If you are an experienced executive you may be considering interim management as the next step in your professional career.
Interim management gives you the freedom to choose who you want to work for, for how long and what type of work you undertake. However there are a number of advantages and disadvantages you need to think about carefully before you make the move.
As there are loads of interim job positions available the main benefit of becoming one is the flexibility which comes from managing yourself. Working as an interim manager will give you periods of freedom between assignments to pursue your own interests, spend time with your family or travel.
One of the advantages of moving from being an executive to an interim manager is you will earn more money than a permanent employee – around double your current salary. Not only will you earn more, you will also have the opportunity to build up a portfolio of business experience in different sectors and in different organizations.
Many interim managers relish the opportunity to get on with their work without having to get involved with office politics, and the variety that comes with working in different organizations and with new people. Interim management may also give you the opportunity to work overseas or in different areas of the country without permanently moving there or uprooting your family.
There are of course disadvantages of working as an interim manager to consider as well. You are responsible for finding your own work and making sure the money keeps coming in. You will also be responsible for your own tax, VAT and national insurance contributions. There may be gaps when you cannot find work which you may find disconcerting if you are accustomed to permanent employment. There is also no sickness or holiday pay so you need to be good at managing your money and planning ahead. You may find it lonely to keep moving from one organization to another. You may even meet resistance depending on the circumstances of your appointment and may find it difficult to command respect from people who know you won’t be there forever. There is likely to be high expectations of you – you won’t be able to have an “off day.” As an interim manager you will be expected to make a big difference to your clients in a short amount of time. This will be challenging, but also satisfying.
You may have to work away from home either for extended periods or during the week. This may have a negative impact on your relationship or family life. However the move from executive to interim manager is not permanent. Should you decide to go back into permanent employment, you will already have a great network of contacts. You will be able to demonstrate that you have a broad range of skills as well as the coveted ability to walk into any environment and make a difference.