Interim Management: Dream Job or Not for You?

Today I was introduced to an interesting company and (potentially Gen Y-friendly) career concept, and I’m curious what you guys think about it.

How many of you hate having the same routine day after day?   How many of you hate the thought of being at the same company 3-5 years from now and moving up a very predictable ladder?  How many of you don’t even WANT your boss’ job and wish you could try out different industries without looking like a “job hopper”?

For those of you who love change management, adding value to an organization and flexibility, an assignment with a company like Interim Partners might be for you.

As an “interim” manager you will often come into a company on short notice with particular aims and objectives from higher up. You are both part of the company and separate from it. These roles are challenging and rewarding, and are likely ones that you would both enjoy and excel at. There are some important elements of interim management jobs that are particularly relevant for working women.

Please read the following and then let me know what you think by answering the questions at the end of this post.  I am really curious if this company is on to something big or if this is a concept that would appeal to few.

Free Time When It Is Convenient For You

One perk about the current job opportunities from Interim Partners is that many of the assignments have defined start and end dates. This means that you can happily take a contract, wow your clients with your business skills and at the end of your role with the company be free to spend your time off as you wish. The flexible nature of interim management jobs means that a gap of a few months between roles is not the red flag it could be in other circumstances.  For those with kids, the flexibility of this type of assignment allows you to continue growing your career while caring for your children. Then again,the downside is the unpredictability and uncertainty of finding work.

Long Days and On-Call

Of course, the trade-off for long periods of time off may be that you will be working long hours when you are under contract. It is important to be realistic about whether or not you can accommodate all your responsibilities while working such long hours. When an emergency happens or the CEO wants an update you may well be expected to drop everything and get to it – it is up to you whether you enjoy these challenges.

Staying Above Office Politics

Another “double-edged sword” of contract positions is that jobs like those at Interim management is that they are not necessarily conducive to making friends. Your job is to come in, shake things up and then move on when the work is done. The good part about this scenario though, is that this also means that you are unlikely to become involved in office politics. Back-biting, criticism and grumbling may all take place, but you can simply let it roll off your back as you will not have to deal with it in the long-term.

Results-Based Recommendations

The glass ceiling is often talked about, but as an interim manager you are more likely to be assessed on your results than any pre-conceptions about your gender. The nature of the role means that you can point to concrete results that you have achieved rather than relying on internal performance reviews that may be unfair or stacked against you. If you find a contract does not suit you, you have only a few months or less to work through before your job will be finished and you can move on to greener pastures.

While interim management jobs are not for everyone, they are certainly an avenue to consider for many as the next step in their careers.

What do you guys think?

  • Would you love or hate working a temporarily assignment?
  • Does the thought of having a temporary assignment scare you?
  • Do you think pay would be higher due to the demand and nature of the gig?
  • Do you think this type of assignment is ideal for women WITH children or without?
  • Do you love that office politics is to a minimum or would you miss the chance at having a work “family”?

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.