The Interim Management Lifestyle

Interim management isn’t the career for you if you don’t like challenge and change. But for those of us who love both, it brings a rich variety of enhancing and intensive experiences: exposure to different industries, products and processes, and a variety of organisational structures, and cultural styles and the opportunity to establish an outstanding “track record for delivery”, added to which interim managers love not having to go through rounds of appraisals only to be told that: “unfortunately budgets for salary increases are limited”.

Show Me The Money
In fact, performance can probably never be more directly linked to pay. Even new interim managers can raise their fees for the next assignment as much as they like – providing the market thinks they’re worth it. Enough said you might think, but operating through a limited company also reduces tax costs if more remuneration is taken through shareholder dividends. And don’t forget that the cost of IT, office furniture, consumables, some utilities, vehicle running costs, and indeed VAT, can be borne by the business.

No Such Thing As Job Security Even in a “Permanent” Role Whilst even the best executive interim managers can be hit hard by an economic downturn, arguably there’s no such thing as a “permanent” line management role any more. Anyway, even in downturns can’t interim managers just drop their fees to become more saleable? Well the truth is, it doesn’t always work that way. Nevertheless, many interims feel more (not less) secure, in the knowledge that their career has more longevity than the corporate alternative.

Interim Management Lifestyle – More Choice
It’s true that an interim management lifestyle means greater choice: flexibility between part-time or full-time work, working at home or on site, the frequency and duration of holidays. It also means that because of the objectivity that comes with not being a permanent employee, during assignments organisational politics are less of a grind.

Interim management also means that a great career doesn’t have to come at the expense of unsettling the family by relocating every three years or so. But it sometimes means working away from home perhaps for four or five nights over a long period, which isn’t easy for young families. And don’t forget to start pulling your weight around the home and talking to your spouse over dinner after spending nine months on your own in a hotel!

Yes executive interim managers have more flexibility to spend quality time and extended holidays with the family between assignments, but realistically it isn’t always spent on a beach somewhere. Between interim management assignments the role morphs into “Sales Director” and interims become relentless networkers. So if you’re not good at self-promotion or not keen to become good at it fast – give it some thought. And then there’s the tedious administration: paying bills, filling in VAT returns.

There is however a somewhat perverse upside to invoicing!