Financial Career Planning: Permanent vs. Interim Roles – Which Should You Choose?

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Over 60% of finance and accounting employers expect to see a skill shortage in the years ahead.  

As businesses struggle to find the experience and talent that they need, candidates are in a unique position to pick and choose the opportunities most profitable to them. This freedom of choice has meant that many senior professionals are searching for more than just an excellent salary from their roles. Today’s top performers want cultural fit, development opportunities and flexibility. 

One of the critical decisions you may need to make for the future of your career is whether an “interim” or permanent role is better for you in the long-term.  


What is Interim Employment?



The traditional approach of finding a job and staying in it for decades at a time is not as popular as it once was. Trends like remote working and job-hopping mean that modern employees are increasingly experimenting with alternative working patterns instead.  

Though permanent work still provides the attractive option of stability, Interim managers can quickly develop their CV and expand their skillsets by exposing themselves to challenging new departments and projects. Interim executives use their financial expertise in short-term roles where they can earn bigger salaries, meet new people and remain flexible in their work pattern. 


The Benefits of an Interim Role

The primary difference between temporary and interim employment is the level at which you operate. Interim positions are reserved for executive-level employees like group financial controllers and account managers that can come and help a business transform. As an Interim employee, you can affect the growth of multiple companies.  

Other benefits include: 

1. The Ability to Earn More

As a senior interim employee, you’ll be expected to make a quick and significant impact on your finance department or project. For instance, you may be asked to help a team convert to new software, or support a group learning a new set of accounting regulations.  

Your unique range of skills may mean that you’re offered a higher salary for temporary work than you can get in permanent employment. This is particularly true if you have skills or experience to impress in your new role. The more you build your personal brand and earn a reputation as a successful interim employee, the more you’ll be able to make with each opportunity.


2. Flexibility

Though the flexibility in your position will depend on the kind of tasks you need to do, many people in interim positions find that they have more control over the hours that they work. For instance, as an interim management accountant, you may be able to spend some time working from home so that your new employer doesn’t have to worry about onboarding you or finding extra desk space.  

If you have other commitments in your life, or you’re looking for alternative permanent opportunities, this flexibility may be crucial.


3. Learn New Skills



Interim employees are more likely to work on varied projects and develop new skills in their temporary roles. Though companies will hire you for your specialist knowledge, they may also ask you to interact with other specialists and business leaders on projects, where you can discover new talents and proficiencies.  

Working in a wide variety of companies give you the opportunity to develop a compelling CV, full of achievements, reference contacts, and experiences.


4. Experiment with Your Career

Finally, if you’re interested in moving horizontally to another segment of the financial sector, then interim work will allow you to experiment across different offices and projects until you find the opportunity that appeals most to you. It’s a great way to try different things, while still developing your skills as an industry specialist.  

What’s more, the new connections that you make when working with different companies will give you a robust network of people to turn to when searching for a new role.  


The Benefits of a Permanent Position  

In many ways, the greater flexibility and earning potential offered by interim employment acts as compensation for the lack of one crucial thing: job security. Even as a senior member of staff, you’ll need to work harder in interim positions to maintain a steady workflow and manage your reputation.  

On the other hand, a permanent position gives you full-time consistency, a salary that you can rely on, and the opportunity to dive deeper into the intricacies of your chosen financial position.  

The advantages of a permanent position include: 


1. Financial Stability

Permanent positions provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re going to get the same salary every month. With a specialist recruitment team like Rebus, you can ensure that the company you choose to work with will compensate you with a competitive remuneration package. You may even be able to access impressive benefits and bonuses that you couldn’t get in an interim role.  

For instance, your permanent employer is likely to offer a pension plan, as well as recognition and rewards for exceptional work.


2. Upward Career Progression



While interim roles offer plenty of opportunities to learn, you may not have complete control over the skills you gain and the projects you work on. Alternatively, in a permanent role, you can set career development plans with your employer, and work progressively towards a promotion.  

Because you’re a long-term investment for your permanent employer, they’re also more likely to develop your talent with company training, mentoring opportunities and chances to work on challenging new projects.  


3. Greater Cultural Fit

Finally, though you may make plenty of connections in your interim roles, but few of them will be as broad and long-lasting as the bonds you form in a permanent position. Provided that you fit well with your chosen company culture, you’ll find that you quickly become an integrated part of your team, which will build your communication and leadership skills over time 

Only you can decide whether an interim or permanent role is right for your career plan. Both options have their benefits, and it’s worth remembering that an interim position can sometimes transform into a permanent role in the right circumstances.  


About Rebus Financial Recruitment 

Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs. 

We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To get in touch call us on 01282 930930. 

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