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Circle of Control

Have you ever read a book that has changed your life for the better? The Question behind the Question or QBQ by John Miller did this for me. It’s a book that turns “Why me?” thinking into a “What can I do?” type of mentality. I used to be one of those people who would sit around in victim mode wondering why the world was working against me. Now I look at each difficult situation that I face and try and focus on the actions I can take rather than what I can’t control. I am so much happier for it and what it has done for my life. I even went out and read his other books Flipping the Switch and Parenting the QBQ Way, but I can write about those another time.

So why am I talking about QBQ? Yesterday I posted in a travel webpage on Facebook and asked what travelers want to hear about in a blog. I became a little nervous when someone posted that they wanted to hear about “getting contracts cancelled for no good reason and having no recourse.” I know that this is a hot topic of frustration for many travelers and I wish I had a magic answer for you on what you can do to prevent this from happening, but I don’t, because you can’t. Hospitals cancel contracts for many reasons: census is down, an employee returns to work, or a contract worker is no longer needed. All of these are legitimate reasons but they don’t help the traveler who was planning on working a 13-week assignment and losing out on the pay they were going to make. It’s okay to be angry and frustrated, but try not to stay in that place too long. What can you control in such an uncontrollable situation?

Contact your recruiter. We are here to help and we don’t like it when your contract gets cancelled either. Let’s work together to find you your next assignment so you can get back out to work as quickly as possible.

Consider what can be negotiated and what is a “must have” for your next assignment. You may have just been cancelled from your dream assignment that had everything you were looking for: day shift, high pay, perfect location, etc. Now it’s gone and another job is needed quickly. Decide what is most important to you and what you can be flexible on. Talk it through with your recruiter. We will do what we can to find you what you are looking for and give you options on positions that will interview quickly.

Have money put aside for these types of situations. About five years ago I was working at a company who was going through a transition. I really wasn’t sure if I was going to have a job and wasn’t sure what I would do without an income. I put some money aside as a safety net just in case the position didn’t pan out. Try putting a week to two weeks’ worth of pay in a savings account for these very situations.  You will feel a lot less stressed and be able to think more clearly about what your next steps should be.

Communicate to us how urgent your situation is. As I said before, your recruiter is here to help you and we want to help you. If we leave you a message about a great job that has everything you are looking for, call us ASAP. We want YOU to be one of the first people we send over to that job so you have a better chance of being interviewed first. It’s also okay if you found another job with another company but please call and let us know so we can stop searching for you. We will congratulate you and ask how we can work together on your next contract.

Complete any compliance for your new assignment ASAP. I know compliance is not fun; it’s not fun for us either, but it’s a necessity in the travel world and the majority of it needs to be completed before you can start. The last thing you need is to have your assignment pushed back because compliance hasn’t been completed. Contact us if you are having any trouble with it and we can walk through it together.

I know this advice doesn’t prevent hospitals from cancelling contracts but I do hope it helps the traveler take control of the situation when it arises and gives them some action steps to help them in their traveling journey. I would love to hear from some of you who are travelers and what advice you have to give to others when they find themselves in this type of situation.

Be creative. Keep reaching. You’ll find a way (Miller, Flipping the Switch, p. 68).


Ryan Royse is the Recruitment Branch Manager for the Nursing division of Aureus Medical Group.

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