This article is written by April Han. She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur. With a formal education in Business Administration and years of working with healthcare startups under her belt, she is able to provide valuable advice to aspiring locums in terms of creativity, innovation, and discovery of solutions to the challenges amid our society’s growing demand for health services. A life-long learner with a growth mindset, she is currently expanding her knowledge of the healthcare marketplace through online courses and hands-on training from world-class mentors.
General practitioners choose to do locum work to increase their income while working fewer hours. Whether it’s your main source of income or you do it to supplement your income as a salaried employee, locum work can help you earn more than full-time doctors. In fact, better income is one of the advantages of working as a locum doctor.
This is, however, only possible if you know how to earn and work smart. Here are some tips that will help you succeed in the field and the process, increase your income as a locum GP.
Let Everyone Know You’re Doing Locum Work
Sign up to CaregiverAsia so you can advertise your services online. It is a website where caregivers and careseekers can find each other. CaregiverAsia helps freelance health professionals find jobs in Singapore and at the same time provides careseekers access to reliable caregivers. Registration and posting of your service are totally free! You may find a more detailed guide on how to register and post your services here.
Now that online job markets are a trend, it’s necessary that you use marketing and branding techniques to get noticed by clients. Consider creating a personal brand and get started on promoting yourself and your expertise.
Set a Fair Rate
You want to get what you’re worth. You want to get the highest rate possible without driving away your clients. Negotiating rates, unfortunately, is a little tricky. In a perfect world, you won’t even need to negotiate. Clients will know exactly how much you deserve based on quality and quantity of work. But since the world is far from perfect, you just have to set the right rate and improve your bargaining skills.
So, how do you calculate your pay rate?
There are two ways you can do this:
- Based on costs you incur
- Based on the current market rate
Many new locum GPs overlook minor expenses that can add up to a substantial amount if you’re not careful. The not-so-secret secret is to think like a business and keep a log of all your financial transactions.
Continuing your career as a locum offers flexibility, freedom, and control over your work-life balance. Click below to register as a locum GP or call us at 6258 6683 for any enquiries.
Learn Some Negotiation Skills
If you have been a salaried GP all your life, it is highly likely you have zero negotiation skills. Bargaining can be an anxiety-inducing experience if you’re not used to it. But, put your growth mindset to work and believe you can learn it and get better at it if you put in time and effort.
You can find numerous useful resources on the Internet that can help you hone your negotiation skills. You can find two courses on this subject in Coursera alone. One is The Art of Negotiation by the University of California Irvine and Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills by the University of Michigan. These courses are free and you will only need to pay if you want a certificate, which, isn’t necessary in this case.
Know When the Best Time is to Take a Holiday
There are pros and cons of working over the holidays for locum GPs, but as the article shows, the pros outweigh the cons. When you work on a public holiday you are paid an extra day’s salary, as required by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower. Additionally, holiday times are the busiest times for freelance general practitioners since this is when most of the salaried personnel take time off work to be with their families.
Considering this information, you can increase your income by working during public holidays and only taking holidays during the quietest times which tend to be in November and around Easter. Use these times to rest and relax so you will have the energy and enthusiasm to work for the more grueling months ahead.
These are just some of the techniques for increasing your income as a locum GP. Hopefully, the tips would help you earn more while working fewer hours. There are still a lot more you can do to improve your income now that you’re doing locum work. You can also reduce your locum GP expenses, for example.
Keep checking the CaregiverAsia blog for more tips on how to succeed and earn more as a locum GP.
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