This is according to research by Russam GMS business forum Interimwomen. The research revealed that a third of interims prefer to handle a number of assignments part time, 57% said they were happy to work for either one or more clients and just 9% of interims said they preferred to work on one assignment at a time. Some eight out of 10 women questioned claimed they already had a portfolio career, two-thirds of whom were working for two or three clients, 15% were working for three or four clients, with 8% working for four to five clients.
Interim Management and Portfolio Careers
The majority (82%) believe interim managers will adopt portfolio working increasingly over the next year for a number of reasons. A third said portfolio working offered interims a way of earning more money and 31% said a portfolio career offered greater job diversity and more interesting challenges. One in five (18%) said interims were having to adopt portfolio careers and work for multiple clients because the number of full-time assignments had dropped since the recession.
The Challenges of Portfolio Working
Almost three-quarters (72%) said managing the expectations of multiple clients and keeping on top of planning and juggling client commitments were the biggest challenges. Other difficulties encountered included finding the work and managing the logistics of working in different locations. Multi-tasking is the No1 skill needed for successful portfolio working according to a third of the interims, closely followed by leadership skills (24%) and planning and organisational skills (22%). Having good client management and people skills, and the ability to find clients were also important.
Interimwomen director Karen Oddey said: “Interims are embracing portfolio working and the challenge of handling multiple assignments partly out of choice and partly as a result of market forces. While portfolio work is hugely challenging it can also be rewarding and provide the kinds of diverse challenges and opportunities that many women are looking for in their careers.
“Many women also are looking to include non-executive roles in their portfolios – from trustee positions to traditional non exec roles in the private and public sector in order to further their skills and careers, but it seems that these roles are still hard to find. “