Swedes have traditionally been known for embracing employment security without too many surprises and uncertainties. But times are changing and people are willing to trade off a secure position within a company for a more flexible lifestyle that allows them living part of the year elsewhere or they are triggered by jumping into a new organisation and challenge the standard phrase “that is how we do it here”.
Working as an interim manager or a contractor has many benefits, but may not suit everyone. On the plus side, it can offer a varied, flexible and rewarding career that can give you a better work/life balance. However, it can also have its challenges and many professionals fear leaving the security and benefits offered by permanent positions.
Interim professionals are needed at all levels of businesses across most sectors – not just at the management level. Interim experts are brought into an organisation on a temporary basis to help out with specific project needs or to fill a temporary skills shortage. Interim contracts can take different forms, from rolling contracts based on daily rates to fixed-term salaried contracts. As with interim management, a career as an interim can offer you more flexibility as well as exposure to a wide variety of companies and projects.
Life as an interim
This can be an exciting career that offers the chance to have a real impact on businesses and work with a number of different organisations. Interims are typically highly-skilled, experienced individuals who can quickly take the helm of a project or business scenario and make a real difference. Interim manager roles can also offer highly competitive rates of pay.
High-level interim contracts can be pressurised, as they are driven by a real business need that requires immediate leadership. A client will want to see an interim manager deliver positive results quickly and efficiently for their business. Depending on your nature, the element of pressure could either be a positive or a negative factor. Job insecurity is normally the main drawback of an interim lifestyle.
The skills required
For a successful interim career, you’ll need to have the following attributes.
Adaptability and flexibility
The ability to step into new challenges and quickly get up-to-speed with the demands of the role and the methodologies of the organisation is an essential quality. An interim career is not for everyone, as many people find it unsettling to change roles on a regular basis.
Good under pressure
It can be stressful dealing with new people and new situations and there will be demands on the interim to demonstrate their value quickly and deliver tangible results – often in a short timeframe.
However, an interim professional will enjoy this pressure and will be confident and comfortable to get stuck in and work with new teams.
Excellent communication skills are required to offer instruction and shape processes with clarity and speed. An interim will also be able to adapt their communication skills to fit the audience and the task.
You may not always be able to see a project through to completion and may have to leave a process/strategy that you initiated while it’s still in flux. With that in mind, interims need to be highly proficient in handing-over to others and establishing a robust protocol for their departure.
Whether temp or permanent, Michael Page always has excellent live jobs to apply for.