Successful interims can attract very healthy day rates, and the best can work 12 months of the year if they choose to – moving from assignment to assignment. However, it can be all too easy to observe interims and fail to consider that it is not a suitable career choice for everybody. There are certain attributes that most successful interims have:
They do not fear change, and they are able to get up to speed very quickly, even when the state of play, or what is being asked of them, keeps changing.
Interims are paid well for a reason – they are typically expected to begin delivering tangible benefit to an organisation far sooner than would be expected of a permanent employee. This is often from day one!
The most successful interims don’t just cope with change, they thrive off of it. They get a buzz from moving between projects and indeed between different roles.
Most interims will work through a ltd company, which means that there will be additional tasks that need to be done to fulfil obligations to the HMRC, which are over and above working on a day to day basis. Furthermore, there will be the additional burden of seeking new interim roles, keeping in touch with recruiters, and going to interviews.
A lot of interim roles come through an extended network of professionals that have met in the course of their career. Building that network can be very fruitful in terms of finding opportunities. Examples are attending conferences, workshops, and other events, and building a winning profile on LinkedIn.
Dealing with new people and new situations can be stressful. There are often high expectations on the interim and timeframes to prove oneself is often short.
An interim career will not suit somebody who struggles in interviews and to explain to others what makes them so great at what they do. Being able to sell oneself is absolutely key.
In many cases the role of an interim is to cover a vacancy whilst a permanent person is recruited. Therefore their last responsibility will be to hand over projects to the incoming staff member. This should be done methodically, professionally, and as seamlessly as possible.
An interim career is typically highly paid, and is often very rewarding. However, it is not the right path for everybody, and it is important to be mindful of the specific traits it is important to have to not only be successful, but also be happy with the choice that has been made from a career perspective.
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