As an interim manager, it is you who steers your career. So take control and gear up to beat the competition
Recent developments in interim management point to a strengthening sector and a resource that is right for the times, with its promise of immediacy and flexibility. So if it's such a great idea, why is there not more of it?
Research carried out over the past few years by Russam GMS suggests that the market is worth about £500m, with about 500,000 interim managers in play. Average daily rates at the end of last year were £511 and about 30 per cent of the market is part time (anything less than five days a week on a continuing basis).
The difficulty is that organised intermediary activity (that of interim agencies) is responsible for finding work for only about 20 per cent of the market.
And if the agencies can't find the volume of work the growing number of interims want, you have to find it for yourself. Not easy.
One route is this: define your 'product'. Get the assignments and be good at what you do. Easier said than done, you might think. So, how do you start? Let's think about the Serious Small Business model (SSB).
In the beginning you had executives and you had agencies. When an agency got a brief, it dipped into its pond and fished someone out. At one end of the scale is the IM, who sits at home waiting for the phone to ring, at the other end is the exec running a serious small business which, like any business, has all the functions and levels of activity necessary to succeed. These should comprise:
- Business planning and strategy
- Accounting and Financial and Personal Financial Management
- HR and legislation
If you want to be successful as an interim manager, you need to be in control: you need to make the running. Being in control means:
- Constantly looking outwards for opportunities
- Making new contacts all the time and exploring how mutual benefits might be created
- Continuously learning new things about your own professional 'product' - relearning things you know already and practising what you know (if you think you know enough, it's time to give up)
- Regularly find out what people really think about you. If you're barking up the wrong professional tree or clinging to the wrong professional wreckage, h