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Getting Started: A Guide to Interim or Fractional Work

January 24, 2024

Before jumping into temporary work, make sure you do your research, weighing up the pros and cons.

We’ve taken some of the heavy liftingout of that for you below.

Reasons to pursue interim work

  • You’ve achieved genuine success in an area that would benefit other businesses.
  • You take a project-based approach to work andare able deliver tangible results.
  • You want flexibility in your work / life.
  • You’ve got enough savings to cover you in quiet periods - if you don’t have a 6-month “cash runway” think very carefully before doing it.
  • You’re a natural problem solver.

Get the basic requirements in place first

  • Set up a Limited Company.
  • Give your Limited Company a great name. Your first and last name follow by “Ltd” is not it.
  • Open a business bank account.
  • Find a good accountant, unless you’re happy spending your time on tax returns.
  • Familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation – read up on IR35.
  • Familiarise yourself with your tax liabilities as both an employer and employee.
  • Set up a home office or find a space where you can work uninterrupted.

Calculate your day rate or project-based fee

  • It is not the equivalent salary divided by 12. Be prepared, some employers will think it is.
  •  If you’re working under a Ltd co, you won’t receive holiday pay or sick pay, you need to factor that in.
  •  What value are you bringing to organisations? Are you just a bum on a seat, or are you providing a service that can transform a business?
  • Speak to recruiters and look at job ads to get a feel for what the market is paying. It often fluctuates depending on whether it’s an “employers’ market” or “candidates’ market”.

Set yourself up for success

  • Know what you’re truly good at and make that your USP. Ask colleagues or employers for their opinions, it might be different to what you think it is.
  • Be an expert in a specific area of your work or a safe pair of hands to steady the ship. Know which one you are.
  • Get as many relevant recommendations as possible on LinkedIn. Ask your former employer to act as a referee.
  • You’re only as good as your last contract – do a good job and deliver what you’ve set out to achieve.
  • Build relationships with the recruiters in your space as well as networking with executive leaders in your field.
  • Be a thought leader on social media and find events at which you can speak or publications/forums/podcasts you can contribute to.


Ask yourself how truly risk adverse you are

  • You will have periods when you’re out of work – are you prepared financially and mentally?
  • Contracts will fall through at the last minute.
  • Contracts will be cut short.
  • Some employees may resent you.

Enjoy the benefits

  • You get to be seen as a trusted consultant and bring your expertise to help other businesses and team achieves goals that they would otherwise miss.
  • You don’t have to get involved in office politics anymore.
  • You have true flexibility, able to pick and choose the work you take on.
  •  Contracts also get extended, a 3-month contract can easily extend to 6-months or more.
  • Come to be viewed as an expert in your field and you’ll find yourself in demand.
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