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Thread: Interim manager position

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Interim manager position

    My boss will be off for a few months, maybe 6, for personal reasons. I've been filling in for her, and the board is thinking of hiring an interim manager. They asked me if I'd be interested, and I'm considering it.

    There's a possibility that the position could become permanent. I miss my boss, and hate to think that she could leave. Without a doubt, the rest of staff feels the same about her, and I think that hiring an interim manager would worry and confuse them. I know why the boss is taking off, and have known for some time, but the staff doesn't know.

    Have any of you accepted an interim position? What kinds of questions should I ask, and what expectations should I have?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    Whether it is formal or not, someone in fact will be acting as the manager. So why not you? Stability is always important so if you are the one chosen that should help reassure other employees. If offered and you do accept, do not sell yourself short. Tell them you will gladly help out but that you believe that the added responsibility should come with added compensation. I see places take advantage of others in these situations a lot so it's important to stand up for yourself. No one else will.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  3. #3
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I agree with the added pay. They should bump your grade to whatever the manager is. Even if it's just temporary. Ask about how far they want you to lead. Should you take on new projects or just keep the department straight until the real boss returns? Same with all the HR issues like hiring and the opposite of hiring. Not that you would have to, but you never know. Are there any budget issues you should know about?
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  4. #4
    I'd take it, with an increase in pay. However, be aware that if they hire someone new, the person might see you as a threat. Make them sure that you aren't still gunning for the position and you were ok with just being a fill-in until they hired someone permanently.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    You should take it if it's the next step that you want, or even if you don't as it will be seen as a commitment to the organization

    remember:

    if you do want it to be permanent, make it known so you don't get passed over so you don't get screwed and then the next manager is awkward in their relationship with you

    if you had been thinking of leaving for higher ground, having the title of interim town manager will assuredly help your resume so hit it as soon as you have the title

    and yes, ask for a stipend if you want it to be temporary or if you want it to be permanent, ask for 10% less than the current town manager
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Solid advice from others. Take it with some interim pay/stipend.

    If they hire from the outside, the reality is that you'll still be functioning above your current position because the person hired will be an outsider and lack familiarity. He/she will inevitably look to you. If that is going to be the case, then you might as well be the person in charge.

    I also like using internal people for interim postings because:
    • it develops staff--they get a sample of what you are capable of
    • it sends an important message in this circumstance that the person is not being replaced... an outside hire gives an air of replacement
    • it is usually the most cost-effective solution--outside interim services usually cost a premium
    • you get to test fly the position to see if that is a step you want to take in your career


    I've taken interim positions twice with stipends. One became permanent (my current one) and one I returned to my prior role without any issues.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Go for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I was an interim department head when my boss left at a previous employer. Got the full pay during that period, although I think that's unusual (I have seen rules as silly as limiting interim pay to 5% more than what you are making before getting the interim position.) I ended up getting the permanent position, so I guess I did an OK job.

    If she decides not to return and you want the position permanently, make sure the powers that be know that. If you don't get it, you should clear the air with whomever gets it so they know up front.

    As an interim, I tried to balance the role as a caretaker vs. needing to make some permanent decisions. It was a tough balance. I needed staff to know that I was ultimately in charge but that as I was interim I was inclined to step lightly. My one mistake was that once I got the job permanently, I didn't change that style enough. Resulted in some management complications down the road. But it all worked out.
    Don't read the comments section. You want to, but don't do it.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks all of you for your good advice. I got the position, and I'm ok with the terms.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    yeah, awesome!
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    Excellent Smithers.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

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