A few weeks before your current travel contract ends, chances are good that either the manager or your recruiter reaches out to see how you’re feeling about an extension. One of the best things about being a traveler is the ability to choose for yourself where you want to go for your next assignment. Before you decide to extend or move on, here are a few things to consider about the pros and cons of an extension vs a new assignment.
The pros of an extension are clear. First, you won’t have to actually look for a new assignment or go through the lengthy compliance process. This means no drug screens, no new vaccine paperwork and no license verification. Basically, you’ll end your old assignment and then start the new one the next week. You may even be able to negotiate a week off in between if you want to take a short break.
You can also feel good about where you live. If you signed a lease that can’t be renewed, you might need to find a new place to stay, but even that is easier because you’ll be able to look at new places in person. This really reduces the chance that you fall victim to a landlord scam.
At work, you won’t need to worry about learning new programs or going through orientation again. While you might need access to charts or med systems turned back on, you’ll typically be able to dive right into work. There’s also less of a chance that you’ll be cancelled by the facility because you already know how things work.
New Assignment Pros
For travelers who live to travel, there’s something about the excitement of a new location. The new city to explore, the new coworkers to meet and the new experiences are all an exciting part of taking a new assignment. Plus, you get to add a new facility to your resume.
If your reason for traveling is to see new places, choosing an extension might not be your jam. The clear disadvantage is that you won’t get to move and experience a new location and facility.
New Assignment Cons
The cons of a new assignment are the complete opposite of the pros of extending. You’ll need to start looking for a new assignment a lot earlier, typically about six weeks before your assignment ends if you’re not wanting to take any time off. Once you have an offer, then you have to go through the compliance process all over, which means a new drug screen, new license verifications and so on. It means you could be running to get this all done on your days off, which can make it seem like you’re working two jobs.
If you’re far away from your new assignment, finding a place to stay can also be a challenge. You won’t know if a location 10 miles from the facility takes 15 minutes or if it takes an hour, which is a possibility in some larger cities. Savvy travelers often take a week or two and live in a hotel or extended stay to get the lay of the land before signing a long-term lease.
Is a new assignment or an extension right for you? Before you make that decision, check with your recruiter to see what’s right for you. If you’re looking for new allied or travel nurse jobs, check with a Triage recruiter today.