What's your problem?

I've worked in middle management for the past few years, and believe that I have a good chance of continuing to move upwards. I've recently been approached about an interim management job, where I'd work on a specific nine-month project for one company, then move on.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I'm interested, but I've heard that few interim managers move back into senior permanent roles, and I'm concerned that I might have to remain an interim manager. Can I take on the role without limiting my future career prospects to the interim management arena?

A: Interim management jobs, like freelance jobs, tend to offer less long-term security. That's of their very nature - and why their lower levels of certainty are usually balanced by higher levels of immediate reward.

What you may be looking for, therefore, is the impossible: a higher-interest, higher-reward career that carries with it no concomitant risk.

So the answer to your question probably lies within yourself and in a clear-eyed analysis of your own temperament.

If you tend to be risk-averse; if you put the security of your family at the top of your personal agenda; if you positively enjoy the comfort of a familiar management structure, then you should stay where you are and hope for that gradual upward progress to continue.

On the other hand, you may feel confident enough in your professional abilities to risk a little more.

Neither of these courses of action is more or less noble than the other.

Let your instinct (and your sense of self) instruct you.

- Jeremy Bullmore has been creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London and a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group; he is a non-executive director of WPP. Address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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