What does it take to be an interim manager?

Working as an interim manager has many benefits and is a varied, flexible and rewarding career path that can help to promote a healthy work-life balance. It can be an exciting career prospect that offers professionals the change to make a real, positive impact on businesses and the opportunity to work with a number of organisations.

Interims are typically highly-skilled individuals who become accustomed to working in high-pressured environments on projects ranging from a few months to a couple of years, and are often paid competitively due to the nature of the role. Depending on your nature, some elements of interim assignments could be hugely positive, like the fast-paced nature, variety, and the opportunity to deliver exceptional results, though these elements may not suit everyone. 


How to become an interim manager

If you are considering becoming an interim manager, the best first step is to talk to a specialist consulting firm. Their knowledgeable consultants will talk you through the nature of interim assignments and the market conditions for your area of expertise and skill set.

They will advise on the requirements and challenges of interim roles and how to approach the market and what remuneration you can expect for your experience and skills. They will have trusted networks of end-user businesses who utilise interim professionals, as well as access to current opportunities.

Your selling points as an interim manager are your skills, technical knowledge and achievements, rather than necessarily your historic track record of permanent roles which are of less interest to those engaging interims. Highlight key achievements on your portfolio or prospectus, remembering to include keywords for specific skills and software knowledge, for example.


Should I leave a permanent job for an interim role?

It is often assumed that leaving a permanent role to become an interim manager is a risky proposition, leaving what can be a stable position for an insecure working style, and therefore not advised. Not only does this incorrectly assume not all ‘permanent’ jobs are long-term, but it also ignores the fact that with enough preparation, groundwork and planning, leaving a permanent role for interim positions can be hugely rewarding for the right person.

While it can mean less job security than a traditional permanent career path it has great benefits for those who suit this style of work.

Should you take an interim role? Ultimately, that decision will lie with you, after weighing the pros and cons and deciding if it is right for you.

Benefits of interim management:

  • Better work-life balance
  • Competitive rates
  • Demand for interims is high
  • A variety of working environments
  • Varied portfolio of work
  • Increased professional networks

Disadvantages of interim management:

  • Doesn’t suit those who prefer a stable, continuous environment
  • Can be less job security in between assignments
  • The pressure of delivering results doesn’t suit everyone

Interim management requires tenacity and flexibility, and suits those who are willing and able to adapt to changing work environments and cultures with confidence, driving results from the get-go. You need to:

  • Be a great communicator
  • Have excellent project leadership skills
  • Be confident in your skills and able to hit the ground running
  • Perform well under pressure and in different environments
  • Be results driven
  • Have a proven track record in your field


How can we help?

Oakwood Resources works 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 and whether it might be right for you, contact our specialist interim management team who will be happy to talk with you.


Learn about how we work with our interim managers    Find your next interim opportunity