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Top tips for new legal locums

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by Michael Bailey | 09 April 2018

Increasingly, legal professionals are seeing the benefits of locuming at some point in their career. It is traditionally a decision based on personal circumstances but, as the locum market continues to remain buoyant, it is a consideration more people are making in order to achieve the work-life balance they desire. Below are my top tips for new locums taking on their first assignment to ensure they remain successful and get repeat bookings.

1. As a locum, you have the opportunity to choose which assignments you work on; you might not like a certain style of company or you may only want short or longer term contracts.  Working as a locum, you have the opportunity to pick and choose when or where you work, so it is important to ensure you choose well and only take on assignments that you know you will able to fulfil.

2. I would advise all new locums to thoroughly research the company they are going to work for. Look at their website and social media platforms and get a good feel for who they are and what they do. This is also a great opportunity to learn about the people you are going to be working with.

3. Starting any new job can be a daunting prospect especially if it is in a location you are unfamiliar with meaning that getting there on your first day can sometimes be more difficult than you initially imagined. Plan your trip well in advance and use Google Street View so know exactly where you are going. It is also worth doing a trial run getting into work, if you have the time before your first day.

4. Lateness is frowned upon in any business, however it can sometimes be unavoidable. If you are going to be late I would advise all locums to get in touch with the client and your recruitment consultant (if you have one). This may seem like a simple tip, but it is a situation we witness regularly and it causes unnecessary stress to you and the client. 

5. Regularly changing assignments can be confusing. Every firm will work differently which means locums have to adapt their way of working quickly. This will come easier with time, but for your first few assignments take notes, listen carefully and ask questions to ensure you know exactly how the client wants you to work. It is also important to not be afraid to ask for help, if you are unsure about anything ask someone to assist.

6. Ensuring repeat bookings will often depend on the quality of a locums references, it is therefore crucial to make a lasting impression on each role you undertake. 

7. Always leave a detailed hand over for each contract you undertake. This will allow the client to pick up anything you may not have had time to complete.

8. Ask for feedback. Repeat assignments are essential in the locum world. If you have done a good job it is nice to know and if the client has constructive feedback, take it on board for your next assignment.

A locum career can be very rewarding; it offers high pay, better flexibility and variety without getting bogged down in politics of firms. If you are thinking about becoming a locum, give me a call, would be happy to chat through your different options available 0203 741 8189. Alternatively you can view our latest roles here