Being a professional interim – is it for you?

Could your next role be as an “interim” or contractor? There are many things to consider when taking the step towards being a contractor and this article outlines some valuable points. Don’t be mistaken. Interims are required at all levels of businesses across many, if not all, sectors – not just at senior management.

Independence and authority

Many candidates who leave for a “career” as an interim enjoy the associated independence and esteem. Interims are recruited for a specified period, for instance a project, maternity cover or assignment, and will leave afterwards. Normally, this will be for a longer period – anywhere from six months up to three years.

In addition, there is flexibility to being an interim – if your contract finishes in May, you can, if you wish and afford it, stay off work to enjoy another Great British Summer.

Subject matter expert

As you will be going in to perform a specific task or complete an explicit campaign/project, your expertise, approach and credentials will be regarded as the de facto oracle relating to this requirement. Your remit will relate only to a defined area, so you can focus on delivering this and nothing else. One of the issues around permanent work is being pulled from pillar to post, but as a contractor, this won’t affect you.

Pressure

As a high-level contractor, there will be immediate demands on you to make an impact. You won’t be able to avoid it, and this is where your previous experience, understanding and beliefs will be put to the test. Contractors are usually well rewarded, but there is the pressure to go with it.

Insecurity
Many successful contractors look for their next contract as soon as they start a new one. Why? If job security is important to you, life as an interim/contractor won’t be ideal for you. After an assignment has been completed, some contractors can go weeks or months without work – you have been warned! You can’t be certain where the next assignment is coming from!

Portfolio
For each contract you undertake, build relationships, earn recommendations and develop your portfolio (cost savings, delivery, scheduling etc) so you can market yourselves to prospective clients in the future.

Measuring up the right contract
When you meet prospective employers, as with any permanent role, make sure your skills, personality and approach match the requirements and culture of the recruiting business. It has to be right for you to excel! Leaving before the end of the contract is not the best route for your career.

At MRK Associates, we have a number of current contract/interim roles in finance, revenue management and office environments. So, if you’re considering this route, call one of our team to discuss your options. Our approach is personable and dedicated to ensuring you have all the information to help you further your career. MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email: info@mrkassociates.co.uk

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