Throughout a lifetime, everyone moves at some point or another. But as a medical traveler, you move a lot more frequently than the average Joe. And that can be tough.
6 Ways to Adjust to Your New Travel Job
For you, each move likely means a new zip code, a new living space, and a new work environment. Although you’ll only be there for about 13 weeks, it’s still important you make the time to get acclimated to your new surroundings. Lucky for you, your good friends at Fusion have put together these helpful tips on how to adjust to your new travel job. Check it out!
No. 1: Meet new friends
As a kid, it was easy to walk up to another strange child and ask, “Do you want to be my friend?” But, somewhere along the way of growing up, it became harder to have that conversation. According to psychologist and University of Maryland professor, Marisa Franco, it’s because when you get older, making friends doesn’t happen as organically.
“Sociologists have kind of identified the ingredients that need to be in place for us to make friends organically, and they are continuous unplanned interaction and shared vulnerability,” said Marisa. “But as we become adults, we have less and less environments where those ingredients are at play.”
So, it seems easier said than done to make new friends in your environment, but it’s completely doable. All you have to do is put yourself out there and make it a priority to make friends! Again, easier said than done, right? Here are some tricks you can try to form new friendships:
- Assume that people already like you
- Make the move to get someone’s information when you connect with them
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find you’re on the struggle bus
- Continue to put yourself out there
Use these tips at work, in the gym, in a coffeeshop, etc. to meet new people. Or try out an app like MeetMe or We3 to find people nearby with common interests. No matter how you prefer to make friends, once you do, it’ll help you get situated and feel more at home while you work your travel job.
No. 2: Be a joiner
It’s hard to fit in if you don’t put yourself out there. One way to do that is by being a joiner. There are tons of local groups and organizations for you to join and be a part of. All you have to do is a little research.
Not sure where to start? Here are some good examples:
- Join an employee resource group
- Join a book club
- Check out role or industry-specific professional associations
- Meet internal colleagues
- Join a gym
Put on your thinking cap and find the best atmosphere for comfort away from home. If none of these ideas fit your fancy, then give no. 3 a shot and make the first move!
No. 3: Make the first move
It can feel intimidating to put yourself out there, especially if you don’t get much in return from others. Have no fear, dear traveler. You have a lot to offer, and you should share your skills, talents, and friendship with others around you.
There’s no robust orientation or guide book for how to adjust to a new travel job, so it’s up to you to make the best of it. If there’s no existing club or organization for you to join and connect with like-minded folk, then take it upon yourself to get one started!
There are an infinite number of clubs you could start, but to help get those gears turning, here are a few examples of common types of clubs:
- Movie club. Watch movies as a group and then spend time afterwards to discuss thoughts, feelings, and more.
- Dinner club. All about delicious food and wonderful company, a dinner club could be the start of lifelong friendships. Whether you decide to focus on a specific cuisine, explore a new restaurant, try a new recipe, or experiment with flavors from across the globe, a dinner club brings people together over something we all love: Food.
- Sports club. Find a group of people who are fans of your team and get together for game days. You could also put together a recreational sports team if your city doesn’t already have an existing league for you to join.
- Hiking club. Connect with friends over beautiful scenery and a common appreciation for the outdoors. Get together and adventure through local hiking trails to experience all nature has to offer.
- Language club. Always wanted to learn another language? Well, this could be your chance! Come together with those who have the same goal and watch movies, read books, and listen to music in the particular language you want to learn.
- Coffee club. Enjoy nice conversations over a warm, comforting cup of coffee. Go coffeeshop hopping and try out different brews from all over the city.
Now the million-dollar question is how do I start this club? Well, first, there are a few tiny details to smooth out. Like what kind of club is the best fit for you? Who do you think would want to join and participate in club activities? Lastly, when and where will you meet? After you’ve worked out the details, all that’s left to do is spread the word!
No. 4: Make your temp housing feel like home
When you’re away from home for 13-ish weeks working a new med travel job, it’s natural to get homesick. Do yourself a favor and adjust to your new living space, new city, and new job by making your temp housing feel like home. But how?
- Fully unpack your bags. You’ll be there for at least 13 weeks, so don’t spend all that time living out of a suitcase. Instead, fully unpack your bags, put things in their place, and enjoy a clutter-free living space complete with your personal touch.
- Get comfy. There’s nothing better than crawling into bed after a long workday. Make sure your bed is ready for you when you get home with your own bedding. Adding your favorite blankets and pillows is a quick and cozy way to instantly transform your new bed into a safe haven.
- Get personal. Bring along pictures, mementos, house plans, candles, and all those little things that make you happy and remind you of your homeplace. Maybe it’s your favorite book or fuzzy socks—whatever it is, bring it along because nothing cures homesickness like a piece of home.
- Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood. Don’t get stuck inside while the world passes you by! Venture out and explore your new city. See the sights, hunt for a new coffeeshop, find a farmer’s market, walk a nature trail, and experience local attractions like museums and boutiques.
Whether you’re staying in a five-star hotel, Airbnb, or luxury apartment, make your temporary housing feel like home to help you adjust to your surroundings. Once you unpack your belongings and get settled, you’ll feel right at home.
No. 5: Practice self-care
Hot take: Self-care is underrated. When was the last time you took a bubble bath just because? Or the last time you took yourself out on a romantic dinner date? Or how about the last time you treated yourself to a massage?
If you’ve found yourself thinking, “Oh gosh, I’ve been seriously slacking on self-care,” then don’t worry—you’re not alone. Self-care isn’t as easy as it sounds or should be. But hear us when we say that you deserve to feel loved and supported by your own self. These are some ways you can practice self-care to help you adjust to your new travel job:
- Get out and enjoy some physical activity
- Pump your body with nourishing foods
- Manage your caffeine and alcohol intake
- Get plenty of sleep
When you care for yourself, it allows you to authentically enjoy what your life has to offer. Plus, engaging in self-care activities have been clinically proven to reduce and eliminate anxiety and depression, which gives you the energy to get up and at ‘em!
No. 6: Establish a routine
It may seem like the perfect opportunity to shake up your routine in your new city, but oddly enough, such a drastic change can have negative affects on your productivity levels, as well as mental and physical health. To adjust to your new travel job, stick to a familiar routine.
No, it doesn’t have to be the exact same routine that you had with your previous travel job. Of course, things won’t be the same—you’ll be in a new city with new people in a new medical facility treating new patients. However, there are ways you can still manage your routine inside and outside of work.
For example, if your normal morning routine involves a fresh pot of coffee, then carry on the tradition during this job. Or maybe every day after your shift, you go to the gym for a workout. Again, keep it up!
Treat yourself to a sense of normalcy and stick to a consistent schedule and daily routine. As your routine drops your anxiety and stress levels, it’s bound to increase your positivity, productivity, and sense of adventure.
It’s no secret that you move around a lot as a professional med traveler. I mean, every 13 weeks or so, you take off for a new travel job in a new city or maybe even a new state. So, the next time you hit the road for a job, follow these five tips to help you adjust to your new surroundings in no time.