Considering Interim Management or Consultancy work?

For the first time in a number of years, the employment market has seen an increase in the number of highly skilled, proven marketers left immediately available through redundancy, company down sizing or any number of reasons related to the economy. Given an opportunity to consider their options, many of those individuals have begun to consider Temporary, Contract or Interim opportunities. So, could it be the right move for you?

What are the benefits?

  • The chance to work on interesting and varied contracts – within a relatively short space of time you may develop considerable new experience and skills to add to your CV.
  • Chances are, you’ve been hired for a specific role or project. You’re unlikely to get bogged down in the bureaucracy and office politics that can affect permanent colleagues, so you can really focus on getting things done.
  • In many cases, you’ll have the opportunity to drive change. This means that after the contract you’ll be able to demonstrate clearly what you achieved.
  • Contracting is a great way to get a ‘foot in the door’ with organisations and sectors you may be interested in working in. Temporary roles can sometimes lead to permanent offers, and it’s a great opportunity to test the waters in different sectors you may be considering.
  • The flexibility to take time off between contracts – ideal if you have family commitments, want to study, or go on that dream holiday!
  • The ability to demonstrate your skills in challenging situations – you’ll soon get used to picking things up quickly and getting to grips with new challenges, which are attractive skills for employers.

What are the downsides?

  • You’ll need to commit to a contract for its duration, so you may miss other contracts or permanent opportunities during this period.
  • There’s no guarantee of permanent work at the end of the contract, although the experience and skills you’ve gained will always be valuable.
  • You’ll need to budget for time between contracts – the next role may not begin immediately after the first so there could be times when you are not earning.
  •  You may not feel part of the organisation on a long-term basis
  • In most cases you won’t benefit from perks such as healthcare, car, pension etc
  •  The market is increasingly competitive, with clients often preferring ‘professional temps/interims’.
Interested in becoming an interim manager or temporary candidate? Then your current situation is essential. You should try to offer as many of the following as you can;
  • Flexibility on location
  • Previous experience of temporary work/Interim Management - not always essential, although it’s important to realise that just because you are out of work does not make you an organisation’s ideal candidate. A proven track record of completing similar projects is the experience most highly rated by clients.
  • Experience of working in multiple organisations - hitting the ground running is easier if you have experience of multiple environments and organisations.
  • Being an expert in your field - whether it is coordinating online marketing campaigns or turning around failing sales and marketing departments, you must be able to demonstrate proven tangible success in your field that will differentiate you from the rest of the market.
  • Capacity to deal with change - being a temporary worker or interim manager is not easy and you should be comfortable with change and changing environments as, more often than not, this is the reason for the assignment in the first place. Clients pay a premium for flexible staff who can hit the ground running...there is no time for a lengthy learning curve.
  • Focus on your main skills and be clear on what you offer a client. Very rarely is a ‘jack of all trades’ what a client is after. Focus on your skills and finding roles which require them.