Pursuing a career in interim management can be an interesting choice in terms of satisfaction, reward and a better work/life balance. You will be given the chance to make a real impact on a number of contrasting businesses and often be offered highly competitive rates of pay. But how do you know whether you possess the correct skills to pursue a career as an interim manager?
It is extremely important that anybody who is considering this career path understands what exactly is expected of them as an interim manager. It is so much more than offering your new colleagues a track record of delivery at executive level. You will need to communicate just how able you are to deploy existing gained professional experience with a set of important attributes to accompany. The intensity of a short term assignment is at times considered daunting, but ex-military personnel often take to the pressure very well and opt for this career choice in favour of standard permanent executive roles. The regular change in environment is, in addition seen as a great advantage to following a career in interim management.
Frequently kept as short term posts, an interim manager will usually be expected to know what is required of them in the time span given. You will be paid on the basis that you are able to achieve the company’s set goals and objectives whilst demonstrating an ability to create with lasting benefits and a smooth delivery.
With little time to settle into the position, you will need to be aware that a short term assignment demands you hit the ground running. If you are an easy going and adaptable person you should aim to utilise these aspects of your personality – this can also help you to block out any background noise and get on with the task at hand.
Moving from company to company can often mean that you would benefit from becoming quickly familiar with a number of habitual attitudes and systems that are fairly ingrained into the company’s way of doing things. As a result, you should be able to communicate messages clearly and concisely whilst also motivating your colleagues to consider and implement alternative methods in getting things done, particularly if you know of any improved solutions likely to be of more value to the business.
A permanent executive is given the freedom to work within a timeline that lends foresight for the future of the business and the opportunity to make strategic decisions based on its greatest long-term benefits. As an interim manager, you will be required to apply this same tactical approach to a range of situations in a much shorter time frame. The outcome of doing so can prove immensely rewarding and grant much confidence, going forward.
Being unafraid to get stuck into as many scenarios that come your way including the dealing with often unconventional recruitment processes, being prepared to travel and potentially flexing your day rate in line with market demands is a great way to establish yourself as a highly recommended and sought after interim manager.
Improvement and change are two absolutely fundamental aspects of interim assignments, so individuals who question deep-rooted behaviours, attitudes and ways of working – and who actively seek ongoing progress – will have a much greater chance at success and of developing the overall business.