Practical matters - making the transition to interim
Being an interim manager can be a hugely fulfilling role, but there are several important factors to consider.
Have you built up a good network during your career?
People who have worked hard at maintaining genuine relationships with both colleagues and recruiters will have a much better chance at finding successful interim work, and don’t neglect the advisors who have supported your business in the past, like lawyers, bankers and management consultants.
Have you used all the tools available to you?
Make sure your CV reflects the key skills you can offer a client, and contains the necessary details to demonstrate your experience, with emphasis on your achievements and the various projects you have worked on. Your LinkedIn page should be up to date with a photo, good recommendations and finish dates for your most recent job. Let recruiters and clients know that you are available now.
Are you prepared to be an interim manager?
Get yourself ready before you begin looking for jobs: have a financial safety net, familiarise yourself with limited companies, indemnity insurance and VAT registration, and IR35 regulations.
Do you have a good relationship with the right recruiter?
A company with a specialist interim management capability will not only be better at finding you quality interim opportunities, but will also be able to support you during your assignment in terms of providing advice or extra team members, to ensure success.
Do you know what you can offer?
Appreciate what it is you provide that no one else can. It may take one or two assignments to truly know what value you can add, but identifying exactly what your niche skills are will make it easier to be confident and challenge the status quo constructively.
Do you understand what it means to be an interim manager?
Interim managers must be highly proactive, adaptable, self-sufficient and possess a lack of ego and status. An interim manager who can fact-find independently and work autonomously is invaluable.
Interims will need to be comfortable with risk and lulls between jobs, both financially and mentally. Interim management is a career, not merely a stop-gap between other jobs, and needs to be started at the right time – only once you’ve developed your own management skills to a high level. If you have these skills and know how to build on them, then being an interim can be a hugely rewarding career.