Thinking of a career change? An interim career is often as rewarding as a permanent career, nonetheless there are things to take into consideration before you take the leap.
If you are more comfortable with structure and routine, this may not be the career for you. A major shift in your mind-set will be necessary – you are now the expert and an independent leader. You will be called on to make tough decisions whilst ensuring that management/employee relations remain intact. Working demands change and there is a level of uncertainty, however, many report that once they’re over that initial fear they quickly gain flexibility. Independence and enjoy the work variety. Moreover, they attest to how rewarding it is to make a fast and significant difference to the businesses they support.
But what’s the attraction?
- As already mentioned, there is more independence and flexibility: this will allow you to have bigger control over your working life, opening the opportunity to pursue other ambitions or other interests you might have.
- Variety: as an interim manager you can choose which projects to take on and how many. This means you could be working in a variety of businesses, each with their own challenges; this helps to keep the work interesting and ultimately will provide you with invaluable work experience that you can take into future work.
- Earnings: When well-managed, the projects you’re involved in will usually provide you with increased earnings.
Is now the right time?
- Entering the interim world allows you to capitalise on your years of industry experience, so ask yourself: do I have enough experience?
- Most that venture into interim work are in a position where they have financial breathing space to leave the stability of full-time work, so ask yourself: am I in a financial position where I can work on an interim basis?
Do you fit the profile?
- Typically, businesses are looking to hire highly qualified senior leaders that easily adapt and fulfil the needs of the role they are looking to fill. Interim managers are expected to have deep knowledge of the specialised skills required and they must be able to self-motivate and self-manage.
- You will need flexibility, confidence and patience if you are to maintain this lifestyle. There will be times you will complete and start projects in quick succession but there will be quiet periods. This can be quite stressful from a financial perspective, so you will need to be prepared. Moreover, as previously mentioned, you will be working in a variety of businesses, transitioning into new work environments on a regular basis. This can be mentally exhausting; hence you need to mentally prepare for this and make the most of “rest” times to recover.
Interim work can be inconsistent and stressful, however often the reward outweighs the risk. So, why not consider it, if not now in the near future?