So you are now in your dream job. You are a self-employed, professional Interim Manager. Not answerable to anyone else except yourself. You call the shots and you steer your own ship.
Perfect, except for one thing.
Your current interim assignment is rapidly drawing to a close and you are now facing a “What next?” moment. Whilst you have been channelling all your energy into this assignment, you’ve neglected your pipeline and now this interim juggernaut is about to fall off the cliff.
So how can you help yourself?
An Interim career needs nurturing, you may have given everything to your last assignment, but you need to have a holistic approach to building your business too; I’ve always maintained that that toughest challenge for any Interim is developing their sales pipeline.
Lesson Number One – keep close to your business development pipeline
You never know where your next assignment will come from. Do not shut the door on discussions whilst on contract and keep the avenues of dialogue available to all. However, it has to be said that your integrity as an Interim cannot be questionable, reputation is everything in this game. Always see a contract through to the end date, tempting as it might be to leave early to secure your next assignment – don’t.
Lesson Number Two – Network, Network, Network
As an industry Interim, there are so many effective ways to network in your sector. LinkedIn is THE professional networking site with 540m global users. Make full use of this leading professional networking platform. Develop your network via your spider web of contacts and build your personal brand. Also, attend industry events and get your head above the parapet, raise your profile in the sector and get known. Grab opportunities to meet Suppliers, Customers, Competitors – all Stakeholders, but more importantly, make sure you connect and engage thereafter. Tweet on Twitter, meet up, connect on LinkedIn, join their Facebook page or any public social media groups – engage in some way to maintain the connection and raise your profile amongst decision makers. Keep the contact and the visibility fresh. Build your network online and offline and essentially, engage when you can.
Lesson Number Three – Demonstrate your Interim gravitas
Engage with your market, differentiate yourself from the crowd and let Hirers see what you have to offer and what you are capable of bringing to their business. Business relationships are built on engagement and more importantly – trust. Build your brand, be seen as an expert in your sector and as a credible interim option. Share your case studies, engage in social discussion, participate in industry debate – be active in the sector you want to make your mark in.
Get yourself prepared with the most powerful marketing tool you have to offer too – your CV. This is a highly influential sales document which presents your personal brand, but most importantly provides crucial evidence of what you have achieved, your track record and what you are capable of offering your next Hirer. And critically for you – why Hirers should engage you over the competition. Keep your CV up to date and don’t underestimate how influential this document can be.
Ginnie Riley is a CV Writer and Job Search Strategist, with an extensive background in executive recruitment in the manufacturing sector.