Interim management can be a great opportunity for both freelance management consultants and for career managers who are looking for a new direction and a challenge.
An interim management position is usually a short-term appointment, to fill a gap in capacity. That might be while a key person is on sick or maternity leave, or while the organisation is taking the time to find a suitable long-term manager. Sometimes interim managers are brought in to oversee a specific task or a period of change within the company.
Though it’s not unusual for interims to be offered a full-time role, if they’ve done a good job and there is a vacancy, in principle interim managers come in for a limited time and then, once their task is complete, they leave.
This means that an interim manager works with many different businesses and takes on various different tasks. It’s an excellent way to bolster your CV and to gain valuable experience. It will also give you an insight into different types and styles of business, so that if and when you decide to move ahead into a more permanent position you will have a much clearer idea of what is right for you.
There are a host of other benefits that are worth considering with interim management too. One of the main reasons that people decide to become an interim manager is the great flexibility that you can get. You are not locked into a long-term position and you can look forward to longer breaks if that’s what you want. Interim managers are usually paid at a higher rate, which allows you to budget for periods when you are not working. This means that you could work for 6 months and then take some time, go on holiday or even travel before taking on your next role.
What do They do?
So, what exactly does an interim manager do? This will vary depending on the company that you are working for, but interims are usually brought in to provide continuity in periods of adjustment.
The contract will likely draw on key management skills of planning, people and project management, communications and problem solving. As a short-term appointment in what may be a time of change, your most important skill will be emotional intelligence. Technical skills are important, but if you are to achieve anything, then your ability to get on with people and communicate effectively at every level is critical.
It can be challenging to find work as an interim manager because vacancies have to be filled so quickly. The best way to find regular work as an interim manager is to use an online job board which is designed solely for interim positions so that you can easily be connected with businesses looking for someone to come in short-term. In order to succeed as an interim manager, you will need management experience but you must also be able to hit the ground running, to be able to connect with people quickly and to have good problem-solving skills.
There are many perks to being an interim manager and it is a role which suits many people. It can be lucrative, varied, flexible and allow you to gain a lot of experience with different companies. It can also be challenging and you need to know how to secure work and succeed in a short-term role.