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  • Free time and feeling miserable

    Hi all

    I'm lost. I recently left my job without having another one lined up but then I ended up getting one but this doesn't start until the new year (I hope) subject to checks and getting all the paperwork in order. I posted in an earlier post that I wanted to start locumming but I didn't realise how difficult it is to secure locum work. I am available but I don't seem to be securing the shifts, I think this is because I'm brand new not to mention I live in a saturated and competitive area. I'm all good to go but yet to work my first locum shift. During this inbetween time I'm struggling, I've had a good rest but now I'm just bored and depressed. I'm trying to limit my spending as I haven't got any incomings (tight I know but it has to be done). I'm at a loss as to what to do with this time. I'm half tempted to apply for a normal customer assistant role just to keep my sanity and have a bit of money coming in. Has anyone else ever felt like this? What have you done to cope? I'm glad I left my job but I don't know what to do with this down time and I hate not having money coming in. I'm just really bored and I'm starting to get annoyed/sad/miserable. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, sorry for the super long post.

  • #2
    Can you find a locum post out of area for a week or so? If you have to l;ive in a B&B, so be it. You might not get a lot (net) at the end of it, but at least you'll be busy.

    And the best of luck with the new job. Hope you fell better soon.

    Comment


    • #3
      South West and East Anglia used to be the regions with a locum shortage. Contact multiple offices looking after those
      areas.
      johnep

      Comment


      • #4
        Most pharmacies don’t allow staff to take holidays in December so unless there is a sudden illness there is very little demand for locums. You may be eligible for some social welfare payments based on your contributions in your previous job so it is worth looking into that to help with cash flow until you start the new year. Meanwhile trying to get some seasonal work in any retail outlet is a good idea or volunteering with a charity to keep busy.

        Comment


        • #5
          I am sorry to see you're in this position. I am also finding it hard to find locum shifts, I am based in Manchester and it's near impossible to find shifts usually (for me anyway...).
          I think the advice some others gave here is good. Book some of the more distant shifts and book a hotel. It may do you some good going away as well to see new places etc. Also, if you're doing more than one shift for the company, see if they'll pay for your hotels (worth a try!).

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          • #6
            Been in the same position as you a few Decembers ago.... Quit my role in November but my new job didn't start until January. I did a few locums at a supermarket pharmacy but I told myself I wouldn't ever get the whole of December off again for another 40years or so and that's how I kept myself sane. Also went to the gym daily just to keep myself occupied.

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            • #7
              One locum was at a Moss pharmacy where the manager and dispenser both off over Christmas. My very worst locum ever.
              johnep

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi all

                Thank you for your lovely posts.

                Merlyn- I don't mind doing the odd locum away but since I'm new to the locum world, I really don't know how expenses and claims work. Plus for distant locum shifts such as in Devon, Bristol etc I would prefer to get the train instead of driving and then stay there for a few days but I'm unsure how I would claim that back - do I claim the train fare back? What if my train fare was more than the mileage? Also what if the company didn't pay for the hotel can I claim this back through the Ltd company? I have all these questions, I think I need my own mentor who is an expert.
                I did ask the agency I have joined but the adviser didn't explicitly answer the question (about the train fare) so I'm just confused. I wouldn't want to be a yes man and work everywhere and anywhere only to later find out that I only get paid for the hours I worked and can't claim the additional expenses.

                John-I used to live in East Anglia and there were a lot of locums coming from the East Midlands mainly, I kinda wish I hadn't moved now I found the traffic flowed better in East Anglia, I was less of a road rager back then. Haha

                Hibernia- I think I will consider the charity work just to keep me occupied, I wasn't keen on claiming benefits but I think I might have to which really doesn't sit well with me. I've always worked and want to work plus I'm young and a professional, it's mad to think I can't secure a Pharmacist job in my area and have to travel 50 odd miles.

                Mpharm and StraightOutta- What are you doing on your days off? and how are you securing your shifts? I joined a well known agency and after the long winded process of uploading everything, I didn't hear back. I put myself forward for a variety of shifts only to later find out I wasn't allocated. The adviser said it's because work is quiet atm and it's very competitive which sucks. I'm aware of locum work available in Scotland, initially I wasn't too keen but I might have to think properly about it now.

                On the plus side, I feel much happier and healthier since leaving my previous job, it's just the lack of work and lack of income that's annoying. I never thought it would be this difficult maybe I was a bit naive but I just hope work picks up soon. Fingers crossed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ravsta View Post
                  Hi all

                  Thank you for your lovely posts.

                  Merlyn- I don't mind doing the odd locum away but since I'm new to the locum world, I really don't know how expenses and claims work. Plus for distant locum shifts such as in Devon, Bristol etc I would prefer to get the train instead of driving and then stay there for a few days but I'm unsure how I would claim that back - do I claim the train fare back? What if my train fare was more than the mileage? Also what if the company didn't pay for the hotel can I claim this back through the Ltd company? I have all these questions, I think I need my own mentor who is an expert.
                  I did ask the agency I have joined but the adviser didn't explicitly answer the question (about the train fare) so I'm just confused. I wouldn't want to be a yes man and work everywhere and anywhere only to later find out that I only get paid for the hours I worked and can't claim the additional expenses.

                  John-I used to live in East Anglia and there were a lot of locums coming from the East Midlands mainly, I kinda wish I hadn't moved now I found the traffic flowed better in East Anglia, I was less of a road rager back then. Haha

                  Hibernia- I think I will consider the charity work just to keep me occupied, I wasn't keen on claiming benefits but I think I might have to which really doesn't sit well with me. I've always worked and want to work plus I'm young and a professional, it's mad to think I can't secure a Pharmacist job in my area and have to travel 50 odd miles.

                  Mpharm and StraightOutta- What are you doing on your days off? and how are you securing your shifts? I joined a well known agency and after the long winded process of uploading everything, I didn't hear back. I put myself forward for a variety of shifts only to later find out I wasn't allocated. The adviser said it's because work is quiet atm and it's very competitive which sucks. I'm aware of locum work available in Scotland, initially I wasn't too keen but I might have to think properly about it now.

                  On the plus side, I feel much happier and healthier since leaving my previous job, it's just the lack of work and lack of income that's annoying. I never thought it would be this difficult maybe I was a bit naive but I just hope work picks up soon. Fingers crossed.
                  It might help to contact firms direct; through their AM's, SP's, Locum Coordinators (if they still have them!). Employed direct you don't cost an agency fee. Fwiw, over almost 20 years locum work I did probably 90% direct, certainly very little through agents. Also try approaching private people (if there are any left!!!) direct-can work wonders. Also 50+ miles travel probably isn't out of the ordinary, I regularly did 35 miles each way in the West of England.

                  Otherwise, I don't know if you keep Christmas but have a truly great one if you do, it can be done without maxing out your bank card and might be the last when you have time to enjoy it!!!

                  Good Luck!

                  Mutley

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All expenses incurred in work as a locum are allowable against tax. Used to be 45p/mile but you would have to compare with the rail fare. When I travelled from Bedfordshire to IOW, I went by train and the pharmacy had a flat above. Train fare/ferry paid by the chap who booked me.
                    johnep

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnep View Post
                      All expenses incurred in work as a locum are allowable against tax. Used to be 45p/mile but you would have to compare with the rail fare. When I travelled from Bedfordshire to IOW, I went by train and the pharmacy had a flat above. Train fare/ferry paid by the chap who booked me.
                      johnep
                      What else did Mike H use that flat for, I wonder!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Mutley thank you for your post, I didn't think about the agency fee but that is a good point, I will try the direct approach. John you have all these cool stories, I'm tempted to suggest let's meet up for coffee so I can hear more (weird?)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Get signed on that way you will satisfy two needs, one you will have money coming in, and secondly you will have your time filled applying for jobs that you don’t need and don’t want!

                          Make the most of the free time because once you get on the threadmill its very difficult to get back off it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Can't resist throwing some suggestions at you... Hope you like them.

                            How about looking at MUR and seeing if you can get sessional work just doing MUR? (fixed fee for each MUR perhaps)
                            Charge a reasonable proportional rate from the MUR fee and you might have an opportunity to develop a kind of weekly round to various pharmacies.
                            You can do this as self-employed and put your expenses and insurance against your income tax.

                            Working completely anti-social pharmacist hours.
                            This is anti-social hours only, not on top of normal.
                            Rates might be better and you could keep busy by doing catch-up for the 'normal' staff.

                            Get out of the house and network with other (preferably non-pharmacist) professional people.
                            Look for opportunities in everything you see and hear.
                            47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                            2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                            How times change.

                            If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I never used an agency. Was active in my local branch and contacted all the AMs and co-ordinators.
                              Miall, There were two bedrooms at the flat, Mike H often in the other one with his "secretary". I enjoyed the locum and had a good counter assistant....Jill. I was pleased to visit an old friend from the Naval Hospital, Gibraltar who had returned to UK and then worked at Hasler? Naval Hospital in Portsmouth.
                              johnep

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