The challenges & opportunities of becoming an interim manager
Being an interim manager can be a highly satisfying, flexible and lucrative career move. Before embarking on an interim career, however, it’s important to consider both the opportunities and the challenges, as the nature of interim work means it isn’t always for everyone.
For some, moving into interim work works well at a particular stage in their career, for others it’s a lifelong style of preferred working. People come to interim management for a variety of reasons, most often following a finance career that has progressed through the ranks to senior leadership, but with a desire to leverage one’s finance and business acumen in a different direction. Interim management allows those with the right outlook and appetite to work on exciting and challenging projects without having to deal with office politics or more mundane organisational tasks.
Should I accept a position as an interim manager? Is it right for me?
Whether it’s right for you or not will rely on your aptitude and personality. For some, interim management can feel uncertain and risky, and requires being able to hit the ground running in a variety of new settings. If you are adaptable, respond well to change, and thrive under pressure rather than familiarity, then interim management can be a highly rewarding – and exciting – career choice.
If you feel you respond better to familiar routines and environments, and like stability and a linear progression, then it might be that permanent work is better for you.
Interim managers thrive on challenges, as they are often parachuted in to work on specific projects and business goals. They are natural problem solvers, providing strategic and on-demand insights and skills that generally do not exist internally. By transferring legacy knowledge to teams and businesses, interims enjoy a role as a ‘pinch hitter’, coming in to do a specific job, then moving on to the next challenge when their work there is done.
Still unsure? Consider the following pros and cons to this style of working:
Benefits of interim management
- Varied work and environments
- Ability to dictate where and how often you work
- (Potentially) more lucrative than a permanent role
- Opportunity to create larger professional networks
- Ability to focus on the job in hand without the distractions of office politics
- Exposure to different settings, industries and organisations, enhancing your experience and skill set
- Your soft skills are also likely to greatly increase. Working as an interim manager means being adaptable, curious and goal-oriented
Challenges of Interim Management
Potentially risky, with less security than permanent employment
Possible ‘outsider’ status, feeling you’re not a part of the fabric of a business
Less traditional progression - employers need you to have the skills right now, rather than give you the opportunity to learn and grow within the role
You’ll likely been thrown into the deep end and be expected to hit the ground running
Potentially less satisfaction – you may oversee a project yet leave before you can see the business reap its rewards
How can Interim Managers help their clients achieve ROI?
Interim managers can be incredibly useful for a business, often deployed to solve a specific problem or work on a particular project. This is usually with the intention to streamline processes and increase profitability, enabling businesses to access a contingent workforce that they can access as and when they need it. Specialist interim managers, from change management to financial leadership, can play a critical role in driving the growth and wider success of a business.
Furthermore, through the Oakwood Resources Blended Model©, interims provide hands-on expertise and delivery to the wider strategic framework of a consultancy engagement to enable a resource-based, knowledge-led solution. This disruptive model provides unparalleled and unprecedented value by enabling businesses to accelerate problem-solving and transform their operations strategically and cost-effectively.
Oakwood Resources works closely with interim managers, businesses and consultancy firms to support the growth goals, matching the best professionals to appropriate opportunities. If you wish to discuss interim management and whether it might be right for you, contact our specialist interim recruitment team who will be happy to talk with you.