Q: Will working as a locum affect my chance of permanent employment in future?
Quite simply, when the good times were booming, and law firms were recruiting permanent staff on high salaries and reasonable work conditions, the vast majority would not touch locum solicitors with a barge pole. We should know. Between 2004 and 2008 we dealt with a grand total of about 3 locum assignments and just short of 1,000 permanent vacancies.
None of the registered locums on our books were even interviewed for the permanent vacancies, even when there was very little response from our registered permanent candidates.
The usual reason for this is that employers believe locums to be damaged goods – after all, if you have worked as a locum you have experienced the following:
- Being your own boss
- Being paid a higher hourly rate than the employees at a particular firm
Once you have done this, it is hard to go back to being an employee, or so the theory goes.
It is of course perfectly possible to go back and work as a permanent member of staff, and people do on a regular basis, but do not be surprised if employers hold your locum status against you in future years.
If you are locuming out of necessity, this is of course different. Locuming out of necessity is usually done whilst waiting for permanent work to crop up. Firms will still look on suspiciously, but a few weeks is better than nothing after all.