Most travel assignments are 13 weeks long. Few are shorter but many are longer. Some, in fact, could be up to a year in length. In addition, some assignments may be extended while you’re on assignment.
Read below for tips on how to determine what your ideal assignment length is and what to do if you’d like it lengthened – or not.
- First of all, be sure you speak with your staffing manager when you first interview (and even later, if necessary) about typical assignment lengths and what you feel you – and perhaps your family – can accommodate easily. Traveling staffing services often are more than happy to ensure you receive only those assignments that fit your needs, so don’t worry about being upfront about what you can and cannot do.
- Don’t worry that you’ll be signing up for a one-year contract no matter how long your first or subsequent assignments are. Your agreement with your staffing service lasts only as long as the assignment you take on.
- Communicate often with your staffing manager. If something happens in the middle of your assignment that forces you to end it sooner than its schedule, contact your staffing manager ASAP. We understand that “life happens. Just let us know as soon as you can so that we may make arrangements for a replacement.
- This also goes for those times when you feel greatly uncomfortable at an assignment. If so, contact your staffing manager. She’ll talk to you about what’s going on that’s disturbing to you and can discuss the situation with your site supervisors. If the assignment isn’t salvageable for you, we’ll work hard to get a replacement ASAP. Please note that, depending on how critical the position is to our client, we may ask you to stay on until we can find a replacement.
- As for deciding on what length is best for you, consider your lifestyle. Do you have young children that you wish to take with you? You may want a nine-month assignment, one that starts in the fall so that your children may stay at the same school the entire academic year? Or are you single and the proverbial “fancy free” without too much to encumber you? Then you may be perfect for the shorter, 13-week assignments. This will give you plenty of experience at hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities across the country.
The bottom line? Talk at length with your travel staffing manager. See if you can talk to other traveling professionals to get their take on the “perfect” assignment length.
Then have a heart-to-heart with yourself and any loved ones that are affected by your travel and discuss what you think is the best length. You also can try out a short assignment, followed by a longer one: You may find that what you thought was the perfect length for you isn’t.