Interim Management Jobs: When to Move on from a Corporate Career?



Interim management jobs are an excellent career option for industry professionals with extensive experience in executive and management consulting roles, who are ready to move on from their careers at various companies and corporations, or are simply looking for their next big career challenge. Both interim management opportunities and freelance consulting jobs can be very rewarding in this respect as they allow executives and managers to put their skills to good use and really make a difference in the short term by taking on interim management jobs in an industry niche of their own choosing.

Why choose an interim management job over a permanent executive role?

For executives looking for a challenge, the main advantage of interim management jobs over traditional executive roles is better time management and, consequently, a sense of their time being better spent. With interim management jobs, the focus is on performance and end results, so there is no need for executives to sit in the office all day if this doesn’t add anything to their efficiency in executing the task at hand. Interim executives can manage their own work hours and choose how and where to spend them.

Industry professionals who have years of experience working in executive and management jobs in big companies and organisations will sometimes opt for interim executive roles in sectors that mirror their interests more closely. Sometimes, they will quit permanent jobs to help out a non-profit organisation restructure its operations, or find an alternative industry sector in which they can put their experience to work and make a real impact on business operations in the course of several months. Sometimes, they will seek out interim manager roles because they want more control over the work they do and do not want to get bogged down by company politics. Work-life balance is also usually a factor in deciding to leave a corporate career behind in favour of interim management.

Types of interim manager jobs

Interim manager jobs can range from middle management to executive leadership roles. Interim project managers can be employed for short-term assignments, to work on a specific task, or for strategy or change management roles, which usually call for commitment over a longer period of time. On average, interim management jobs last 3-9 months, and usually the contracts are renewed after the initial run.

For the most part, however, project management and interim management vacancies are designed to be relatively short-term. The positions are filled by experts who have leadership experience in their industries and are equipped with the knowledge to tackle key projects at times that can be critical for a business, as it may be undergoing large-scale restructuring or facing an immediate crisis that needs to be handled. Interim management opportunities arise when a company does not have an in-house expert to deal with a specific task or problem, and needs to act quickly in order to protect its income, streamline its key business operations, or simply cut costs.

Do interim managers need additional skills?

Even more than other managers, executive leaders who decide to leave behind a corporate career for interim management, need the right people skills for their presence to have an impact. Interim executive assignments call for leadership skills and expert authority, but also for the ability to lead without antagonizing or polarising the existing managers and employees at an organisation that is undergoing changes and needs an interim manager’s guidance and assistance in a time of crisis.

An interim manager needs to know how to support the existing structure where it benefits the business, how to re-organize it where it hurts the business, how to engage and influence employees to be more productive, and how to operate in a variety of different work environments and cultures. Most professionals who have made their way to executive positions in the course of their careers have likely picked up these skills along the way. Interim assignments are merely an opportunity to apply them in situations that are crucial to an organisation’s future.

Interim manager jobs are ideal for executives and management consultants who thrive on delivering solutions to complex business challenges without worrying about company politics or following traditional procedures, and who are comfortable leaving a stable career behind to devote their time to projects of their choice that can draw real short-term benefit from their experience.



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