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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Expat2 Posted - 01/15/2008 : 6:15:57 PM
I have the opportunity to be employed in a position that is going to be a job share. I was wondering if anyone else is/has done this and what tips they might have.
6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
kaidyd Posted - 01/17/2008 : 06:47:51 AM
I successfully shared a 60-40 split for about 7 years. Part of the time I was in the 40% slot and part of the time I was in the 60% slot. This was a professional position in the state health department.While the position did was not supervisory of personnel, we did supervise the implementation of a regulated federal program in our state.
snjnova did an excellent job of summarizing the major points of an effective job share. I shared this position with two different individuals. The first person and I had worked together for several years prior to establishing the job share. Our styles complemented one another. We both were familiar with all the tasks and expectations of the job prior to sharing. We did not share a desk but did share a desktop computer. We overlapped about 3-4 hours weekly in order to attend staff meetings and coordinate our work. Within this position we were able to sometimes select projects and tasks where I would be the lead and others where the shared person was the lead. Because we both were required to travel, we were not too concerned about covering each other's sick days etc. being out of the office was fairly common, unless there was a meeting where coverage was necessary. We were both also moms with children in daycare and we did work with our daycare providers to have some flexibility in the schedule in case we had to work on a non-scheduled day. Also there were about 6 locations that we traveled to that required a longer than time than the job share would allow. I agreed to, in the summertime(this was Minnesota and we traveled much more in the summer) do two back to back weeks to accommodate these some of these site visits. To balance out the time , I worked some short days in subsequent weeks. My son spent those weeks when I traveled for the whole week with his grandparents in Wisconsin. This was good for all! We were also available by phone in case questions arose during our off time. I know that it sounds like we were still both working full time, but we really were not and with the first person, life in the job share was good. The key, I believe was flexibility and prior job knowledge.

With the second person, I moved to the 60% position and shared with someone who while not new to the field or the programs we ran, was new to state government employment and the consultant role we performed. Because she had not been in the
position previously, it was much more difficult to share because she didn't know the scope of the job. She did not always know all of the components of the program and thus if someone called to ask a question, she didn't always ask them the questions she needed to to clarify their questions. (I'm not sure that statement made sense.) And while we made it work, I found that I was putting in much too much time--more like 80% and that of course wasn't being compensated. And couldn't be compensated even with some extra time off. Interestingly enough, this person was single and her child was launched into the world, yet her schedule wasn't as flexible as mine. Eventually, I left--mostly because my spouse was now traveling frequently and coordinating two traveling parents became more trouble than it was worth.

With the right individual, job sharing is wonderful.


rknight Posted - 01/17/2008 : 04:58:54 AM
The trading days was good when kids had Dr. appt., school function, etc. If it was planned in advance (except for sick kids) I didn't mind. Then she would call in sick or I'm going to be late, then I'd have to go in. Which wasn't a problem most of the time, but it made me mad that she didn't have any respect for the job or me. Then it started happening more and more.

She wanted to trade days on a permanent basis. I worked on Monday and Payroll days, our busiest days. The employer said I could trade if I wanted, but I knew what would happen. There wasn't anyway she could handle those days. That's the reason she was given the other days to start with.

I was raised "old school". If your're paid to do a job, you do it to the best of your ability. So, when other people don't do that - I have a problem with it. So, find out who gets blamed when something goes wrong - both? or who did it?

It might work for you. That's the first time I'd done it. If there is a next time, I know what to look for in advance.

Expat2 Posted - 01/16/2008 : 8:10:17 PM
Thanks for the input it has helped clarify my thoughts before a meeting to discuss this. Renee, interesting about the desk organisation - something someone said to me today made me think that I might have to share a desk and the first thing I said was that the other person better be tidy because it will make me mad it they're not. I really want to make it work so a good idea of what does work in these situations as well as what the employer and each employee wants will help on the planning before hiring another person.

Interesting about the trading of days, I see that as a plus but good to note that another person might not like that.

This will be true job sharing one job split between two people.
rknight Posted - 01/16/2008 : 04:56:22 AM
Did it. HATED IT. Now I'm full time and she isn't there.

The other half of my job wasn't very detailed oriented, didn't like to do the "small things" that has to be done - filing, keep desk organized, keeping orders neat, etc. - drove me crazy. I spent most of my time having to clean up after her.

Since we're a manufacturing plant - it was a nightmare - customers, orders and shipping were the main part of our job. Not being very detailed oriented I was having to clean up her orders and call customers back to make sure stuff was right.

Someone had to be there, so when she wasn't there I had to come in. So... guess who? I can understand some - sick kid, something like that, but I started having to work more and more. Then she wanted to trade days. It didn't work for me, so she quite. Now I work full-time.

mokey Posted - 01/15/2008 : 8:55:13 PM
sjanova makes some excellent points. Another important point is what happens when one employee cannot make it in due to illness or appointments. Will the other be automatically expected to come in unscheduled? What happens if one employee wants to do the job full time?

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey

sjanova Posted - 01/15/2008 : 8:47:24 PM
To clarify, you mean you and another person will do the same job half time each, right?

One thing: be sure you and the other person have super and very frequent communication. It helps if you overlap at least half a day. Either similar or at least complementary working styles.

Sometimes it works best if you have similar backgrounds, experience, education, etc. Other times it works well to have very different backgrounds -- to provide a balanced approach to the job. Depends on the job, of course.

You'll have to clarify if you'll be sharing the work space (desk/phone/etc.) or each have her/his own. Separate or the same phone numbers? Shared e-mail or separate?

How will your performance be evaluated? Need to be very clear about the expectations on both sides.

I've never worked this way but have seen it tried. Sometimes it's more having two half time jobs that aren't the same -- just counting full-time-equivalent hours. Other times it is really job sharing, two people doing the same job, each half the time. The real one that worked well (viewed from way outside) had some of the characteristics I mentioned -- overlap about half a day, similar styles, etc. And they were in a management position, too. It was interesting, to say the least.


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