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5 step guide to becoming an Interim Manager

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Posted on 20/01/2016 by Gareth Dixon

Interim management is fast becoming 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 significantly higher, the variety of opportunities available and the flexibility of work.

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

1. Research the market

If you’re consider making this major career move, it’s important to identify if there is a market for your specific skillset 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 Fuel Usage Improvement Manager, Indirect Spend Purchasing Manager and IT Procurement 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.

2. Make the decision to leave your job

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 re-locate for the assignment.

3. Umbrella or Limited Company?

You will need to open a limited or 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. Apply for available work

  • When recruiting an interim manager, the employer is looking for suitable experience and skills over any other factor. It is for this reason that a concise and relevant CV is vital, you may even be required to tailor your CV accordingly for each role, emphasising the fit of your skillset.

  • Contacting interim provider recruitment agencies are useful at this stage, keeping your name on their radar for when they receive an assignment from a client that suits your skills. Don’t forget to utilise your own network as well, maintaining business links with commercial organisations that you know that may require a professional with your knowledge.

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 your reputation by keeping at the forefront of changes in technology and trends in your industry and expand your business network.

If you think that interim management might be the career move for you, speak to the experts on our Interim team today on 0161 825 0825 or to find out about our latest interim and contract vacancies, click here 

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