How to Become an Interim Manager

October 2, 2017

Everybody thinks “It’s my life and my career. I want to take control and be my own boss” once in their life. When it comes to taking control, we are generally not aware of the various options that are accessible to us. While many employees try to develop their permanent roles; interim management option appears as a perfect solution for them.


Interim management is now a popular troubleshooting management technique in recent years due to urgent, short-term and business-critical needs. Interim managers are experienced executives who can effectively and efficiently help to improve an organization’s management strengths for a given period. The best part for both sides (interim managers and clients) is that interim managers take full responsibility for the process and the outcome; they plan and implement rather than recommend. To make a long story short, they become part of the client team by bringing their considerable, specialist expertise.


So, in this blog post I explained what the interim management is and everything else you need to know about interim management.


What is the interim management?

Interim management is basically the temporary provision of management resources and skills. Interim managers basically help enterprises and businesses fill temporary management gaps or undertake projects.


There are several factors that make the interim management offering increasingly popular and cost-effective to companies.


What do you need to do for becoming an interim manager?

First thing first, let’s talk about the legal requirements for those who want to be an interim manager in the future.


Do you need to set up a company, umbrella firm, etc.?

Yes, you do. The first option is to have a limited company. The first thing you need to do is apply for own limited company. You will need a copy of your limited company document if you get offered work. The most important thing is to get an accountant to help you set it up and manage it on an ongoing basis.


As the second option, you can work through an umbrella company which provides a ready-made invoicing vehicle while also removing the administrative duties normally associated with running your own personal service company. The umbrella company normally issues invoices on the interim’s behalf, collects payments from clients, calculates tax and national insurance contributions and pays the interim worker their net pay.


As the third option, you can be employed on a PAYE basis. It is important to inform that PAYE is (arguably) the least tax beneficial. Interim managers are generally paid through the agency on daily basis based on a pre-agreed rate for the project. The agency then calculates then calculates your pay and makes legal deductions for PAYE (Pay As You Earn Income Tax) and NI (National Insurance). Included in your pay should be an amount to comply with the EU directive concerning holiday and sick day.


PAYE is not a preferable way as I mentioned before as you pay full tax and national insurance contributions on all your earnings. For that reason, many interim managers choose one of the other options (umbrella companies or personal service company).


Do you need to register for VAT?

Yes, you need to VAT register and send a copy of your VAT certificate when you get offered work if your limited company turnovers more than €94,000.


As an interim manager, you need to register for The Flat Rate VAT scheme which is an incentive provided by the government to help simplify VAT for small businesses. Here, you can find detailed information.


How are interim managers paid?

Interim managers are paid a daily rate based on their experience, skills and knowledge. Day rates are also dependent on the challenges of the role or assignment, the responsibility level and the length of the project. (Often shorter projects are paid more).



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What are the pros/cons of being an interim manager?

Being an interim manager is both challenging and rewarding.



Let’s start with cons. Firstly, becoming an interim is a lifestyle decision and it is not easy to operate outside the comfort zone of corporate life conditions. What else?


  1. The work/life balance is different than corporate employees.
  2. Living without a steady source of income is not easy.
  3. There are no employee benefits comparing to corporate life.
  4. You may be living out of a suitcase
  5. Assignments are sometimes not easily commutable to each day.



If we talk about the pros, I can say they are much more than cons as it is a great career path for those who have experience and skills.

The first obvious benefit is financial. If you can obtain a 12-month contract, it is likely  for you to double your income.

Let’s see what the other benefits of being an interim manager are.

  1. Great opportunity to work in many different companies, industries and teams. Moving from a pharmaceutical company to an investment bank means a new environment with its own culture, unique practice and employees. This is also another opportunity to add new skills to your CV to gain experience of different industries.
  2. To be removed from career politics! There is no promotion fight, appraisals or annual reviews. You are your own boss and master of your own professional development. Thus, you easily concentrate to do your best as this is your only motivation. The only thing is interims have to adapt easily to the team and understand the existing relationship dynamics in a short time.
  3. You are able to decide when and for how long you will work -as we’ve talked about being your boss – but of course you are expected to fulfill your contract when you start an assignment.
  4. You have the opportunity to travel as interim management positions are available all over the globe (Different company culture or country culture, it’s up to you!).
  5. You do not wear someone else’s corporate identity -and you don’t need to worry if you are working in an unlikeable work environment as you will leave when you’re done with your contract.
  6. You will be concentrated only to do your best as that is your only motivation.


Daily Life of an Interim Manager 

If you decide to be an interim manager -or you are an interim manager already- it means that your working model is highly varied. Interim managers’ day-to-day work pattern changes with each project they complete as well as the length of the work. On average you may work on the same assignment for about 6 months – but it can range from 3 months to 18 months. Also, the length of time you spend not working between assignments may differ too.


The best thing about being an interim manager is the challenge! You have no chance to get bored of your job as you always meet new teams, new objectives and industries. You are the only person responsible for the change in the company and this feeling is pretty rewarding.


Just like each role, interim management is not so easy either. Fistly, you have to have the ability to make people listen to you: you should be insensitive but polite at the same time.

Interim management is not a career for recent graduates; you need to have several years of industrial experience to hain both credibility and a reputation.

Interim Management Uses

Interim managers could be used in many business situations. Commonly, these are situations such as crisis management, sudden departure, illness, death, change management, managing change or transition, sabbaticals, maternity leave, mergers and acquisitions and project management.

The functions of an interim manager are essentially countless thus the capacity of an interim manager’s skill set is precisely unique.


If you would like to hear more about being an interim manager, contact us on +353 1 4852775 or email

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