I have had a solid career up to this point, but after a financial restructuring last year that eliminated my position, I was offered an interim assignment. I loved the challenge – it was one of the most interesting jobs I have ever had, and I felt so energized. I have been told to expect other interim assignments, but I am concerned about how this will impact my career brand if I list four, five or more interim assignments on my resume and then attempt to obtain a permanent position. I do not want to look like a job hopper, an executive who can’t keep a job! Any advice?
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog concerning this phenomenon – the increase in interim leadership positions, either to help a client solve a problem, fill a leadership gap for a specified period of time, or be involved in a financial/organizational turnaround. I have had several CEOs and other senior executives who are now taking on interim roles and they are asking about the career management implications.
First, do not list each assignment as if it was a separate job. That will certainly create the impression that you cannot hold a job, that you are amazingly inept, or you have itchy feet.
I recommend that you create a company and list each assignment under that corporate banner, even when you are subcontracting to a company like Huron or FTI. On your resume, indent each of these assignment as if it were a separate job with your company, because that, in fact, is what you are doing. It is the same principle as if you worked for HCA or Tenet and held several jobs as you worked your way up their career ladder. Do not assume researchers or HR assistants reviewing resumes will understand, because they won’t.
XYZ Advisory Services, LLC
2010 to present
XYZ is a healthcare management advisory firm specializing in turnarounds, interim staffing and strategic solutions.
Bombay Medical Center
Bombay Medical Center is a 325-bed community hospital/regional referral center with net revenues of $185 million.
Interim Chief Executive Officer
February 2014 to November 2014
Responsible for the day-to-day operations as well as developing and executing an enterprise-wide turnaround strategy to stabilize finances and enhance the balance sheet.
– Accomplishments should be listed as if they were a permanent position.
Ajax Hospital and Clinics
This is a 125 acute care hospital with a network of 5 ambulatory care locations and an outpatient surgery center located within the parish.
Interim Chief Operating Officer
September 2010 to December 2013
Responsible for day-to-day operations as well as chief implementation officer for a comprehensive strategic and operational turnaround plan.
– List accomplishments
By the way, I advise executives trying to build a practice in interim assignments to create a corporation versus a sole proprietorship. I recommend you buy liability insurance if you see this as a new permanent career track. I predict the healthcare operating climate is going to get really messy and turnaround firms and executives have been sued in the past. It is not common but safe is a lot better than sorry, especially if you operate without any corporate protection.
Your accountant can advise you whether an LLC or Subchapter “S” is more advantageous.