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Becoming an Interim

Becoming an Interim

Where do I Start?

Becoming an Interim, principally, you need to have a firm understanding of why you want to make the move into consulting. Is it to widen your experience or to capitalise on particular expertise?

Are you keen to vary your work or do you want to consolidate existing knowledge and experience? Carry out research, attend specialist events and talk to as many consultants as you can to work this out.

How do I know if it is right for me?

A consultant’s job is to effect significant business change, and in today’s fast-paced business environments that usually means within short time frames.

As well as bringing new insight, you will need to be at ease with making multiple decisions on the hoof and be able to quickly take stock of ambiguous, sometimes difficult, situations and turn them around.

Your clients will expect to see the results of your solutions in measurable terms.

What other considerations are there?

Principally, you need to have a firm understanding of why you want to make the move into consulting. Is it to widen your experience or to capitalise on particular expertise?

Are you keen to vary your work or do you want to consolidate existing knowledge and experience? Carry out research, attend specialist events and talk to as many consultants as you can to work this out.

How should I manage the project?

Fully understand the company you are working for. Study its financial reports and business strategy to pinpoint its needs and where support is lacking.

Having a handle on organisational culture will inform you of how to operate smartly within the company framework. For the relationship to succeed, you need to establish that the company is strongly committed to the project. Clarify goals and put down clear benchmarks for each stage.

Agree on how frequently you will communicate and start out with some short-term, achievable goals to boost the morale of those involved.

What if I want to start my own consultancy?

Managing and growing a business demands a certain kind of flair as well as business management skills. Regular invoicing, payment chasing, staying abreast of self-employment regulations and professional indemnity insurance are just a few of the things you will have to become familiar with.

If you lack experience, consider attending seminars or a short course to brush up your knowledge of running a business. It is highly likely at some stage you will experience difficulties with cash flow and have to shoulder a few hard knocks.

So it is important to have a rainy day fund equal to at least three months’ salary to see you through leaner times.

What if I want to work with other consultants?

If your preferred route is to join an existing consultancy, it will be seeking proof of your analytical skills, desire to learn, self-motivation as well as your track record in implementation.

You need to have something extra to offer that a company can’t easily get for itself and be able to demonstrate the value of your work.

What else do I need to know?

To remain effective, you need to ensure your knowledge and expertise is current so keep up-to-date with the latest management and HR thinking by attending key seminars and conferences. Smart consultants will also invest in extra training when necessary.

If you have chosen a period of consultancy to boost your career path, ensure it is going to equip you with skills and experience that can be leveraged in the future.

Finally, if your intention is to return to an in-house HR role, don’t leave it too long before moving back – four or five years should be the maximum.

Where can I get more info?

Call us here at Purple House, we’d be very happy to share information about Becoming an Interim and contacts with you.

Alternatively, you can find more on the internet, we recommend the Institute of Management Consultancy, www.imc.co.uk.

If you only do five things...

On Becoming and Interim

  • Present a professional image
  • Learn how to analyse situations
  • Clarify goals and establish ground-rules
  • Build trust
  • Ensure your knowledge and expertise is up-to-date
In Summary

There are a huge variety of options, so be clear about what it is that you want to achieve. Make sure that any role you consider will allow you to gain the knowledge and experiences that you want to develop at this stage of your career before you take the plunge. What’s your personal strategy for attracting business?

This means identifying the needs of the companies in the sectors that you want to target. What are they doing wrong? What could they be doing better and how can you help? You also need to gain the attention of the people that have the power to buy your services. This can be achieved by demonstrating the benefits that will result if they change their business approach with your help. What HR skills are presently most in demand?

The majority of organisations have either been too conservative in their recruitment or made too many redundancies in recent times. With the employment market now buoyant, a key priority for HR is talent acquisition, to re-build the workforce. Compensation and benefits, to ensure existing employees are adequately compensated and less prone to leave the organisation are also important. Lastly, organisational development is key to ensure employees are coping with change brought about by the rapid growth that many organisations are now going through.

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Contact us

For further information or to talk to us about your enquiry please contact us either by email Fiona Vennbrook or Tom Mornement or give us a call on

0117 957 4100