As recent years have shown, people can lose their jobs in the blink of an eye. Regardless whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist about the economy, it’s always a good idea to recession-proof your therapy career.
One definite way to ensure that you’re not the first to go in any downsizing is to be indispensible. As a travel therapist, you’re already more-or-less indispensible at any given assignment. However, you can always take your rockstar work to the next level by arriving early and asking to be given more work. Then a little self-promotion isn’t off-putting to remind your boss what you bring to the table. However, don’t give the impression that you believe the facility you work in would collapse without you. Remember there’s a line between informing people of your great results and being obnoxiously shameless.
Travel therapists also have more opportunities to network than your average permanent employee. Every new assignment means meeting new contacts. You can, in fact schmooze, have lunch with future employers and colleagues without it seeming like you’re hitting them up for work. Don’t take the networking too seriously though. Have fun while making connections and keep the future business potential aspect at the back of your mind.
Another way of ensuring that your travel therapy career is recession-proof is to keep your pay expectations realistic. By no means should you take a job that pays less than what you think your skills and experience deserve. But at the same time, keep in mind that if you price your services too high, no one might want to hire you or extend your assignment. If employers see you as a business expense rather than an asset you’re going to find it difficult to seal deals.
One thing you shouldn’t be is a whiner. Avoid comparing your current assignment with previous ones, especially when the comparison favors the latter. Any shortcomings you see at your present facility would have to be kept to yourself and not shared to people who will continue working there after you moved on to your next assignment.
Finally, keep building up your resume. Whether it’s the ability to work in different settings or getting a second specialty, you should keep adding to your skill set.
The good news is that healthcare in general (and travel therapy in particular) is one industry that’s actually growing. More and more medical facilities across the nation are looking to hire travel physical and/or occupational therapists. That said, recession-proofing your travel therapy career ensures that when times get tough, as they are wont to do, you know you’ll always land on your feet.