Is an Interim career right for you?

There are lots of blogs and articles which talk about the positives of becoming an interim manager so we thought that just for once we would play devils advocate and take the opposite approach and discuss some of the potential more challenging aspects of an Interim career.  Far from trying to dissuade people from becoming an Interim Manager in the first place we simply see it is as our duty to explain to those wanting to take that  ‘leap of faith’ that they need to prepare fully with their ‘eyes fully open’ prior to making the career change.

We have included below some of the comments made by our Interim Managers.

  • Work life balance – ‘the buck stops here’ syndrome can result in it becoming quite easy to become so totally absorbed in your interim career that you lose the perspective on work life balance to the detriment of your family.
  • Working away from home – it is likely that during your interim career an assignment will take you away from your family through the week. Whilst the financial rewards may be very appealing,  the time away from your family can never be recovered.
  • Job Security – gone is the comfort blanket of a regular salary, company car and paid holidays. You now have to budget for your ‘off time ‘ and plan your holidays carefully.
  • Self Promotion – whilst some people enjoy promoting their capabilities others struggle with this activity and yet it is one which is vital to success as an Interim Manager.
  • Lack of a Support System – there are no departmental colleagues to turn to for advice, you have to be jack of all trades and master of all.
  • Gap Management – Its becoming an increasingly competitive world in interim management and it can easily become quite disheartening during periods of inactivity when your applications for roles are met with apparent apathy from Interim Service Providers and clients alike.
  • Lack of Income – Following on from above, you need to budget for periods of inactivity, keep an emergency fund set aside for use during your downtime.
  • Client education – Sometimes a client will think they want an Interim when what they really want is a short term pro-rata contractor. This can lead to your hopes of an assignment being dashed when you get to the sharp end of contractual discussions.

On the face of it this would appear to be a negative article, however prudent planning and recognising and discussing the issues above should result in more balanced decision making.

So are you now in a better position to answer the question, is a career in Interim Management right for you?