In our new series honouring International Women’s Day, four highly experienced female career interims talk about their journeys, the challenges they’ve overcome and what they’ve learnt about being interim managers.
“To anyone thinking of becoming an interim, I would say definitely do it – the rewards in terms of job satisfaction are huge. I’ve been presented with the most amazing opportunities and have never regretted becoming a career interim,” says Jan Lawry.
With 20+ years’ experience in the health and social care sector, Jan works with senior leaders in the NHS working on highly complex management programmes and projects. Here is her advice…
“Be as visible as you can on social media, particularly LinkedIn”
What advice would you give to females considering moving into interim?
JL: My advice would be the same to either male or female interims – be as visible as you can on social media, particularly LinkedIn, which is where I get around 90% of my new business. You need to have a financial buffer to keep you going in between contracts and get all of the practical issues sorted first, for example setting up and registering your company and VAT number, hiring a good accountant etc. Remember to be completely professional at all times, develop a strong network and deliver outstanding work all of the time.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started?
JL: Be choosy in the type of interim work that you take on – you don’t have to accept every contract that an agent dangles in front of you. Trust your instinct. If the role sounds dubious at the interview stage then it probably won’t get better once you’re in the role.
Have you faced any particular challenges as a female interim?
JL: I’ve never faced any work related challenges. But the reality is that it’s usually the female who keeps the household together and that can be a challenge, particularly when working away from home and doing a weekly commute. To anyone thinking of becoming an interim, I would say definitely do it as the rewards in terms of job satisfaction are huge. I’ve been presented with the most amazing opportunities and have never regretted becoming a career interim.
Jan’s top five tips
- Quality: deliver exceptional work always
- Connect: you need to be visible on LinkedIn
- Decisions: back your own judgement when considering projects
- Personal life: will the assignment fit in with your commitments?
- Rewards: an interim career is hugely fulfilling, you won’t regret it!
If you’d like to discover more about an interim management career, please get in touch.