While some people prefer to use recruitment agencies, others prefer to work their personal contacts, or approach communication agencies and try for ad hoc work. There are always the online job ads, but if you’re not careful the activity of sifting through all those ads could become your defacto job.
For some, it’s a daunting experience to go from the perceived security of a permanent job to the seeming instability of the contractor jobs market. While some are happy to broadcast their intentions on social media, others prefer to conduct their job hunt in private.
One thing is for sure, it helps if you can define your target jobs market. This could be the market you have most experience of, but you may also want to switch between markets. Either way, you need to consider what mix of communications skills you are selling and the sectors you are targeting. Of course, you need to tailor your CV and pitch to match employers’ expectations.
When you apply for an interim communications role, you’ll want to consider whether this is maternity cover or whether you are effectively creating a new communications role or function. These are different propositions and are likely to require quite different approaches.
And then the interview. If you’re going for a contractor position then you’ll need to demonstrate that you have the capacity to absorb new information quickly and be able to hit the ground running, more so than if you are going for a permanent job.
You may also need a thick skin. The world of the interim communications professional can be a tough gig with unreturned phone calls and blow-outs. But then again it can be intensely rewarding, present you with enjoyable fresh challenges and enable you to quickly develop a wider range of experience.
Some contractors find themselves in that position through no choice of their own, but others have made a conscious decision to work this way. Whether you chose interim, or it chose you, this may just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened in your career.