Interim Management As a Career Option

Traditionally, the image of a typical interim manager was that of an individual who was at the end of his career and he/she chose interim management in order to stretch his/her career further.

This is changing fast. Over last 15 years there is an increasing number of managers who have entered the market with a clear view of making interim management their career choice. It is a great career choice if you have the skills and personality for Interim Management. Let’s explore some of advantages and disadvantages of Interim Management as a career.

Many interim executives enjoy the challenge of working on different assignments with tight schedules in various industries and various locations. Globalization and increased mobility create a truly global market. They are a new breed of ‘executive nomads’ who spread management expertise to further corners of the world.

Assignments are usually structured around achieving certain business outcomes. Because of that and due to limited time an interim is in a company, there is less need to get involved in company politics.

Such meaningful, rewarding, goal-focused and varied work and life-long learning attracts an exciting and diverse mix of managers to Interim Management.

Compensation is not bad either:
Best paid interim executives earn between £250,000 ($380,000AUD) and £350,000 ($535,000AUD) a year.

  • 42% of all interims charge fees of between £500 ($760AUD) and £750 ($1,150AUD) a day.
  • 17% were in the £750 – £1,000 ($1,150AUD – $1,550AUD) a day bracket.
  • 7% charge between £1,000 ($1,550AUD) and £1,250 ($1,900AUD) a day.
  • 3% are on fees in excess of £1,250 ($1,900AUD) a day.

Before you decide to move into Interim Management you should be aware of requirements and potential disadvantages.

Interims are usually highly specialized executives who normally have vast experience in a particular field. Without at least a decade of experience in management positions and some clear, measurable achievements it will be very hard to find rewarding assignments.

This industry is becoming highly segmented and competitive in nature. Since it’s a niche field, it is very important that you have an excellent track record in order to be successful. As an interim manager you are only as good as your latest assignment.

Also, the field does not provide the security of a permanent job and you constantly have to adjust to new environments. You should be open to change and to new ideas.

Besides this, there might be lean periods where there is no available work, so it is important to have enough financial security to support yourself during these periods.

You will also need good networking and social skills in order to be successful. Since, you mostly enter an organisation when there is trouble and tension, you have to be able to quickly adjust to different faces and be able to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Job Profile of an Interim

The average job profile of an interim has changed with time. As stated earlier, previously candidates were choosing this field due to redundancy issues. Now, they are doing so as a preferred career option. According to a recent survey, only 3% of candidates in 2009 chose interim management due to redundancy in contrast to 16% in 2001.

Also, the average age of an interim has reduced over the years. Persons belonging to the 56-65 years group has nearly halved on the past five years while those belonging to the age groups of 36-45 and 46-55 has constantly increased. More and more young people are entering this field.

Besides the age factor, the number of women entering the industry is also on an increase. While in 1999, merely 5% of the interim management workforce comprised of women, now this figure has increased to 24%.

Also, most interims are either into HR (Human Resource) or Finance. In contrast to the above, the job options available to interim managers have not seen a drastic change over the years. HR employs more than 40% of the workforce. This is to the advantage of most interims as most of them come from either a Finance or HR background – the two most common fields.

To learn more about interim management as a career option visit http://www.interimmanagement.com