Since starting our business in February of this year, we have been really encouraged by the curiosity and enthusiasm many show for job sharing. Job sharing really is just what it says on the tin - a full time role, shared across two or more people - it’s simple to explain.
“It sounds so great!! Still though, I don’t think it would work in MY role”.
This is a phrase we also hear a lot, but we are here to tell you that job sharing WILL work in your role, no matter what you do or how senior your level. And here’s why...
You are not the only person who can do your job well
This may be hard to hear, but it’s the truth. There are skills that others have which will only enhance your job performance, given the right match. Job sharing not only means you are able to give MORE to your role (with a few days a week of refresh built in) but it provides another person with an opportunity to bring their skills, expertise and unique thinking to progress matters (and both of you) forwards.
Your role is not too difficult to split.
Job sharing - whether you have done it before or not - is new with each pairing. It may be new to you and your job share partner, your line manager, your business, your clients...many will have not worked with a job share partnership before. It takes preparation from the outset. Talk it out, prepare, strategise and make a plan as to how your role can work by splitting it out piece by piece. Map out each of your responsibilities, take each area of ownership and determine who will take the lead. No stone is to be left unturned. Setting this out from the get-go gives you confidence, builds credibility from others and ensures that all is under control, with nothing slipping through the cracks.
You can work fewer hours, but achieve more.
We work at a fast pace, in an ‘always on’ culture where our work is never done. Consider that with a job share partner you can work less and achieve more. Trends show that more and more businesses are appointing co-leaders to carry out their most senior roles. Your 5 day week becomes a 6 day week, giving you room to brainstorm together and progress faster than you could achieve alone. Job sharing means no Wednesday hump day or Friday lull, you give it all you’ve got before you switch off (perhaps to attend to your children, care for an elderly parent, see to your studies, or feel renewed by getting lost in your favourite hobby).
If medics can carry out a seamless handover in critical care situations, so can you.
When my son was in intensive care at 6 weeks old, he was monitored 24/7, around the clock. During that time, nurses, doctors, consultants, specialists all cared for him. They could not be there 24/7. To give the best care for my son they needed rest. In roles where life and death depend on it, handovers happen numerous times per day - processes are slick and all is in hand. Handovers are a point that many businesses cannot get past, feeling like it fits in the “too difficult” bracket. Placed in this context, we can see that it doesn’t have to be. Just because it requires structure, doesn’t make it impossible.
We love promoting job sharing in all its guises but there ARE a few jobs that gain no value from being shared. Shift work where you can clock in and clock out and pick up where you left off without time pressure for example, or call centre work, where case notes are logged on a system and follow-ups easily carried out by others without detailed handover. Space or trans-atlantic travel would be a toughie, but that's obvious...:)
Aside from this? Let us know your thoughts… do you think your role could be shared and if not, why not? We’d love to hear.
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Curious to learn more about how to implement job sharing at your organisation? Contact us at email@example.com to book a free 20-minute exploratory call.