From permanent employee to interim manager?

(6 Posts)
Brynhilde Sun 19-Jun-16 13:57:56

I'm currently employed in a full time, professional role and considering a move to an interim manager career - offering my services to cover special projects, busy periods, maternity cover, etc in my (specialist) field. Any thoughts on pros and cons of going down this route? It would principally be to improve my work life balance and also to have the opportunity to work with a range of companies (I have been in current role for 10 years). My husband is employed so uncertainty of income would be manageable and I would welcome some periods off between jobs to spend more time with the family. What would be the best way to get started, to find out more about the market opportunity and whether my background is "in demand" for this sort of role? Would be great to hear experiences from any others who have taken this step. Thanks!

Badbadbunny Mon 20-Jun-16 10:33:38

The interim market is dominated by a relatively small number of agencies (some are active in many markets, others are specialist to particular trade sectors/professions), so that's your first port of call, to look at the recruitment marketing etc and find which agencies are active in your field advertising for jobs for which you meet the requirements, and then contact them to discuss your qualifications and experience to gauge demand and remuneration.

Then you need the courage of your convictions to start applying for jobs and see how many interviews you get, how many offers, what remuneration packages are on offer etc. If things are quiet, then may not be such a good idea to give up a steady job, as if it takes a while to get your first contract, it'll probably be slow to get the next too, so you could have quite long "resting" times between contracts. If the phone is too hot to handle and you get loads of interviews/offers for suitable jobs, then that proves you're skills are in demand and you'd probably make a better career out of it.

Just be prepared to be messed around, to work long hours, to risk early termination etc. It's different to a job. Clients may mess you around with starting dates, contract durations, etc. You may be required to work longer hours than the other workers, maybe more travel involved to other sites for meetings etc, maybe working the midnight hours at certain points in the contract to meet deadlines. Also, be prepared for the downsides such as not getting paid when you're off sick and not getting paid holidays (if holidays are allowed at all during the contract). Risks of early terminations are a lot higher, i.e. easier to terminate a contractor for breach of contract than it is to sack an employee for poor performance, risk of the client (or agency) going bankrupt and you not getting paid, etc.

Brynhilde Mon 20-Jun-16 21:26:43

Thank you for the thorough and honest answer - it's really helpful to hear. I'll reach out to some of the agencies that are active in my field - I don't know how active the interim market is although I know it exists.

Any other perspectives very welcome - including the benefits of this sort of career! I have no illusions that it would be an easy ride, but it looks like a good way to spend a bit more time with my children without giving up my career or my income entirely.

Do interims typically charge a day or weekly rate, or are they employed on a temp basis or does it depend on the role? Is it possible to mix and match the two?

Badbadbunny Tue 21-Jun-16 08:28:56

Do interims typically charge a day or weekly rate, or are they employed on a temp basis or does it depend on the role? Is it possible to mix and match the two?

Depends on the industry, but most interims will be self-employed freelancers trading either through their own limited company or through some kind of umbrella/payroll organisation. Very few will be direct employees, hence the lack of employment benefits/security, which is one of the main reasons the pay is higher - to compensate for not getting the benefits that their other employees would get.

Day-rates are the norm I'd say - you get paid for the full (or maybe half) days you work. Some will be hourly but the end client doesn't usually like that because they'd have to pay your extra overtime hours and their admin burden is higher if they're faffing around calculating different hours for different days, hence why they prefer a day rate - you get the same whether you work 7 or 10 hours that day - you'll find the contract will be termed such as "£250 per working day which is a minimum of 7 hours" but deliberately left open to allow for the need for longer days required.

Brynhilde Thu 23-Jun-16 21:33:18

Thank you! I'll put a few feelers out with agencies and see how it goes.

poocatcherchampion Tue 28-Jun-16 17:42:30

I'm looking at doing exactly this.

I am speaking covertly to all my contacts to see what they reckon of me and whether they might give me work.

I hope I can make a go of it as I need change desperately and want to spend more time with my kids

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