The first meeting between potential job share partners will be a lot like an
interview for both parties. You need to approach the discussion openly and
honestly. You must be compatible to be successful and you must be able to
negotiate and work through issues. Communication is a big part of the
equation, obviously, so you might as well start now. Know what you are
looking for from this partnership and be real.
The following are some guidelines for topics to cover before you make a
decision. And remember, you aren't the only ones who will want to know how the
job share will work: Employers will want to know that the details are worked out
as well!! And they WILL be asking!
Share Your Resumes
: This is a great ice-breaker and can lead you
through a discussion of qualifications and past experience. It will be
important to look not only for similarities but for key differences. If, as
job share partners, you can demonstrate a more diverse skill set to potential
employers this will be to your advantage. You can potentially be even more
marketable as a team.
Discuss Career Goals:
Where does career fit in the scheme of your life
right now and in the future? Where would you like to be in 10 years? What kind
of work ethic do you have? Remember, you will be moving up the ladder or
staying where you are as a team!
Communicate about Communication:
What are your expectations for
communication with your job partner? How will you facilitate good communication?
Will you be available by alpha-pager when you are not at work, will you have a
hand off period each week or day, how will you introduce yourselves to clients
and co-workers. How will you provide seamless coverage? You will not be
successful if you find yourself constantly saying, "Gee, I don't know,
we'll have to wait until my partner gets in."
Hash out a Work Schedule:
Will you split hours equally? Will one of you
work week A and one Week B or will you each work half a week? Will one work each
morning and one the afternoon or will you split the time by days;
Monday-Wednesday at noon for one partner; Wednesday noon to Friday for the
second or will you intermingle the days. If the employer will allow some overlap
time, when will that be?
How flexible can you be:
If one partner has a last minute emergency or
relatives in from out of town can you switch days? Can it happen on short
notice? Will you take advantage of it or are you basically committed to working
your normal schedule?
Coverage For Time Off:
How will you cover for each other when one is on
vacation? What if one partner has to take a leave?
How will Responsibilities be Shared:
Answering this question will be
very specific to the job. If you plan to run your job share seamlessly you will
both be equally responsible for all duties. If one partner is stronger in a
particular area you may want to have that person take care of those
responsibilities. You need to make sure that you are both comfortable that work
is distributed fairly over time. At a minimum use each other as a resource for
Can you easily share credit with your partner? Can you take
constructive feedback? Can you give positive feedback when it is warranted?
Teamwork on the job is always difficult and, as adults, we often find it
difficult to learn from each other. In a job share situation, you will each be
dependent on the quality of work of the other. If you see a need for improvement
you need to be comfortable sharing that information. And you need to be able to
take suggestions without being defensive. You need to both be open to learning
from each other.
Some Things Will Be Different:
Can you let go of some of the
will need to trust your partner. They may not do something exactly the way you
would have. As long as the work is acceptable, this needs to be okay. The goal
must be for the team to optimize work efficiency and to provide the best quality
work possible while equally sharing work.