Change can be a constant in a locum tenen’s life. Even so, change is often uncomfortable and disorienting. While you are not always in control of your circumstances, you can learn to manage any situation you’re facing. You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust the sails.
Below are some tips to help make the shifts and changes in your professional and personal life more manageable.
Learn as much as possible about your new situation.
The more familiar you are with the upcoming changes, the more comfortable you will be with them. If you are starting a position at a new hospital, find out as much as you can about the hospital, team and any other unique attributes of the program.
If you are moving to a new town, get familiar with the layout of the city and the places you are most likely to visit. The more you know ahead of time, the less overwhelming the changes will be when you encounter them.
It takes time to adjust to something new. Give yourself and others the time to get used to the changes you’re going through. It may mean giving the benefit of the doubt to the team members you have not worked with before, or expecting new tasks to take a little longer then you’d like.
Remember past changes.
You have gotten through everything coming your way so far, and each of the challenges left you more equipped to take on new difficulties. The things you are facing today will soon also become a memory. These experiences will help you succeed in other unfamiliar situations down the road.
Make change a habit.
Challenge yourself to take on different things not only when you must, but whenever you get the opportunity. Volunteer for new projects you haven’t done before. Travel on your days off. Every new experience will leave you with a bit of knowledge that you’ll likely find useful later.
As locum tenens physician, you have many opportunities to incorporate change and challenge into your lifestyle intentionally. You can use this to your advantage, by putting yourself into new situations regularly. Trying new things over time will help you develop the skills that will, in turn, make you more nimble and comfortable in a variety of situations.
So, go forth and conquer a new challenge you’re facing today. Remember, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor!