Yep, it doesn’t exactly get the pulse racing. The fill in. The backup plan. The sub. The caretaker. But interim management, when viewed in a different light, can take on a far more generous meaning; one of expertise, firefighting, problem solving and day saving. If the latter sounds more like your kind of thing, then you’ll be pleased to hear that interim management, when done with skill and success, can be a full time and lucrative career. And one with a strong work life balance and plenty of autonomy over your life choices, too. If you’re still all ears (or eyes), then read on; our 5 IDEAL tips for every aspiring interim manager.

BE AS OPEN & FLEXIBLE AS YOU CAN

Overseeing a period of transition or change within the company can be a challenging, demanding experience. It can also be a rewarding one, and is a great option for career-focused individuals. To achieve success in this role, flexibility is vital; you’ll be required to be mobile, to travel and to relocate often. Consider the implications  this may have on your family and social life before you take the deep dive.

KNOWLEDGE ISN’T NECESSARILY POWER

Though it may sound counter intuitive, there is a certain benefit to going in blind to a company when filling an interim manager’s role. With this blank slate and the lack of prejudice and preconception associated with it, a clear and all encompassing view of a company, its issues and assets can be achieved. Therefore, embrace the mantra that, for once, knowledge doesn’t equate to power, and view the potential and pitfalls of a place from a fresh vantage point.

BE OPEN TO RELOCATING

The lifestyle of an interim manager is a transient one. As the work is temporary, it is important that you need to be happy to relocate for whatever project comes up, which means that often there will be big changes with each role that you land.

Relocating, often and far flung, is part and parcel of the job, and although that may sound arduous, it is possible to achieve a decent work-life balance as between roles there’s a fair amount of down time.

CONTRIBUTE, NOT EXTRACT

Though it’s tempting to view every assignment, especially ones which are temporary by nature, as an opportunity to extract maximum gains, as an interim manager, the opposite is true. It’s actually better to think about what you can contribute, not extract. Although of course you’ll want to gain experience and capital from any assignment, what’s most important to job success in this filed is the knowledge and wisdom you can give, not gain.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

In terms of your career, taking on a role such as an interim manager can be highly rewarding. You get to work with different companies and lots of different people and help businesses to overcome difficulties. In the process, your C.V gets bolstered and your experience enhanced with each and every role. The best interim managers will have a lasting impact on the company even once their responsibilities have come to an end.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.