Interim management

by Barrie Hopson on October 4, 2011 · 2 comments

in New ways of working,portfolio careers,Work

UntitledIf you have read our book you might recall this illustration of someone who enjoys what we call a serial career pattern. This is a person who no matter how well they are doing and how much they have enjoyed their work every 5,6 or 7 years get bored and in need of a new challenge. They love learning new things and developing new aspects of themselves. I was reminded of this when I was addressing a large group of accountants in the City last week. The seminar was on portfolio careers and one of the other speakers was talking about interim management as a career option. As I was listening it suddenly occurred to me that serial career types could be very attracted to IM roles. This was confirmed by a report recently from the Institute of Interim Management. This is a fascinating survey of what interim managers do, what they earn, how they get assignments and which parts of the country offer the best prospects. Interestingly, the report states that only 15% of them have genuine portfolio careers but I was surprised that given the nature of the game so many of them had more than one job.

If you wish to explore IM as a possibility for you do have a look at this report.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew Munro October 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Hi Barry, having recently become a director on the IIM, I can say thank you on their behalf for flagging this report. I agree with you on portfolio careers. The point made in the survey was that interim managers seldom have CONCURRENT activities or customers. Personally, I have always taken a long view and consider myself having a portfolio career: I may spend six months working “full-on” for a client but then I have a few months where I write, do not for profit work and other activity streams. My favourite example is the interim project manager who works six months as an interim and spends the winter as a ski instructor: what a perfect blend. We should be careful not to define a portfolio as what happens in a typical WEEK, but rather what you do over a typical YEAR.

Also, without wishing to be so vulgar as to plug an IIM activity, the institute is running a new Exploring Interim Management seminar later this month which might be valuable to people considering this form of portfolio career. Details are here:


2 Barrie Hopson October 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Thanks for this Andrew. As it happens one of the case studies I use when I talk to accountants is of the corporate finance director who gave that up to spend the summer working as a free lance accountant for SME’s and the winter running a ski chalet owned by herself and her husband. And you are quite right in that although the majority of portfolio workers do indeed have simultaneous job roles some also have sequential patterns.

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