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The Pros and Cons of Working as an Interim

​How do you know if working as an interim or a contractor is the right career choice for you?

At Venture Recruitment Partners, we take pride in matching exceptional professionals with the best opportunity for them. We understand that working on an interim basis is not for everyone and in this blog post we'll break down the pros and cons of contract assignments.  

So if you're unsure of whether interim management is the route for you, read on:

The Pros:

If you're considering an interim opportunity, there are many benefits to think about:                                     

  • Variety: As opposed to permanent employment, interim positions consist entirely of project work and offer greater exposure to a diverse range of sectors, roles, and business sizes. An interim career is suitable for professionals who prefer working on a specific project and moving on to another, as it broadens their knowledge and skill set.

  • Enhance your CV: Not only does contracting (or working as an interim) offer you a specialist skillset, but it also enhances your CV for future applications to new permanent roles. Contracting displays your adaptability during periods of change or uncertainty, your interpersonal skills, and your ability to work independently. Working for different companies is beneficial for professional development and enables you to gain experience beyond that found in permanent work.  It'll also develop your professional network and build connections with hiring managers, stakeholders, and interim professionals.

  • Increased Autonomy: Contract roles can offer greater autonomy compared to a permanent job. It provides the freedom to manage your workload and set deadlines as you help the company achieve its goal. 

  • Higher Earnings: Interim managers have better earning potential than those on an annual salary as they lend their expertise to a company and it's a big reason why many professionals consider project-based work. Contract work is paid hourly or daily and offers greater flexibility in negotiating your rates based on the complexity of the project and its evolution.

  • Work-Life Balance: Contract and interim positions offer improved work-life balance as you can work when you want. When you finish an assignment, you can start the next one straight away or delay looking for a new role until you feel ready to start. This type of work is extremely beneficial to those who want to travel as it offers greater flexibility around holiday allowance. 

The Cons:

Despite the positives of contracting, it's important to consider the cons of starting interim work. 

  • Insecurity and Uncertainty: Interims and contractors are often hired on a short-term and temporary basis so there's often uncertainty around ending a project and looking for the next one. To combat the possibility of large gaps between assignments, you have to manage your monthly expenses. 

  • Benefits: Although some businesses offer temporary employees the same benefits as permanent employees, others may not. You might not be entitled to holiday pay, sick leave, and pension contributions so you must organise this yourself. Set up your own pensions and manage your projects to give yourself time off work and plan financially. 

  • Rapid Integration and Delivery: Temporary work requires a problem-solving professional who can integrate quickly into new teams and company cultures. Due to the short time frame of the project, you also need to be able to transition seamlessly into the role and hit the ground running which can be quite overwhelming.

  • Limited Training: As an interim, you're expected to start a new role equipped with all of the knowledge and skills you'll need. Interims are hired to deliver on a specific project and therefore won't receive any training. You'll often find that interim roles are filled by professionals who already possess the desired qualifications, skills, and expertise the business requires. 

  • Maintaining your Network: Due to the short time frame spent in an interim role, building relationships with professionals in an organisation can be challenging, especially considering that you'll be working independently. You can leave a lasting impression by delivering helpful change and impactful results to help you secure future opportunities.

Contracting: Worthwhile or Risky?

When it comes to temporary work, there is an element of risk. You have to be adept at financial planning in case there are large gaps between projects. 

It's a very personal choice that relies on individual circumstances and aspirations. We find that interim assignments are less suitable for those at the beginning of their careers who wish to have structured training and development plans. Some professionals prefer the security of permanent work and fixed salary rates.

Ultimately, when considering entering the world of temporary work, you must consider all of the above factors. At Venture, we are a finance and accountancy recruitment consultancy with a mission to build meaningful connections. We take time to get to know our candidates and will give advice based on your preferences and requirements.