The Job Title C-Suite Contractors Are Using (It’s Not Freelance)


The Job Title C-Suite Contractors Are Using (It's Not Freelance)

As I was reading an eloquent reply on a LinkedIn post, my curious eyes shifted to the commentor’s job title.

Fractional CMO.

Hmmm. I’m familiar with a Chief Marketing Officer role, but what does the fractional bit in front of CMO mean?

I went down the research rabbit hole.

What is a Fractional Job Position?

If you aren’t familiar with the term fractional being used as a modifier in front of popular job roles and titles, get ready to level up. It’s a new F-word used by seasoned contract workers.

Fractional means freelance.

New York Times reporter Emily K. Parker who reports on executive jargon explains that “fractional executives” are those who lead marketing, finance or operations on a part-time, contractual basis, often for multiple companies.

And, this fractional approach to work is on the rise.

Disclosure: This blog is reader-supported, which means this post contains affiliate links and advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you amazing content. Thank you! ~Angela

Examples of Fractional Job Titles

As I dug into this new-to-me lingo, that I’m still shaking my head at nearly twenty-five years after receiving my first Form-1099, I’m learning that using the term fractional is not interchangeable with the term freelance.

After poking around more on LinkedIn to see who uses this term, it’s clear fractional seems most common among C-suite roles. Here’s a list of common job titles that might be filled with multiple individuals, in a fractional capacity.

  • Chief Revenue Officers (CRO)
  • Chief Marketing Officers (CMO)
  • Chief Operating Officers (COO)
  • Chief Financial Officers (CFO)
  • Chief Technology Officers (CTO)

To be transparent, I also saw a few Chief Executive Officer (CEO) roles listed as fractional too. I’m not sure how that would work out, but, I’m intrigued and would love to be commissioned to write about it sometime! (Does your organization do this? Contact me so I can write about it for your company website About page or shareholders newsletter!)

Learn More About Fractional Job Roles

Just when you think you’ve heard everything about freelance life, something new pops up on your radar. I expect to hear more about fractional roles as work-from-home and freelancing gain even more momentum since working styles have radically shifted due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about fractional roles, signs you may need this work style in your organization and the benefits of hiring an executive-level contractor in Adi Vaxman’s Entrepreneur article, “Executive-Level Expertise, Fraction of the Cost — A Guide to Fractional Leadership“.

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