For the many people in the United States that travel as a CST or ORT, these are hard times for some looking for work. The over population of travelers versus jobs is overloading positions with resumes and making the competition for these positions relentless. There are some options for techs who still want to travel, but need to find work. Keeping an eye on what’s out there is harder than it seems, but one can do it with enough effort, you can also go permanent or take on a per diem assignment and sometimes make the same amount of money, if it’s in the right location.
Finding out what there is in a quick changing job market, is very hard to keep up with, especially for someone who is currently working. Get a list of the top ten or twenty travel companies and check them every day. Fill out paper work for all of them and get on their mailing lists. Make sure that the agents working to find you a job, have all of your phone number as sometimes it’s first come first serve. There isn’t always an ability to be loyal to your recruiter, so if you need work and they aren’t finding it fast enough, make sure you have several companies competing to find you a job.
The state of the economy isn’t great for travelers currently, if you are finding that your pay is going to be extremely low, then consider a permanent position for a certain length of time. Find those high paying positions and then compare the cost of housing, utilities and groceries. This will take a little research, but if you are single you can still make a great living in a one bedroom apartment that has a cheap cost of living and is willing to pay a sign-on bonus and relocation. Don’t be too shy to ask for what you want.
If you don’t feel like committing the next year or two to a permanent position, take some per diem work. In some cities you will have steady work that is almost the same rate of pay as what a traveler makes. You may not make the same amount of money, but if you take some cheaper housing somewhere and do away with your furniture package it should even out.
If you are holding out for work, use some gas money to stay with family members. This is a cheap way to take some time off of work and see family that you usually don’t get to spend a lot of time with.
When all else fails, call hospitals you once worked for and see if they need a traveler for a month or two while you are waiting for an assignment. Sometimes hospitals will bend the rules if they have a chance to work with someone that knows their facility.
There are many ways to make money while holding out for that next 13-week or 26-week assignment. Decide to keep your options open and instead of waiting until the last week of your assignment apply for permanent and per diem assignments so you have all of your bases covered. It’s never to late to couch surf for a while, until the next job comes a long, so make your time productive and have a good time with family.