When a candidate decides to embark upon an interim career, they often underestimate the effort that is required to secure their all important first interim position. Here we talk about some of the steps you can take to help launch your interim career.
There are preliminary steps you can take to launch a career in interim management:
Research the industry
Interim management is a unique industry and one that requires a change in mindset. You must be prepared to network, sell yourself, and react quickly when opportunities arise. Interim management can be highly rewarding, but not everyone is suited to this particular career path. Make sure you know the pros and cons.
Be comfortable with ambiguity
Quite often when a business hires an interim executive, they know they need support but the exact issues may not be clear until an expert has been hired. There are rarely job descriptions, and if there are they are usually geared towards the permanent position. Part of a successful interim career is the ability to work with clients to diagnose and implement improvement plans. What may start out as business improvement can quickly turn into a business turnaround:
Have your CV ready to go, from every device, ALL the time
This is your primary opportunity to make an impression. Your goal should be to present your background completely yet succinctly. Highlight any projects or programmes that are 'interim' in nature and ensure you have an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn. Quite often interim roles will require CV’s to be sent within 24 hours, taking a day or two to send your CV can be the difference between getting an interview or missing out on a role.
Know your proposition
Don’t try and be all things to all people. Be clear about where you can add value quickly. Do not take a project outside of your sweet spot, as an unsuccessful assignment may impact your ability to secure the next interim project.
Prepare your business plan
As a Director of your own company, you are responsible for legal, finance, marketing, sales and delivery. It is important you know your day rate and the number of billing days per year you need. An out-of-work interim is a full-time business developer for their own company. Keeping the pipeline full of opportunities is key.
Lay the legal groundwork
If you are selected for an assignment, Boyden requires you to work through your own limited company. This is necessary to establish the proper contract of employment differentiating you from a direct employee. There are also relevant legislation, regulatory, and insurance requirements, which vary by country. You may contact us for details.
Interim Management is rarely about gap filling, in fact, a business will usually engage with an interim executive when there is pressure or a concentrated focus on delivering the desired outcome quickly.
Sometimes waiting 6-12 months for a permanent hire to be appointed to resolve an urgent business need is just not feasible, or potentially exposes the business to greater risk for a prolonged period.
Our global reach allows us to identify the best leadership solutions for the immediate and ongoing business needs of our clients. The majority of Boyden’s interim clients are based in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and Australia. We have clients who engage our interim managers for international assignments, mainly in Europe, with some in Asia/Pacific and the Middle East.