Girl power

varied and rewarding – it’s no wonder people like Anne Bruce are turning to an
interim career at a younger age. Nic Paton reports  

Bruce, 39, of Anne Bruce Consultancy, has been an HR interim manager and
consultant for the past two years, based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

love the flexibility of being an interim. I normally have one part-time interim
project on the go at any one time, which usually lasts for two to three days a
week. The rest of the time I do freelance and consultancy work.

I became an interim, I worked as HR manager at TRW aerospace, and before that I
was head of HR at Gatwick Express.

ask me why I didn’t wait to become an HR director before becoming an interim,
but I was already working at that level of responsibility, and had gained the
relevant experience, and it was the route I wanted to go.

background has been largely in change management. I can pretty much go into
organisations and companies and change things.

think what people are looking for is flexibility and the ability to go in, pick
things up quickly, understand the business and build good relationships
swiftly. If you can do that, how old you are is of less relevance.

the moment, I am working with a large FMCG where the age profile is quite
young. All the way through it has been the skills that I can bring to the job
that have mattered, rather than my age.

management is certainly something I am going to continue to do in the medium
term, and probably the long term. I am not looking for a permanent job, and
people like that.

of organisations are looking for people who are career interims rather than
those who are going to come to an assignment feeling they have to prove
themselves to get the job. As a professional interim you are there to do a
specific project or bring a particular objective forward because you bring lots
of different experiences to the job.

enables me to experience lots of different organisations while working in
varied ways. I might be doing change management one day and one-to-one coaching
the next. I find it is good to have a balance between HR project work and
coaching work.

can be very rewarding. There was one project I was working on where I set up a
new resourcing team. I got it up and running, recruited my replacement and then

another occasion, I helped an organisation prepare for a merger, and in another
I helped set up a compensation and benefits structure. I have also been
involved in a project on leadership and management coaching.

tend to be a mix of working in-house and from home. Generally speaking, when
you are given an interim project you will be left to your own devices and are
expected to simply come back with the results, so it is normally very

level of contact with HR managers again, varies, but it is always my skills
they are interested in, rather than my age.

is good about being an interim is that you get the work-life balance right. You
are in control and can do the sorts of projects you want to do. You don’t get
involved in the politics within the organisation, either, so that means there
is much less stress.

the downside, you need to have the kind of mindset that can cope with
uncertainty, because you never know where the next project is going to come

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