Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing several senior interims in a multitude of sectors. They were all highly skilled, enthusiastic and raring to go on their next project. Interestingly enough, they were all individuals who had walked away from their day job to start a career as a professional interim.
Why is professional interim work such an attractive prospect….
Freelancing or senior interim opportunities can be appealing for individuals who want to taste a plethora of business environments, who thrive on coming into organisations with an agenda for change and achieving the set goals.
Salaries tend to be higher than permanent roles but obviously don’t have the benefits that accompany PAYE, yet for the people I speak to the financial gain is often a strong appeal, as well as the lure of a meaty new project. Within the Human Resources sector, most roles will pay a higher day rate for interims who can add value in a short space of time to the business. In some roles freelancing can net a salary almost double than that of someone full time. Mainly because the roles are fixed term, short-term and usually more flexible.
What you need to know?
Tax is pretty important, as an interim who opts to work as a limited company you will need to know about invoicing, business expenses, and taxes. You will join the thousands of other interims in January despairing at their tax return. You can check out resources online and the internet has lots of free places where you can download invoicing and expense systems.
Or if you prefer to leave the headache to someone else, then find yourself a decent accountant who can advise on expenses, pensions and ensure you submit your tax return on time.
Time wise, it is vital to understand what is expected of you in the time of the contract. Reputation is everything to a professional interim and completing contracts to time and budget will ensure you keep a strong one in the market. Make sure, before saying yes that you agree the expectations upon you reach SMART objectives.
You need to ensure:
- You have spoken to us and know what the market is like before making the decision to go from perm to interim,
- You know if there is a ‘need’ for your skills and abilities in the interim market.
- Have you sort advice on the different tax solutions? We can talk you through the differences between limited company, sole trader, and umbrella to help you make an informed decision.
- Do you know if you are using an accountant or braving HRMC alone?
- Have you created a ‘go to’ market business plan.
It can be daunting beginning as a freelancer, like any business, you need to have a plan of how you are going to source work. We can be part of your hunt to find outstanding new contracts and if you have already built up a strong reputation in your field you may be able to network with past connections.
Making the move to interim does often mean that you have to be instantly available. Some clients will wait for you to complete a notice period or end of contract but conversely others will want you to commence work immediately. Make sure we know your availability so we can put you into the right contact at the right time.
Be aware that as a contractor you are not a permanent employee, although as a long-term interim worker you may find in some instances you are have access to the same benefits as those working permanently in the company.
Don’t think because you are freelance you won’t develop in a role. Many interim workers find themselves on a learning curve, adding to their skill set daily in a new interim position..
If you want to discuss more options and if a career as a professional interim could be for you, please contact the office on 01628 817124, and follow us on LinkedIn to see our frequent updates and new opportunities.