According to studies, up to 40% of self-employed people say they have felt lonely since deciding to work for themselves. It’s a figure that’s hard to ignore and as a locum pharmacist it’s likely that you will come under that self-employed bracket. So what can you do to stave off those feelings of loneliness that all too often effect hard working locum pharmacists?
Networking events – Boring? Maybe, but more often than not you’ll find these little events quite helpful. They will give you a chance to meet with other like minded individuals, fill your address book with potentially important contacts, and there is always the chance you’ll end up down the pub, win-win. Plus, it’s generally a good idea to have friends who are also locum pharmacists as you can pick each other’s brains and tell each other about suitable shifts you’ve seen, not to mention you can nominate each other as references when you sign up with locum agencies.
Take up a social hobby – I know what you’re thinking ‘how on earth will I have time to take up a hobby?!’, but hear me out. As a locum pharmacist your time is valuable, luckily there are numerous hobbies that require minimum time consumption. Running clubs and other similar fitness clubs usually last between 1-2 hours a week a won’t mind if you miss a couple here and there because you’re working away. If fitness isn’t your thing, why not look into book clubs or photography clubs, there’s a social activity for everyone.
Continue learning – Why not sign up for a course? There are plenty of adult courses across the UK from foreign languages to floristry, whatever takes you fancy. You’ll likely be spending a lot of time around others and you’ll also earn a new qualification or skill.
Get out in the fresh air regularly – A bit of fresh air and sunlight can lift anyone’s mood. I’m joking about sunlight of course, we live in the UK, but taking a minute to have a breather in a stuffy pharmacy will do you the world of good. Even just opening a window or two will benefit you.
Socialise after work – Make plans to meet up with friends or family after work. Working away? Arrange to go for drinks or dinner with your temporary work colleagues. We’re often sent photographs of our locum pharmacists enjoying a meal or two with staff they’ve met in store. After a long locum shift no one would blame you for wanting to crash out, but you should try to muster up the energy to socialise if you can.
Keep in touch when working away – There are numerous benefits to working away and as a locum pharmacist you may often find yourself in far off locations. It’s likely that you’ll miss your friends and family when working a block of locum shifts so it’s important to keep in touch with them. When the working day is done make some time to ring or video call them.
With these handy tips you’ll be able to fight off the loneliness and make the most of your time as a locum pharmacist!