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4 key dos and don’ts for starting interim managers
If you want to launch as career as a so called super temp, better known as interim manager, there are few best practices you need to take into account.
They are referred to as super temps: professionals with a good education and many years of management experience with different organisations who decide to leave their daily office live behind them and launch a career as an interim manager.
Maybe you will be one of them. Maybe you´ve reached a point in your career where you think: what next? What other challenges are there for me? If the answer is that you feel restricted in your current position, if you are looking for more freedom and flexibility, then it´s worth considering joining the growing number of super temps. If you do, keep these best practices in mind:
1. Don´t play hard to get
Interims need to be very clear about their availability; when will they be able to start; whether they will be available full time or part-time and which specific hours, days or weeks they will not be able to work, for example because they need to pick up their children from school, or because they have a vacation planed.
It´s a gentleman’s agreement that interims only go for an interview with a potential client if they are interested in the job, and will be able start at the expected date. It´s not done to refuse an assignment or to take some time to think about the offer, once a client has decided to hire you.
2. Be flexible
One of the perks of working as an interim, is your flexibility. However, be aware that clients expect the same flexibility. During the project interim managers should be available whenever is needed, unless you´ve agreed otherwise beforehand. The same goes for the kind of work that you will be doing. Sometimes you will be asked to do work that is much more operational than you are used to, and below your level of experience, but a good interim manager understand that sometimes that´s n necessary.
3. Expected the unexpected
If everything in organisation was peaches and cream, there wouldn´t be a need for an interim manager. More often than not, they are hired to manage crises and big changes in the company. That´s why interims always should be ready to deal with unexpected situations. Maybe will discover that the same manager that hired you to solve a crisis in the organisation, is the one that´s causing all the problems. Good interim managers should know how to deal with these kind of situations.
4. Create an open atmosphere
When we see a problem, our initial response is to immediately suggest possible solutions. As interim manager, that is not the best approach. You have to be aware that other people might feel intimidated, and even feel threatened by you, because interim managers usually have much more experience. That´s why it´s important not to give your opinion immediately, but remain neutral, and spend to first weeks just listening to what people have to say.
Your advantage is that you have the view of an outsider. Therefore, you need to create an atmosphere in which people feel free to give their point of view, to get the full picture. Only then, you will be able to come up with a solution that will tackle the challenges.