Jo James interviews a Finance Transformation Consultant about his decision to move from a permanent position into the interim market

Jo James talks to a CIMA qualified, Six Sigma on his decision to move from a permanent position into the interim market

What was behind your decision to transition from a permanent role into full time interim work?

At the time I was relocating and the types of role on offer for interims were more attractive. I could see where I could add value for businesses in these types of roles and also thought they would be more challenging.

What was your biggest concern at the time?

Coming from a very stable job and package I had to change my mind-set around security.  I knew I had no guarantee about the regularity of work and that the lengths of assignments and their terms would vary.

Did you take any advice before you chose to do it?

Yes, I spoke with a couple of people including a professional interim that had been working successfully for a period of time and we talked about the challenges he had faced. His advice to me was to be clear on my objectives and choose assignments carefully.

How did you get your first interim assignment?

Through a LinkedIn approach from Axon Moore. The subsequent process was very quick.

What are the Pros and Cons?

The variety is great and you are not tied down to doing the same thing in the same place for an extended period of time. In some roles I’ve found myself involved with things that permanent employees don’t always get to do. There is flexibility around taking time out between assignments and I’ve enjoyed this. The main down- side is that there is natural pressure to deliver quickly and you have to be prepared for this.

What advice would you give others?

I think it’s really important to make a good choice for your first assignment, even though it could be slightly out of your comfort zone. It sets a precedent for future assignments and you will reap the benefits moving forward.

Did the relationship you built with your recruiter sway your decision?

I got helpful, balanced advice from you Jo! Your knowledge of the market gave me the confidence to give interim work a go after ten years in a permanent role. It was a great discussion with no pressure.

How has it differed from your expectations?

I’d say it has been more fast-paced. In my very first role the board were pushing hard for a quick delivery but I got to shape the role and my objectives to a large extent which I hadn’t expected. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the number of interim opportunities available at this level.

Do you see this as your long term career now?

Yes and no really!  My decision will always be led by the type of roles that present themselves. I want to be excited about the work I do and if a permanent role was offered that ticked most of my boxes then of course I’d consider it.

Do you feel you are treated any differently as an interim?

Not at all! This had been a concern – that I would be slightly removed from permanent employees, but I’m pleased to say nothing could be further from the truth.

With the benefit of hindsight, would you still make the same decision?

Yes, absolutely!


If you’d like to talk about the interim market and they types of roles available, please contact Jo James