Posted Jun 05 ,2020
There have been times during my career within food manufacturing when I considered becoming an interim, however the time did not seem appropriate mainly due to the risk and uncertainty involved.
The attraction always remained, particularly that excitement and challenge of setting up my own business, the opportunity to work in different environments and interact with people I normally would not work with, and utilise my skill set and competencies.
There can be a danger of entering the interim world for the wrong reasons: disenchantment with current role and a belief that anything is better; lack of true understanding of what being an interim is and misconception of how unpredictable it can be; and not fully appreciating how much you have to market yourself and influence decision makers to invest in you.
This latter point is key to having any chance of being a successful interim. It is certainly something that I have used almost all my time in developing an offer that can get me at the fore front of decision makers thoughts when considering the need for an interim.
There needs to be a complete shift in the mind set. Whilst working in a corporate environment, there is an expectation that you will be self-reliant, motivated, driven and capable of delivering solutions. However, there are also support functions, colleagues who you can bounce things off, and an array of benefits, all to share the burden if necessary. As an interim, the above are still expected and essential with the difference that you are largely on your own. This can either be daunting or liberating with a great sense of personal achievement.
As someone who has recently become an interim-and it needs to be a career choice-I have learnt that you must be able to back yourself, truly believe in your capabilities and recognise that there can be fallow times.
Despite the added difficulties brought on by the seismic changes caused by the pandemic, I cannot see me going back to a corporate environment as a full time employee, as my determination to succeed, and enjoyment of starting my own business has freed me up to think differently and recognise how much more I can offer.
Howard Garbutt 2020