A common trend in the Property Services industry across the public sector is interim work, in particular with Local Authorities and Housing Associations.
This is where a candidate is paid on an hourly or daily rate rather than on a salary. Many of my contractors began their careers in permanent positions but then went into the interim world later on.
Why is that?
Well for one, a lot of candidates choose the route so they can work for part of the year and then take a break when they want. It also offers more money, flexibility, and a chance to pick up new skills.
I spoke with Paul Pledger, who has worked with me since November 2020 on a contract, to find out more about this.
What are the main differences between working interim as opposed to permanent?
“There are no differences in terms of the work itself while working in an interim role as opposed to in a permanent role. The job is the same and the expectations from the employer are the same. However, I now need to set aside holiday pay for when I want time off.”
What are some good things about interim work?
“The self-confidence I have gained was the biggest surprise to me. Having worked in the same organisation for so long and leaving just before the pandemic, I never really got to see how home working could benefit me. Finding a new job during a pandemic was not easy, but the combination of interim work and the idea of working from home allowed me to try out jobs further afield, and in parts of the country that were unfamiliar to me and had different challenges. This was like opening up a Pandora’s box or opportunity to me.”
What do you prefer? (temp or perm)
“I didn’t think I would ever hear myself say this, but I am more content in an interim role than the long career with a single employer. The challenges are there to take on, and I can use my skills, pass these on to people I work with and I find confidence in the knowledge that what I am capable of is appreciated wherever I work.”
What advice do you have to permanent employees who are looking to go down the interim route?
“It is too easy to stick with the same employer, but it limits you when it comes to looking for new jobs. I always thought loyalty to one organisation counted, but it doesn’t; quite the reverse. Going into interim work gives you an opportunity to transfer your skills and to pick up new skills along the way. My CV is much more varied now, and is growing in achievements.”
What were you doing before you went into contracting?
“Before going into interim work, I had worked in the same organisation all of my working career stretching over 32 years, starting as a trainee and working my way up to Service Director.”
Prior to going down the interim route, during your career – did you ever consider working interim?
“Whilst I understood the benefits of interim working, I never gave it a thought that it was something I would do. I had a secure job which I enjoyed; I worked with some very professional people and, with retirement in the not too distant future, I didn’t think it was right for me. In truth, I didn’t have the self confidence that I could replicate my successes elsewhere.”