Four things to do when you are ready for job sharing

Are you a working mother/parent looking for a way to reduce your working hours while keeping your career on track? Are you a millennial looking for a greater work-life balance? Do you need more personal time to work on a gig on the side? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then get ready for job sharing!

Job Sharing is a flexible work model in which two “job mates” with common and complementary skills share a full-time job, each on a part-time basis. In other words, same career at reduced working hours (read more about job sharing).

There are generally three paths to job sharing

  1. If you have a job, you may share your job with a compatible job mate.
  2. If you are unemployed, you may find someone who is sharing their job.
  3. Pair up with other unemployed individuals and look for job sharing opportunities together.

Perhaps the most critical factor in a successful job sharing arrangement is finding a compatible job mate; someone who has the right skills for the job, someone with a “we” mentality, someone you can trust and easily work with. Learn more about compatibility of job mates.

There are two sources for job sharing opportunities

  1. An employee may be authorized by their employer to share their job. They can post a job mate position on a job board and look for candidates.
  2. An employer may post a position for a pair of professionals to share a full-time job. You can find both types of job sharing opportunities on Job Pairing, which is a scalable platform, 100% dedicated to finding its members compatible job mates and connecting them with job sharing opportunities.

Four things to do to implement job sharing

1. Get your manager’s support to share your job.

If you are employed, you first need to get your manager’s support to convert your job into a job share position. It will help the discussion if you present a written proposal and justification for the conversion. You can download the Job Share Proposal template here. In companies that offer job sharing as a benefit, it will be very likely that your manager will be supportive of it.

2. Find a compatible job mate.

If you have a colleague or know someone with similar skills and background as yours, that may be a good start for finding a job mate. You need to engage with them to see if they have any interest. Admittedly, you must get very lucky to find a job mate, esp. a compatible job mate, this way.

In addition to that, you can register with Job Pairing to match with other professionals who also want to job share, connect with them, evaluate each other, and pair up to job share.  

View our recommendations and templates to help you with this process. Once you have paired with other professionals, we highly recommend that you and your job mate take Job Pairing’s compatibility test to assess your professional compatibility.

3. Detail a job sharing arrangement that fits both your needs.

It is important for the job mates to agree on a detailed job sharing arrangement describing time split, job split and expectations. Your manager (or the hiring manager) needs to approve this arrangement and be onboard with it. Who does what? Who’s responsible for what? How are decisions made? Shared office space or separate? And more. View our recommendations and templates to help you with this step.

4. Working successfully as a pair

When you start working as a pair, one of the most important aspects is behaving as “one”, and on day 1, you must have already switched to the “we” mentality. The rest of the organization should not be concerned about which of the two job mates they are interfacing with or communicating with, and vice versa. The manager and team members should never repeat a conversation or expectation to the other job mate who was on an off day. Learn more about Working Together as a Pair. 

Final Thoughts

Professionals at all levels (including CEO levels) have used job sharing work model successfully to achieve a greater work-life balance. For many, they have worked together for years resulting in a long lasting friendship. Read a few job sharing success stories.