How to keep your interim skills sharp between assignments
Interim management affords people a level of flexibility to work as and when they want and to choose only the assignments that align with their interests. This will generally align with their long and short-term career goals whilst also receiving higher remuneration than many full-time positions. This means that many interims will find themselves with the occasional break between assignments.
Although a break may be restorative for mental and physical health as interim assignments tend to be highly-pressured and without holiday time, it is important to maintain or even continually improve upon your industry knowledge and your hard and soft skills so you can hit the ground running for the next assignment.
3 tips to keeping your interim skills up to date
The nature of interim management can cultivate very desirable and useful skills that are highly sought-after. As such, it is expected that interim managers possess the following skills:
- High adaptability and agility
- Industry-specific and in-depth knowledge
- An ability to meet tight deadlines and timeframes
- Good stakeholder management skills
- Effective team management
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the skills you need to keep sharp between assignments; there are many more and will typically depend on your area of expertise! However, we have outlined three ways you can keep many of these skills sharp:
1. Stay informed
Keeping abreast of any changes within your industry or market will help you stay in touch with relevant information that may affect future assignments, as will staying informed about any developments in relevant technology or systems. Staying on top of rapidly developing technology systems will not only help you onboard quickly to your next assignment, it will also set you apart as a market-leading specialist in your field.
2. Invest in continued learning
Although you may have reached a very high level of expertise in your chosen industry, continuing to add certifications and professional accolades to your name and on your LinkedIn profile will make you a more attractive candidate for not only a wider range of assignments, but also a higher-calibre of assignments.
Continuing to learn and gain professional qualifications and certifications will keep your cognitive skills sharp, which will translate into fast-paced understanding, creative problem solving and decision making on your next assignment.
Continuing to work or study with deadlines in mind will also help you adapt your working timeframes to make sure you can hit tight deadlines on your next assignment too!
3. Keep networking!
One highly valuable skill for interims is the ability to effectively network. Not only can networking help you line up a steady stream of assignments, it also keeps your communication soft skills up to date as you negotiate, sell your skills and balance competing offers. In this way, networking can be seen as a form of stakeholder management requiring you to keep a wide variety of soft skills sharp, such as teamwork, initiative, management, promotion, organisation and multi-tasking.
Of course any time between assignments is an optimal time to update your LinkedIn profile to make sure it’s up to date with your experience and qualifications.
Oakwood Resources’ expertise in the interim management market can help you find the best assignments to fit your skill set, help you get started and ensure success for both yourself, and your stakeholders.
We work closely with interim managers, businesses and consultancy firms to support their growth goals, matching the best professionals to appropriate opportunities. If you wish to discuss interim management opportunities contact our specialist interim recruitment team who will be happy to talk with you.