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Career Advice

Breaking into Interim Management

Interim management has a great deal to offer. Break into the business, and your skillset will allow a wide diversity of organisations a safe pair of hands to guide them through tricky short-term situations. You’ll be exposed to challenges of all shapes and sizes, which makes the job rewarding. Plus, you might need to travel far and wide to where the demand is, and thus the job suits those of us who like to see new places and meet new people. Moreover, the skills that you pick up along the way may equip you to take on that dream opportunity when it arises.

Of course, breaking into this profession requires overcoming a few challenges – but, as we’ve noted, the rewards can be considerable. Let’s run through a few of them, and see if we can help you to get started.

Building Experience

To be hired as an interim manager, you’ll typically need to have more experience than strictly necessary for the role in question. You’ll be expected to provide a level of quality over and above what a fixed manager in the same role might, and you’ll be compensated accordingly. That means the expectations on you will be higher, both on paper and in the interview room. A board range of experience in a range of sectors will demonstrate that you are a safe pair of hands. Securing the services of a high quality interim recruiter will put you in an advantageous position.

Physical and Mental Fitness

Starting a new position every few months can be a source of major upheaval and stress. Some of us are built for this: we look at every new ordeal as an opportunity to build and grow. We don’t panic when we’re foundering in unfamiliar waters; instead, we grab a bucket and start bailing.

There’s a common misconception that you’re either cut out for this sort of thing or you aren’t. But mental and physical robustness is something you can pick up over time. The only question is whether you enjoy the process!

Surviving Financial Insecurity

When you’re switching jobs frequently, your income stream might not be consistent over time. Between roles, you can sometimes have to deal with a gap of weeks or even months. You’ll need to find something to do with this time – perhaps you have a second, flexible freelance career that you can build on during your downtime. But the more pressing question concerns how you’ll keep the lights on. Thus, you should consider a career in interim management only after you’ve built up a healthy cushion in your current account.

Personal Commitments

There’s no getting around the fact that a job in interim management will often involve long stretches away from home. As such, if you’ve got a family to support, then you’ll need to make sure that they’re on board with your professional decisions, and understand the implications. Living out of a suitcase can be galling – but the rewards can often justify the short-term pain. If you’re single and looking to travel, on the other hand, then you’ll have no such impediments.


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