So, you’ve done everything you need to prepare for an assignment and finished signing that contract. Congrats! While you can expect your near future to be packed with activity, and the unknowns might at first seem intimidating, in time it will become as routine as any other job. The lead up to a new assignment is also an exciting time, and this guide will give you glimpse at what you can expect in the coming weeks:
During your first week, you’ll be preoccupied with orientation, introducing yourself to your new colleagues and getting the lay of the land. Even though you won’t be moving permanently, you’ll want to do as much as possible to make your transition stress-free so you can “hit the ground running.”
Research is key in this regard, and if you haven’t already, start mapping out important need-to-know information for your arrival. Where is your home away from home located in relation to your work site? What route will you take to get to and from? Details like this can make the difference between a smooth start and a rough one.
When it comes time to step foot into your new assignment facility and start introducing yourself, remember the basics. You’ll want to know where to go, be on time, be polite, and, most importantly, get a good night’s sleep beforehand so that you can make the best impression possible.
Expect things to start heating up in your second week on the job. You’ll have completed a few shifts by now, and in all likelihood, some of them will test your limits (not because you aren’t competent, but because you’re still getting acclimated to your new surroundings).
During this time, you’ll also be meeting new people, and trying to remember new names and faces. If you count yourself among those who have a difficult time putting the right name to faces, you might want to check out this handy guide from Forbes. In short, it’s all about repetition and creating connections with their name that will force you to remember it correctly.
Since you’ll likely be settled in during your second week, you’ll have more time to start exploring your new city. If you made a hit list of different spots you wanted to check out, start staking out some time to swing by one or two, and remember to enjoy yourself accordingly.
Believe it or not, your third week on the job may prove to be your most difficult challenge. The reason? Week three puts you in something of an “in-between” transition period. You aren’t really new anymore, but on the other hand, you might still be getting up to speed on everything. This is a tough spot to be in, but nothing you can’t handle. Everything may seem to take a lot of effort, but you’ve got this! Your recruiter will likely have checked in with you in the first week or two and will continue to connect with you throughout your assignment. Just remember, if you run into a bind and you need help from your recruiter, or have any questions, they’re always a call away.
By week four of your assignment, you should see some friendships starting to blossom. You’ll likely receive invites to lunch or happy hour with the “work crew.” Accept these graciously, if you can, and make yourself part of the gang. Getting along with your new coworkers is an essential part of success on assignment, and making time to mix and mingle with the group will really get you hitting your social stride.
Week 5 – 8
Now is when you’ll really start to feel like you’re in the swing of things. In weeks five to eight, you’ll have gained confidence in your role at work, and your performance should benefit from you feeling secure in your responsibilities. On top of that confidence, you should also start to feel more familiar with where you’re living. The lay of the land (like your favorite grocery store or yoga studio) should be second nature, and getting around should feel just as easy as it did back at home.
This means that you should feel comfortable exploring more areas and should be active in checking more items off of your “to do” and “to see” lists. In addition, you should expect your recruiter to check in with you again during these few weeks. They’ll want to know how everything is going. Please don’t hesitate to send them photos of your assignment adventures. Truth be told, we live vicariously through our travelers and love seeing their experiences through photo or video! Not to mention, if we share your photos on our social media pages, we’ll send you a gift card for a free cup of coffee. What do you have to lose?
WEEK 9 – 13
These final weeks will creep up faster than you might expect, and once they do, it’ll be time to start checking those final items off of your hit list and wrapping up your assignment. By now, you’ll have built a great rapport with your coworkers, and they’ll likely beg you to extend your stay. But alas, you’re a rolling stone now, living the rockstar lifestyle. That said, this is the optimal time to check in with your recruiter, look for allied and travel nurse jobs, and make yourself available for interviews.
Hopefully you feel more prepared to tackle that next assignment, knowing a bit more of what to expect. If you’re looking for even more information, we recommend that you check out the Healthcare Travel Guide for some additional insight, and drop us a line if you have any questions.