How to take holiday as a locum

In the fast-paced world of locums, where we are constantly on the move, it’s easy to overlook the significance of taking a break. However, embracing time off is not just a luxury; it’s a vital aspect of maintaining well-being, enhancing job satisfaction, and ultimately excelling in your locum career.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the reasons why holiday breaks are crucial for locum professionals and provide you with invaluable tips to ensure you not only prioritise but fully enjoy your well-deserved time away. Whether you’re a seasoned locum veteran or just starting your journey, this guide is tailored to help you strike the perfect balance between a fulfilling career and a rejuvenated personal life.

A big perk of living the locum lifestyle is that essentially you can take a holiday whenever you want!

However there are things to consider…..

Stick reminders in your calendar!

Every 3 months have a ‘holiday’ reminder. It’s so easy as a locum to keep booking work and time to simply pass by.

Pop a reminder to trigger yourself to book some time away!

Take your breaks as effectively as possible.

It is a good idea for some locums to take holiday outside of ‘the usual’ holiday requested periods in the year i.e.
school holidays. It’s these popular times that vet practices utilise locums. Also, everywhere is often busier and breaks
away more expensive anyway! So if you are able to take holiday outside of
these times it could mean more opportunities for work in between. This proactive approach allows for smoother transitions and minimises disruptions to your workflow.

Build a Financial Cushion:

Establish a dedicated fund for your holidays. By setting aside a portion of your locum income, you can confidently take time off without worrying about financial strain. This financial cushion also provides peace of mind, allowing you to fully enjoy your break. Ultimately, it’s up to you but it is important to consider
holiday days remaining in balance with working hours to help
ensure you keep yourself financially stable. The last thing you
would want to do is take excess holiday and be unable to pay bills
etc because you haven’t been able to work the necessary hours to
cover expenses.

Following on from the tip above… Are you receiving holiday pay?

This will depend on how you have
set yourself up as a locum, e.g. if you’re self-employed/ltd company you won’t receive any allowance for holiday pay vs if you are working with a practice on 0 hours contract they have to incorporate holiday pay in as part of your wage. This is an
important factor to consider as it may influence how long you take holiday for/what you do with your holiday, according to your budget.

Plan Short Breaks Regularly:

Consider incorporating shorter breaks throughout the year, in addition to longer vacations. Regular, shorter breaks can help prevent burnout and provide ongoing opportunities for rest and relaxation without disrupting your overall locum schedule.

Embrace Technology Wisely:

Leverage technology to your advantage. Utilise scheduling tools and communication platforms to streamline your workflow and stay disconnected while you’re away. Turn off notifications for shifts and keep work communication separate on your phone so you are not disturbed by last minute shift whatsapp messages! MFL allows for you to keep all shifts and communications in one place. Simply log in, turn of notifications and enjoy your break. Pop back when you are off holiday and pick up where you left off!

Leads me on nicely to Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. During your holiday, resist the temptation to check your MFL portal take work-related calls. This separation is crucial for recharging and returning to your locum duties with renewed energy.

Reflect and Recharge:

Use your holiday as an opportunity to reflect, recharge, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it’s reading, outdoor activities, or simply unwinding with loved ones, make the most of your time away to return to your locum duties with a refreshed mindset.

The beauty of being a locum is that you have the capacity and opportunity if you want, to travel and even volunteer abroad for extended periods of time around your work, the world is your oyster!

Written by Emma Ruggles

Edited by Molly Fiander