At the threshold of fifty years of age, leaving an open-ended employment contract means leaving the world of big business.
The main research on the subject shows how, from the age of 47, the path in multinational companies becomes “up or out”.
And with 7 billion people in the world, it is easier to be out than up.
So, faced with so much competition, with a heavy salary, an important age (even if I still find it hard to believe), in a country that is not my own and that takes genealogy into account quite heavily when it comes to hiring, I thought about investing in my past rather than in my future.
I told myself that the long international experience, three languages spoken fluently, the studies in Bocconi and Hec, the most different types of governance in which I had the opportunity to grow professionally (from family groups, to investment funds, to listed companies, to LBOs) could have more easily satisfied the punctual needs of some companies than the smoky algorithms, often calibrated on age and offspring, of headhunters.
So I turned to companies specialized in interim management, sending curricula and holding interviews.
I did it both in France, where I live, and in Italy, and I was able to notice that this type of offer is much more developed and easier to access in my adopted country as there are “pure players” which have already very populated customer and managers bases that are constantly updated through new missions.
In Italy, until the old age, the candidate is never credible because we know that people start to give good advice when they can no longer set the bad example.
Moreover, in a world where relationships are fundamental, the proliferation of this type of activity through small local firms makes it quite inaccessible, especially to those who, like me, have spent almost all their professional life abroad.
The advantages for companies
- For their punctual needs, whether they are transitioning between one high-potential manager (who is less than 47 years old) and the other, or find themselves in particularly complicated or new situations, companies can quickly have professionals with great experience and expertise at their disposal.
- As in the case of the oldest profession in the world, the price is set above the average for comparable services, so that, once the need has passed, both parties will part ways without any lasting link being created.
- Since this is a world of relationships, it is in the Manager’s sole interest to move mountains and cross seas to succeed so to leave the best possible impression.
The disadvantages for companies
- The disadvantages for companies are mainly related to the lack of ties with the Manager.
- In this way it may be that the Manager does not fully adhere to all the company values or is unable to fully adapt to them.
- In the same way, organizations cannot use the usual psychological and political pressure they use to leverage those who expect to “make their career” within them.
Benefits for the Manager
- The consequence of the previous point is that no one will call you at 7 a.m. or send you an email at 10 p.m. to reproach you for the tone you used in a certain discussion, the dots you put on the i’s with Mr this or the indications of Mrs that, which you did not follow to the letter.
- In order to have people ready immediately, the transition manager’s experience is usually oversized compared to the need. Therefore, considering also the lack of the “psychological pressure” factor, the mission is lived more serenely than a comparable moment experienced as an employee.
- The daily rate is set to cover all the risks associated with a precarious job like this.
- For those who, like me, are empathetic, extrovert, quickly bored with routine and need to hear the applause of the public to run that extra mile, meeting new people, facing complicated situations and hearing at the end: “you were great”, “I would never have believed it”, “without you I don’t know how we would have done it”, is priceless. (This rarely happens when employed, as the logical next step would be getting a substantial salary increase).
- Last but not least, you can have a life outside of work. You can open the little bar on the beach where you can work in the summer, fulfill the dream of going on tour with your band or write a book about Cristiano Ronaldo and corporate finance.
The disadvantages for the Manager
- Experience, competence, empathy, are useless if you are not able to value and communicate them. For this reason, unless you know how to use exclusively the channel of relationships, you must inevitably go through the stages of sending the CV and interview with the ineffable human resources expert. Of which each of you will certainly have your own opinion.
- Long periods of transition between missions. Times in which you have to keep up to date, not get out of the loop and not even get used to the delights of idleness.
- Depending on the combination of earned income and unemployment benefits, you could skip the usual holidays in the Maldives from time to time, due to lack of money.
In conclusion, I tried interim management for you and was completely satisfied: I highly recommend it.
Of course, you have to be able to accept that it is those interviews with top professionals, who unfortunately have no idea who you are or what you do and rarely have the competence to judge it, that open the doors to heaven or not.
But what kind of world would it be without Human Resources?