Have questions about interim work? You’ve come to the right place.  

For many people—especially those who have spent their careers working in traditional, permanent roles—interim work can seem like a risky option. Everyone has different responsibilities and priorities, so it’s understandable to have questions about how interim work can fit into your life and career goals. 

Here are ten frequently asked questions people like you bring to our interim recruiters when they’re considering this option, either as a short-term solution or a strategic career move.  

Top 10 questions people ask when considering interim work

  1. How would I get benefits, like healthcare and PTO? 
    There are several different options. If you work with a talent firm, they often provide benefits. At Korn Ferry, we provide access to healthcare, PTO and more. If you decide to go out on your own, there are ways to get coverage. With a little research, you can find a plan from the government or a private insurer. 

  2. Will working as an interim professional hurt my career? 
    Definitely not! Because you’ll get experience in a variety of organizations and industries, you’ll acquire the versatility today’s companies want most in diverse technological environments—making you a well-rounded candidate for future roles. Plus, interim projects and roles often let you make an impact immediately and thus acquire ample experience in an abbreviated timeframe. 
  3. Would a permanent role be better? 
    This depends on the individual and where each person is in their career. Everyone’s life and work will go through seasons, and whether it’s for life or professional reasons, interim work can be a great option. Conventional wisdom says that interim work is synonymous with travel or downtime, but this is not the case for the many interim professionals working today. One thing to keep in mind: even if you try— and for whatever reason don’t like the work, office environment, or culture—you can always go back to a permanent role. 
  4. What if I’ve never worked on an interim basis before? 
    Clients love interim talent with prior corporate experience. If you’ve spent your career “on the inside,” you’ve likely acquired a wide range of technical skills—and people skills—required to succeed in similar environments. You’ve had to make decisions and live with them, fix things that are broken, or figure out how to work the system to get results. Those experiences will make you stronger in interim work, because you truly understand the stakes.  

  5. How many hours a week (or weeks a year) will I have to work? 
    This is really up to you. With interim work, you choose what projects you take. You can decide how much you want to work and (by extension) how much money you want to make per year. Many interim projects follow a normal full-time workweek, but there are all sorts of arrangements. You could have a three-month project that’s forty hours a week or two projects at 15 hours a week—it depends on what projects are available and how you want to approach the work. Bottom line? You get to choose what’s right for you. 

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  1. If I want a permanent role after doing interim work, who will give me references? 
    You’ll have contacts from all of the organizations you worked for in an interim capacity. You can decide which past clients to ask for references based on the job you’re trying to get. Working with a talent firm means the internal staff can vouch for your work. 
  2. Will I have to travel a lot? 
    Again, this depends on the types of projects and roles you accept. Assuming you live in a metropolitan area, there are usually interim opportunities close to home. If you want to travel, those jobs are out there, too. You just need to decide how much travel works for your lifestyle. 
  3. Am I too old to work as an interim professional? 
    The key to successful interim work lies in the valuable experience you bring to it. It’s likely the more years you’ve worked, the greater experience you have. Additionally, those with more tenure in the workforce tend to be great collaborators, communicators and self-motivators, all important qualities for interim talent, as backed up by research.  
  4. What kind of work will I do? 
    This depends on your skillset, preferences, and goals. The one sure thing is that you’ll get variety—it could be a variety of project types, industries, organizational structures, or all of the above. You can tailor the work to your interests. 
  5. Should I work with a talent firm or go out on my own?
    Owning your own business can be rewarding, but you’ll be responsible for all aspects of the business—from sales and contracts to billing—not to mention doing the actual work. A talent firm takes care of many of the business aspects, so you can focus on the work you love. For example, a talent firm can:
    - Find you clients and projects
    - Arrange all of the interviews, contracts, and logistics
    - Help you decide what kinds of projects are advantageous to your career and lifestyle
    - Ensure you’re paid market rate and paid on time
    - Run interference if there are problems at any time during the engagement
    - Provide benefits and PTO 

Ready to learn more about interim professional work?

Join the Interim Network or review available jobs today.