Posted on Tuesday January 26 2016 by RIG Healthcare
After securing a permanent speech and language therapy positon and surviving a lengthy wait whilst new sponsored visas were arranged Gen has returned! She now tells us what it's like to be the newbie in a speech therapist permanent position again....
Following a brief stint of psychotic mania in the early months of 2015 (muchos gracias for that Liam) and an unexpectedly lengthy repatriation to the motherland, life spun back into the routine orbit of permanent speech and language therapy work – new hospital, new colleagues, new language, new London experience.
I exaggerate slightly… when I arrived, eager, ready to work and network… I quickly discovered that I already knew quite a large proportion of the speech therapy team at the Wellington, as well as some of the other therapists (the world is small friends). Familiar faces clearly made my re-adjustment to permanent speech therapy work much easier (plus I could ask them all of the regular dumb questions and seem like an absolutely brilliant star employee to the bosses :P). I found it really easy to fit in to my new team – I also hope they appreciated my efforts to be friends (e.g. creating face-in-hole pictures of them with Colin Firth and Kylie Minogue).
Becoming a permanent speech and language therapist again was a welcome change. Within my first few weeks I was already being thrown opportunities to upskill and progress my learning. I could access supervision and felt appreciated and part of a team. I loved my 2 years as a speech and therapist locum and it came with a number of advantages, but being able to develop as a professional was high on my priority list and always in the back of my mind. The compromise and the main negative point to being chained to a permanent role was the decrease in salary, but having stability and career progression was the pay off (as well as being able to stay in London for longer!)
Despite this, I’ve discovered that working for a private company comes with some great benefits. I’m not used to this – bringing your own pens to work has been my life for a number of years! Benefits include all inclusive Christmas parties, presents, season tickets, gym passes, private health insurance, CPD etc etc. Who could say no to that?
Adjusting to a new workplace, new colleagues and…a new language! Who would have thought I’d be learning Arabic … ever? The first month or so was fairly hectic, but I am really starting to find my feet, even with a bit of hospital only functional Arabic! Mafi mushkala! If only I’d had these skills when I was traveling!
This time last year, I would have been very concerned about breaking up with my locum speech and language therapist wage, having flexibility in my life and being tied down to a particular caseload and hospital, but here I am, January 2016, almost 3 years in London and loving being settled. I can live in London, develop professional skills and still enjoy life. So do what you can, if you want to stay – stay. Contact RIG Healthcare's permanent recruiter, Liam and get the ball rolling!
Gen Howard LinkedIn Profile
Read Gen's first installment here: Livin' La Vida Locum
You can find out more information about Working in the UK here