During the last few years, I have watched interim management become a significant part of executive search firm practices. Many have dedicated recruiters specifically for interim assignments. Are you a business leader with a wealth of experience actively seeking your next challenge? If so, interim management may be on your agenda as the value you can bring to an organization for a few weeks or a few months can be vast. Interim managers are skilled and qualified in specific areas and functions. They are normally hired with a somewhat narrowed mandate where the clock is often ticking prior to their exit. Interim executives are often hired full-time at the end of the interim period. If you are flexible, understand how to extinguish fires, can navigate through complexity and adversity, and can conquer mountains, this may be an option to consider.
Below are a few pros and cons to consider before jumping into the interim management ring.
- Working in a different culture where tensions and whispers of “Who is this person?” are prevalent. It can be challenging to be “the fish out of water.”
- The challenge can be stressful. If you don’t enjoy pressure, then stay clear of interim management.
- You are only as good as your previous success. This interim position is awarded to those with great reputations. One mistake can kill your reputation.
- Fast-paced and finite, working long hours with little time to settle down and leave a legacy.
- Transitioning from company to company, culture to culture, working consistently with teams skeptical of your leadership, may cause you to experience anxiety and tension. This requires a level of detachment and pragmatism.
- Ability to last through dry spells. It’s not common to exit one job on the Friday and start another the following Monday. You must be financially secure to ride out the empty times.
- Interim management positions are available across the world; therefore this may be a great opportunity to travel.
- You are able to agitate the status quo and make swift changes and prudent decisions to conquer tight deadlines, while touching all facets of the organization.
- New skills are learned through this intense management appointment. Challenges need to be conquered, so that you are not knocked off-guard.
- Networking opportunities galore. These posts will improve your personal brand and expand your contact list.
- Compensation can be enormous and very rewarding, meaning that retirement can be brought forward.
At the latter end of your career, an interim management position can be highly beneficial. Are you ready for the challenge?