I’m not happy as a locum


I have been in a locum position for a few months, but have been unhappy since I started and am thinking about moving on. Ideally, I’d like to make the job work, but how do I convey my concerns to my employer without threatening my position or my credibility?


 Some of your concerns may be related to settling into a new job, so you should think about which issues are likely to be ironed out as you become more comfortable in your position.

You should bring up more fundamental issues during your supervision sessions. If you haven’t had a supervision meeting, then you must ask for one.

When you do have the conversation, it is important that you are very specific about your concerns saying that you don’t like the job is unlikely to change anything.

However, stating “I like x and y but wasn’t aware I was going to be doing so much of z, could this be looked at?” is more likely to get you results.

If this doesn’t improve the situation, and your locum position is through an agency, discuss your problems with your consultant. A specialised social care consultant should be able to give you an outside perspective on the situation.

If that doesn’t help, ask your agency for alternative assistance. Again you need to be specific in what you ask for. For instance, suggest that you would like the consultant to attend a meeting with you or, if you have very complex cases that mean you are working excessively long hours, ask them to approach your manager about having some extra time off.

If you are still unhappy it may be worth asking yourself whether you liked your last few roles. If you move jobs regularly because you are unhappy, maybe your expectations are too high. No job is perfect all of the time.

However, if you have enjoyed previous positions more than your current position, then perhaps it just isn’t right for you and it would be better to move on.

If you decide the only option is to look for another job, be as helpful as you can to your agency and your manager. Remember, you may want to work with either or both again.

Explain to them exactly why you want to move on. Suggest that you could agree on a timescale for leaving that suits you both.

Always make sure your files and other work are up to date before you leave, and write handover notes for the next person.

Leave the role the way you would like to find it, as this will help you get a good reference, despite your short stay.

Make sure you are very clear with the agency. Specify what you didn’t like about the position so they can ensure that the next role they find you will be better suited to your strengths.

Richard Smith is health and social care director at social care recruitment firm Beresford Blake Thomas. Visit the website at www.bbt.co.uk

➔ Do you have your own career dilemma? Send your comments or questions for consideration by our expert panel and your peers to derren.hayes@rbi.co.uk


“I am a newly qualified social worker in a new job working with adults with learning disabilities and want to ensure that I keep my knowledge and skills up to date in my job. What support can I get to do this?”

We will answer this question in the 14 August issue of Community Care. We want to publish readers’ advice too – send it to derren.hayes@rbi.co.uk

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