The Basics

Am I a Good Fit for Fractional Work?

Taylor Crane
April 5, 2024
min read
Share this post
URL Copied to Clipboard
Am I a Good Fit for Fractional Work?

Table of contents

I’m Taylor - the founder of We help senior talent become successful fractional operators, and we help companies reach and recruit that senior talent directly.

I’m also a Fractional Head of Product, specializing in early-stage startups. In my practice, I work with 3 startups at a time for 10 hrs/week each.

Am I a Good Fit to do Fractional Work?

Fractional work can be a great fit for mid-to-late career professionals that want to increase their salary and/or lifestyle flexibility. It’s generally for experts in a field, like design, finance, engineering, marketing, etc. If this feels like you, then fractional work is absolutely worth understanding and considering.

In this post we’ll break down several key areas of fractional work that will help you assess a potential fit. It’s not for everyone, but the benefits can be extraordinary for those that fit the mold.

Expertise Needed

Fractional work often involves leadership and management, or at the least highly independent individual contributor work.

Many fractionals have 10+ years of experience in a given function or industry. If a company is looking to build out their marketing team, they’d probably want to hire a fractional CMO that’s done this several times before.

Even 5+ years of experience could make a great fit for fractional work, especially if that experience is particularly unique. A fractional engineer that has developed significant Shopify CMS expertise, for example, can add a ton of value in a fractional capacity to many e-commerce companies.

Companies value (and pay a premium for) fractional employees in large part because they come with a wealth of domain expertise.

Hard Work Gets Rewarded

A beauty of fractional work is that hard work gets rewarded in spades. The more value you add for a client, the higher the rate you can justify. No need to wait for yearly performance reviews. Even better, the more work you do, the more money you make. It’s linear! If you want to take on 40+ hours of billable work, nobody is stopping you. Working late at night hits different when you know you’re getting compensated for it.

But fractionals only need to work as hard as they want to work. If you want to work just 10 or 20 hours a week, go for it! Enjoy more time with family, a creative passion, or anything else.

You can work more, or you can work less, but the only thing you can’t do is half-ass the work itself. The fractional world is very transparent. If you’re not adding value then the relationship won’t last long.

Leave the “resting and vesting” to the full-time jobs, like Big Head in Silicon Valley.

Self-Employment, a double-edged sword

Since fractionals are independent contractors, we typically set up our own LLC and become self-employed. This has huge tax benefits, but it’s a tiny pain in the ass.

There’s the monthly expenses bookkeeping, and the yearly taxes on top of your personal taxes. Plus, you’ll sometimes get letters in the mail from different government agencies that you’ll have no idea what to do about. (It’s fine, you’ll figure it out.)

Self-employment is worth it, financially, and is one of the key reasons why fractional work will net you more take-home pay per month than an equal salary at a full-time job. But it is annoying.

Many fractionals use It’s the best and easiest way to handle your business incorporation, back-office needs, and accounting needs. I've been a customer since April 2023. If you use code "FRACTIONALJOBS" you'll get one month free, AND you'll be supporting Fractional Jobs. Nice!

The Work is Different

A fractional Designer will do plenty of design work, of course. But they’ll also do quite a bit of work unrelated to design.

For starters, there’s the mindset shift from “I’m a designer” to “I’m a business owner that sells design services”. Do you see the difference? And for fractionals that take on multiple clients, there’s also the context switching between clients. It’s a skill that develops over time.

Then there’s the sales work, which is deserving of its own section below.

To dive into more detail on all the ways fractional work is different, check out “How does a Fractional Job Work?”

The Sales Work

The fractional Head of Sales leaders have it easy here. For the rest of us fractionals, we’re now suddenly salespeople too. We need to find leads, and convert those leads into paying clients.

Most fractionals would agree this is the hardest part of the job. A typical fractional relationship lasts 6 - 12 months.  When one client rolls off, ideally another client rolls on, and it doesn’t happen magically.

You should expect to spend about 5 - 10 hrs/month on finding new business. Your own network is a great place to start for this, as personal referrals are always the highest quality leads.

And guess what - The sole purpose of (the site you’re on right now) is to find great leads for fractionals. If you’re not already, subscribe to our newsletter for email alerts when fractional roles in your job function go live.

Some Added Risk

Fractional work, like all independent contractor work, is inherently less stable than a full-time job. Particularly as you build up your business, you might find weeks or months where you have less client work than you want.

To mitigate this risk, some fractionals choose to start by working with one client on nights & weekends, while holding a full-time job. And then, when the time is right, they take a bigger leap.

Are you the type to see that added risk comes with added reward? Or do you run for the hills at the first sign of uncertainty? Both are fine! But one is a better fit for fractional work than the other.

No Health Insurance

Ah, the achilles heel of fractional work (and again all independent contractor work). If you're fortunate enough to have a spouse who's health insurance you can join, that's a great option. If you've recently left a full-time job, you can also opt into COBRA for up to 18 months. Lastly, the open market does have increasingly reasonable options. 

For an equal healthcare plan compared to your previous employer, it will be more expensive. But remember that the rate you charge is designed to account for paying for your own health insurance. And the tax savings from being self-employed also more than makes up for this extra cost.

If nothing above scares you off, then fractional work might just be a great fit for you. It’s proving to be a great fit for an increasing number of talented employees. The fractional movement is undeniably taking off right now.

Are you still not sure if this is a good fit for you? Have questions we didn’t answer? Shoot them over to and we’ll get you the help you need.

Send fractional jobs, 

playbooks, and more to

You’re in! Check your inbox to confirm.
We also post job alerts on
Hhmm, try again. That didn’t work.