Interim management is a popular profession for experienced specialists wanting to focus their career on what they do best. There are many benefits to becoming an interim manager; the rate of pay is often higher, with more the variety of opportunities available with greater flexibility of work.

So, how do you make the career change to becoming an interim manager?

1. Research the market

If you’re considering making this major career move, it’s important to identify if there is a market for your specific skill set before leaving your permanent role.

  • To begin with, identify your 3 strongest areas of expertise where you can add value to another business- it is important to avoid positioning yourself as a generalist to ensure you market your niche set of skills. This will not only allow you to pitch yourself better when networking but will also help recruiting consultants to sell your skills when specific assignments come across their desks.

Examples of specialist niche contractors include Continuous Improvement Specialist, Interim Procurement Manager, Supply Chain Analyst or Software Development & Implementation Specialist.

  • Consult with specialist interim recruitment agencies in your industry, find out what kind of contract work is available and whether your skills are in demand and ‘sellable’. Recruiters can also offer advice on how much the marketplace is prepared to pay for your services and the kind of companies that may be in search of someone with your expertise.

LinkedIn recently analyzed hundreds of thousands of job postings in order to determine which skills companies need most in 2019, here’s the top 10:

Soft Skills v Hard Skills

2. Take the leap!

Becoming an interim manager is a big lifestyle decision. Once you have established that there is enough work to make the transition, then it’s time to hand your notice in to your current workplace. Contract roles are generally posted at short notice; a consultant will ideally have placed a contractor within 24 to 48 hours from taking the initial brief, so you’ll be in a stronger position if you’re available promptly. Being flexible about your location is also necessary as the opportunities that you’re looking for may require you to temporarily relocate for the assignment.

3. Umbrella or Limited Company?

You will need to open a limited or use an umbrella company to operate under.

  • Limited Company: Setting up a limited company is very simple, you can be up and running within a few hours and it can cost as little as £15. A Limited Company is the most tax efficient method of contracting and you will benefit from access to a Flat Rate Vat Scheme, control over your financial affairs and a wider range of expenses available to claim.
  • Umbrella Company: Using an umbrella company you essentially become their employee, submitting timesheets that the agency will invoice the end client and collect your pay (minus their fees) for you. You can usually claim some basic expenses but this is the most expensive method of contracting as you’ll be subject to PAYE tax and NI.
  • Decide your day rate: Clients will not outline a day rate budget the same way they would for a permanent role, so as a contractor you need to be clear about your required rate, according to what you feel your services are worth.

4. Use LinkedIn for thought leadership and building connections

  • Publish articles on LinkedIn

This is a powerful way to showcase your expertise and make you more searchable by other LinkedIn members and Google. Make sure you utilise keywords and only share valuable content that will be of interest to others in your field.

  • Position yourself as a thought leader

Share relevant content from other reliable and respected sources, adding your own comment and opinion to further enhance your expert status.

  • Join industry groups

Use the field search on LinkedIn to find groups that will help you gain visibility in your market and access other members and potentially make useful connections. It will also help you keep up-to-date with what’s hot in your industry and give you a platform to share your own content.

  • Cultivate connections

People will make the choice to connect with you based upon your profile so make sure you have positioned yourself as a specialist and build your personal brand.

5. Get contracting!

Begin your career as an interim manager! Your first assignment may be the most difficult to land but once you’re on the ladder, gaining roles will come easily and you can begin to increase your day rate. Carry out each of your assignments with absolute professionalism, setting achievable and realistic goals to ensure this.
You’re now in control so your growth and self-improvement is down to you! Continue to build and uphold your reputation by keeping at the forefront of changes in technology and trends in your industry and expanding your business network.

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