If you’re dipping your toe into a different job sector or looking to advance your career, interim working might not seem like the right option; however, working as an interim contractor or manager can actually benefit your career and development.
What Is Interim Working?
Interim workers step into organisations for specific periods to fill whatever needs the company may have. Some interim workers come in to manage or work on key projects while employees are on maternity or sick leave, and those who fill these roles often have a big impact on the businesses they work for.
Interim working can be highly exciting and varied, offering the option to work in many different roles in many organisations. These roles are often highly pressured, as they are driven by the need for immediate leadership and impact, and organisations require someone who will deliver results quickly and efficiently.
The essential skills that interim workers need to succeed within their roles include:
- Adaptability – interim working means chopping and changing positions regularly. Being able to step into new roles and adapt to challenges and needs quickly is essential.
- Communication – when getting to know new teams or handing over projects to a new manager or employee, communication skills are crucial for success. It is also essential that you can adapt your communication style to your audience and task.
- Working well under pressure – interim professionals are often brought in to manage time-pressured projects and deliver tangible results within a relatively short period. Working well under pressure and getting stuck into the role will help you thrive as an interim worker.
The Benefits of Interim Working
There are several benefits of being an interim worker, including:
- Expanding your network – interim working allows you to experience many companies and businesses from the inside. Every position you fill will allow you to meet new people and build your network within your industry.
- Learning about different organisations – learning about these companies and roles in short periods of time can make you incredibly flexible, good at adapting to various cultures and management styles, and efficient at integrating yourself with current employees. Alongside this, should you decide to find another permanent position, you will know what type of organisation you prefer.
- Boosting your earnings – interim professionals are often paid per hour rather than a fixed salary and can command a higher pay rate due to the urgent need for their expertise. You may still earn more annual income than permanent employees when accounting for insurance, travel, and retirement costs.
- A better work-life balance – choosing interim roles can help improve your work-life balance in a way you might not be able to do in a permanent position. You could pick shifts that work around your schedule when seeking interim contracts.
- Building your expertise – interim professionals work in many different types of organisations, meaning they can develop their expertise across many areas. You can learn to specialise in one specific industry or try many – either way, you will learn and develop each time you move to a new business.
Interim working might not be for everyone, but it offers an excellent opportunity for people to develop their skills, try out different roles, and improve their work-life balance. Choosing an interim role can be incredibly rewarding, and it gives you a taste of different companies, cultures, and roles, enabling greater freedom in the positions you accept and your working life.
Jane joined Oyster Partnership in November 2017 as a receptionist. She started showing her artistic flair and enthusiasm for all things marketing soon after joining the business. Since then she has worked hard and built her way up from being a receptionist to running the marketing department at Oyster Partnership.
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