working in different locations with differing needs of the demographic. You can gain experience working in both chain and independent high street opticians or more clinical settings plus get your hands on new technology.
Sometimes, employees have to wait for training and career opportunities their way, such as the roll-out of new tech in the high-street chain they work for. Or perhaps waiting for that more senior role to become available. Locums don’t have to wait. Locums can go and find these opportunities by carefully choosing the businesses they work for.
2. Work whilst you study
Being a full-time employee may not give you the flexibility or time you need to study alongside working. And if your employer isn’t open to part-time working, locuming is a great alternative.
As a locum, you can choose your shifts to fit around your lectures and coursework. You can increase your shift numbers during college holidays and reduce them during your exams.
So, studying to further your optometry career, to change careers or just for personal growth, are great reasons to become a locum optometrist and give your education the priority it deserves.
3. Locum optometrists are here to work
Not interested in office politics? Neither are we. When working as a locum, you don’t have to get involved. You can just get on with the business of helping customers.
If you have a preference for keeping work very separate from your private life and aren’t that bothered about office chit-chat, then locuming could be the perfect fit for you.
Financial reasons to become a locum optometrist
4. Being a locum supplements your income
Just because you’re a full-time employed optometry professional, doesn’t mean you can’t locum as well. Many optometrists work extra locum shifts – such as at weekends – to give their basic salary a boost.
But combining locum work with part-time employment may also give you extra income. A part-time employed position will give you some security of earnings whilst locum shifts with increased hourly rates may help you earn more than you would simply as a full-timer.
Locum optometry is a great temporary solution if you are saving for a deposit or paying off a loan. But make sure you don’t burn out. Ensure you still have enough downtime to stay healthy and never put money before your wellness.
5. Keep working after you retire
What doesn’t sound like the ultimate work-life balance than retiring and picking up the odd shift because you want to? Even if it’s a planned retirement you might not be ready to give up work completely – yet. Or perhaps you’ve taken advantage of voluntary redundancy but don’t want all that hassle of a “proper” job any more. Locuming in your retirement years might be an option for you.
Whilst having to keep earning after you retire isn’t ideal, there are other benefits to working as a locum optometrist post-retirement other than financials. The pay is a bonus but keeping active, staying relevant and meeting people are important aspects of healthy ageing that working a couple of locum shifts per week can give you.
Personal reasons to become a locum optometrist
6. Add flexibility to your life
Working from home isn’t an option for most frontline healthcare professionals. And domiciliary work from someone else’s home doesn’t count.
The amount of security and flexibility we need differs throughout our lives. Being a full-time employee doesn’t always give you the options you need. Working as a locum may allow you to fit full-time hours around the other things you have going on in your life.
- Being able to do the school run.
- Not working during the school holidays.
- Being the carer for a loved one.
- Taking a long holiday without having to check with a colleague first.
- To prioritise working at weekends to keep your weekdays free.
- Balancing your shifts so you can spend more time with your partner.
The list goes on.
Reasons to become a locum optometrist
So there are many reasons – personal, financial and professional – why people switch to working as a locum. But remember that switch isn’t a one-way process. So, if your circumstances change and you want to move back into employment then great! Optometry will benefit from your skills as a more experienced professional.
Locum because it works for you.
At My Locum Choice, we aim to support all our locums regardless of why they choose to locum. So whether you’re just starting out or a pro, we’ll help you find the right shift for you. Try our Optometry Locum app and start your locuming journey today.
This article was written on behalf of My Locum Choice by Nicola Hasted from Pharmacy Mentor.