Interim Management is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in Europe and the US. It rewards agile, independent professionals who want to open their considerable experience to the market and work as much for themselves as any one employer, so it’s not exactly surprising.
Lots of people are asking themselves how to break into Interim Management, and if you’re one of them then this guide is for you.
Are You the Right Person?
It takes specific qualities to make a success of interim management. You need to be very independent: as an external consultant you’ll have no regular colleagues, and although you’ll need to build relationships quickly when you enter a new business, you’ll have to leave them behind just as quickly when the project ends.
You’ll also need quite a thick skin. You’ll be a perpetual outsider to the businesses you work with, and although you’ll be welcomed by management as you work to turn around problem situation, you’ll likely be delivering bad news to employees on the ground. You need to be persuasive, and also forceful enough to produce results when persuasion fails.
It’s also important to remember that the most basic requirement you need to meet is excelling at change management. If you can’t point to examples in your career when you have turned a crisis into an opportunity, you don’t have anything to build an Interim practice on.
Network Network Network
If you’ve taken a good look at yourself and decided you do indeed have the qualities you need to make a good Interim Manager, it’s time to put your professional network to work.
Assuming you’ve left your previous employer on good terms, they may be able to act as an advocate and reference for you as enter the wider field. Whether they can or can’t, your other professional contacts can alert you to opportunities, and recommend your services to potential clients, so make sure everyone is aware of your new situation.
Get Professional Help
Reaching out to a specialist Interim Management Firm will be a real boon, especially as you begin to establish your reputation.
They’ll act like a combination of recruiter and agent, using their contacts in the field to connect you with employers who need the very specific services that you can provide, as well as helping to guide your development as an Interim specialist, which will help you gain even more remunerative and prestigious contracts.