The Great Resignation – This Is Why Executives Are Leaving Their Full-Time Jobs and Joining the Fractional Work Revolution

There’s a great change happening right now in the job market. Employees are quitting their jobs en masse, trading in their full-time jobs for freelancing and fractional work. 

This is happening in every sector of the economy and the executive sector is no exception. Even at the C level, people are quitting in droves in order to seek employment that’s more flexible, more fulfilling, and more lucrative. 

Why Is the Great Resignation Happening?

This “great resignation” is occurring because of a change in the power dynamic between employers and employees. Due to changes in recent years, employees have found themselves more empowered, with more choice about where and how they work. The supply and demand balance has shifted and now more power lies with employees. 

Much of this change is related to the Covid-19 epidemic. The epidemic forced companies to implement remote work due to the risk of commuting and working together in an office. Many suddenly discovered that they could do most of their work at home. There was large-scale implementation of online tools like Zoom. The result is that we no longer need the traditional working style and employer-employee relations.

The epidemic also brought with it even deeper changes. With the switch to remote work, many began to reconsider their work-life balance and changed how they thought about their careers, putting greater value on their personal lives and families. 

The shift to remote work blurred the lines between work and personal life. Now, you could take your work with you anywhere you go. Along with this change, employees were increasingly expected to be available during traditionally non-work times. This presented new challenges as workers could now decide how to manage their own work schedule and time off.

The Era of Fractional Work

This has had a massive effect on the job market that’s only starting to be felt. Due to this change, the job market is starting to shift to more “fractional work.” The fractional work model is one where employees work for several different employers on a part-time (or “fractional”) basis. 

It’s different from freelance work in that the employee is more committed and integrated with the client’s organization. However, instead of working full-time, the employer hires the worker for a “fraction” of their time on an ongoing basis.

With the changes that have occurred in the job market, there is no reason to stay at one company. You have various skills companies need and you can take them with you anywhere you go. Fractional work gives you freedom and flexibility. You can create your own work schedule and rates and decide what tasks you will perform. 

It also offers stability. Fractional workers are usually hired on a continual basis, not project to project. With a set number of hours per week, it offers a type of semi-employment that’s more reliable than freelance work. You are dedicated to the client but in a more flexible way. 

Who Are Fractional Executives?

For many years, freelance service providers have offered their services via the internet to clients around the world. This is nothing new. However, fractional work allows for even executives at the C-level to leave their full-time roles and work as independent freelancers.

Recent years see professionals in various fields quitting full-time jobs to take on consulting and other services, mostly to startups and mid-sized companies. 

What is work like for a fractional executive? Like a freelancer, you would have a variety of clients, to each of whom you offer a set number of hours per week. For example, you may have one client who you work with for 20 hours. In addition, you might have one or two with whom you work 10 hours, and a few small clients that are just a few hours a week.

The work you’re doing depends on the client and your arrangement with them. For small clients, you might be balancing books or providing advisory services. For the larger clients, you may be more integrated with the company, with work that includes hands-on operational roles, project management, or strategy and development. 

You may have varying levels of integration with your clients. For some, you’ll be somewhat distant, working more as an outside consultant. With other clients, you may be a core integral member of the organization. Being “fractional” allows you flexibility while still being a key member of the team.

Many of these professionals are working on a strictly fractional basis as their career. Others have just left a full-time job and are looking for something new and exciting in the interim. Others work full-time for a company but would like something on the side where they can supplement their income and gain new experience. For example, you might work for a large company but seek fractional work with startups.

Who Hires Fractional Executives and Why?

At Shiny, we see mostly Seed to Series B stage startups utilizing fractional executives right now. Many are in FinTech, ecommerce, and B2B SaaS, among many other industries. 

This is the stage where companies are the most in need of fractional workers. At this stage, they’re growing and need the services provided by this type of professional, but they haven’t grown to the point yet where they’re ready to hire full-time. 

This is what we mostly see now, but we expect to see companies using our service expand as this trend continues, with more and more later stage companies and larger companies joining this trend, even including departments of Fortune 500 companies hiring fractional executives for new business units and initiatives. 

As the trend of hiring fractional executives catches on, more companies will see the benefits in terms of cost savings and efficiency of hiring flexible talent. We see Shiny as a central part of this change.

How Shiny Is Supporting the Fractional Work Revolution

It’s a challenge for executives looking for flexible work to find the clients who need them. Likewise, companies face difficulties finding the right talent. Shiny’s mission is to provide an easy way to connect fractional executives and the organizations that need them.

At Shiny, we feel the traditional hiring structure is out of date. Our marketplace matches you to the ideal fractional executives fro your needs. We vet all of our executives prior to joining so that all of our talent is high-quality.

We see hundreds of companies looking for fractional executives, and we have over 350 vetted executives on our marketplace. Shiny has a clear understanding of what companies are looking for so that we can create a win-win with the right fractional executive. 


The shift from full-time to fractional work is still in its early stages. It’s an idea that has been around for a long time, but Covid and the shift to remote work has helped it explode in popularity. It still has a way to go before it’s the norm, but this is where we clearly see the market is headed. 

These changes have also made fractional work more lucrative than ever. Fractional executives can take their skills to more clients who need them and in many cases earn more than they would full-time. At the same time, companies are discovering that they can save on human resources costs while also retaining the help they need on a permanent basis.

The result is that fractional executive work is now a lucrative career path for more professionals. At Shiny, we’re preparing for a full-scale revolution as fractional work expands into more roles and companies.