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As with any successful managerial career, improving your personal skillset and your knowledge is vital to continue to grow and succeed. However, this can be tougher for those working in interim management, as the fate of your next role is decided by whether the manager has enough evidence that you have previously worked in a similar role. Each time, you are using a similar management style, facing similar problems and creating similar solutions. While the age-old saying of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ does apply, this situation can also give little opportunity for interim managers to expand their knowledge and experience in various roles, and work can become a little repetitive at times.
When moving away from an organisation into a career of self-employment, the access to continued professional development opportunities such as courses, career advice, feedback and support through one-to-one meetings, and networking through company events become more limited. While this ultimately works in a client’s favour when wanting reassurance that you are qualified in what you specialise in for a short-term transformation post, it can make securing longer-term contracts that require a multitude of different approaches difficult to secure and succeed in.
So, how can interim managers make sure that they continue to explore different styles of leadership, opportunities to take on a variation of projects, and financial support to undertake new learning and training? Check out our top tips below.
Use a recruitment agency
Recruitment agencies aren’t just there to find you a job and make their commission, many consultants pride themselves on nurturing a long-term relationship with the candidates they work with, allowing them., over time to better understand your long-term career goals and aspirations, and matching you with positions that help you grow into new areas of expertise, as well as being a listening ear for any issues and feedback you may encounter.
Recruitment agencies can also help fund your continued professional development, and often provide access to networking events and webinars which will give you important industry contacts and viewpoints. The consultants themselves also act as a wealth of knowledge in both the clients they work with, and the industry, meaning they will be able to help you through interviews with unmatched insight into what the client is looking for.
Join professional membership bodies
For a relatively low cost, joining a professional membership can open doors to new industry connections, jobs, industry insight and discounted or free courses that will allow you to explore new avenues of interim management.
Network, network, network
Now that the world is open again, attending as many events as possible should be a priority for interim managers who want to meet new people and gain insight into new ways of working. However, events do not have to be the only way you can do this, start a podcast, or ask to be a guest on one, start blogging about your area of expertise and share conversations with other industry professionals. However, you do it, creating a space online (or offline) is a fantastic way to widen your connections and open doors.