BECOMING an INTERIM MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE

‘Interim Management’ is certainly a role worth considering. Especially interesting for those who tend to be self-sufficient, multi-skilled, adaptable and normally financially secure.

A client will hire an ‘interim executive’ when their organisation is faced with a problem that requires immediate attention and a solution. They are searching for that special character who has – ‘seen it, been there and done it before.’ Someone content in operating entirely in their own comfort zone, a person switched on from the outset, immediately credible and totally competent. The ‘interim’ is a reliable source – an insurance policy to ensure that their situation is resolved quickly and at a minimum cost, both at risk level and financially.

A willing and spontaneous attitude is most appealing; to be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice and just ‘go.’ ( A supportive family, being an absolute necessity. ) An ability to radiate confidence, having a positive – ‘make it happen’ approach, generating a presence. A character who isn’t bothered about company politics, titles and status; someone prepared to operate on a range of levels and is objective – without hidden agendas and not on the look-out for promotions etc;

The kind of requisite skills needed for this ‘cavalier’ role is to have an excellent presentation – a necessity to win the appointment. Fast entry, having credibility in both listening and analytical skills. The ability to deliver, requiring leadership, energy, creativity, team building and motivation. A clean departure is essential, leaving behind a plan, structure and transferable skills.

The more experience gained as a possible candidate and in a varying range of industries, the better. Ensuring up-to-date knowledge in areas of specialisms, a recent successful delivery of change/transition, recent project or line management and to have readily available, two or three recent strong and enthusiastic references.

An attractive propostion for any future client contemplating ‘Interim Management,’ is that the cost is recovered at least threefold on average, making this a very cost-effective option.

The future candidate considering an ‘Interim Management’ career would be advised to consider the administrative side of things, as most professional ‘Interim Executives’ elect to set up their own companies and so there are various requirements such as :-

1) To have a limited company
2) An accountant, one to understand a ‘one’ person business and who understands ‘IR35’
3) To be V.A.T registered
4) To have a consultancy-style contract.
5) Consider opting out of EAA regulations.
6) P.I Insurance.

It needs to be recognised that ‘Interim Management’ is very demanding, requiring long working hours and often a great deal of travelling is involved. It is advisable to be flexible, be good at self-management and have high stamina levels. (It’s no good falling at the first hurdle!) as you won’t sustain the course.

Personal attributes requiring consideration would be:- to be a high achiever, pro-active, results orientated and to be very positive, preferably with a hands-on approach. Fluency in foreign languages is particularly useful and an understanding of business and cultural issues are very important and would widen the opportunities for assignments.

‘Interim Management’ isn’t the career option for everyone, however, if successful, the professional ‘Interim’ would expect certain sacrifices that would have to be made in exchange for the benefits of excitement, challenge and variety. For those up to the challenge, they can expect plenty of fulfilling work.