The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Interim

by | 24 Jan 2023 | Interim Managers, Insights

The long-distance interim manager is often a lonely figure, spending long periods of time away from home and family to take on short-term assignments in far-flung locations.

This transitory existence, working in unfamiliar environments and cultures, can make it more difficult to develop deep and meaningful bonds with colleagues or clients. It can be an isolating experience, particularly if the manager is not used to working alone. Some people find it suits them very well.

Together with Steve Rutherford’s 3 questions to ask yourself before becoming an interim manager, those considering a long-distance interim life should ask themselves if they’re suited to it.

It’s not for everyone.

However, there are some ways to combat the loneliness of the long-distance interim manager, such as staying in touch with family and friends, seeking out social activities in their new location, and making an effort to connect with colleagues and clients. With a little effort, the interim manager can overcome the loneliness of their situation and make the most of their assignment.

The benefits of being a long-distance interim manager

Now we’ve covered the things that might deter you from becoming an interim, we should consider the positive points.

Nick Archer, an interim manager and fairly new to the interim life, explains the pros and cons as he sees them in our short video interview. You might find one or two of them surprising. The one about office politics, for example.

However, it’s the long-distance issues that we’re talking about here. Being away from family, children in particular, friends and familiar surroundings can be difficult, especially when assignments get extended for longer periods of time.

On the plus side, you can often command a higher salary than your permanent counterparts due to the nature of your work. You can gain a great deal of experience in different organisations and cultures, which can be extremely valuable for your career. Ultimately, the interim manager has a certain amount of freedom to work with different organisations and gain experience in unfamiliar places. If you’re looking for variety and flexibility, then becoming an interim manager could be for you.

On a personal note, you may enjoy travelling and discovering new countries, peoples, and cultures. In which case, what better way to do that than to travel with work? Usually, travelling with work means living out of suitcases and experiencing only the airports, hotels, and transportation of the countries you visit. As a long-distance interim manager, you’ll stop 6 months or so in each place. Plenty of time to discover what the country has to offer, soak up the culture and get to know the people.

Ultimately, being a long-distance interim manager can be rewarding if you take the time to embrace new experiences and make the best of them. With a little effort, you can make the most of your interim role and enjoy it. You just need to be sure that you’re equipped with the right skills, attitude, and mindset to spend extended periods of time away from home.

For more information on the world of interim management, see our website.