Some sonographers prefer the stability, reliability and familiarity of a permanent job. Others prefer the feeling of freedom – the metaphorical wind rushing through your hair as you cruise care free into the novelty of your next role. But is it really that simple? And which path is right for you? There’s always a tendency to look over the fence and think the grass is greener. And it some circumstances it might be. But is there a perfect fit for anyone? Service needs and personal circumstances are always changing. So the likely answer is yes but no but…
So here’s a few points to give you food for thought.
- A regular salary and the predictability of having full control of your in goings and out goings is not something to be taken lightly. You will be blessed with knowing exactly what you will earn, when you will get paid and, with a high degree of accuracy, what your expenses will be. And, assuming you perform your job to a reliable standard and don’t start offending patients you can expect to continue to get paid until you decide to leave. Life as a temp is very much the opposite. Rates can change, your position can end with little notice or even worse, there is no work to start with. While many temp sonographers experience a continuous flow of work, for others there can be small or long periods without work.
- Are you a lover of familiarity? Do you like to know exactly what time you need to leave home in order to arrive exactly 5 minutes before your shift starts? Or are you bored of passing the same people at the same time in the same place – every day of the week like . In case I don’t see you, ‘Good afternoon, good morning and good night!’. As a temp every new role brings new commutes, new traffic problems and the inevitable exploratory tweaking of a route until you get it ‘just right’. But likewise, you get new scenery and new experiences. You will get to experience and even live in places for a short period that you wouldn’t live in permanently. And more importantly, you will make friends in these areas that you wouldn’t ever have known. And will the increase of Facebook and other social media platforms, staying in touch is now commonplace. You may get invited to a wedding, birthday or retirement party in London, Melbourne or Alaska to celebrate with a friend whom you would never have known.
- Choosing where you want to work is everyone’s choice. While it could be argued that as a freelancer you may not have a great deal of choice as to where you work (as you can only choose from the roles available at that time), most freelancers feel that they in fact have more choice. Although it rarely happens, there is always the option to leave if you arrived somewhere that wasn’t good. Or, at least, see out the rest of your contract and then leave. Whereas many permanent staff complain about their jobs yet never leave, freelancers will inevitably leave.
- A change is as good a rest. One of the main benefits of being a temp is that just as things start to get a bit too familiar (I won’t say boring) you will more than likely be moving on anyway. So temping keeps you fresh and engaged. The downside is that if you are working somewhere you absolutely love you may well not get the option to stay. So, when you find that perfect place with free flowing coffee, no call and a departmental masseuse on standby you may regret the move to pastures new.
- You will learn a lot! No matter how experienced you are, life as a temp will involve some degree of being thrown in at the deep end. Slightly different protocols, image collection, where to use the toilet, where to park, reporting styles etc will all be slightly different. Plus, you will also have to learn who you can trust and maybe shouldn’t trust. The good news is that, as a temp, you will frequently be left out of the normal back and forth of office politics as most people don’t see you as a threat but rather as a welcome addition to the team who will soon be moving on and therefore has no place in the proverbial food chain.