Have you ever felt so overloaded with work, second jobs, family, children, hobbies, and activities, that you ask yourself, “Is even possible and healthy to keep doing what I am doing?” I know I have. As I have spoken to more people, I have found that my situation is not particularly unique. I just wished that there were two of me to take care of all the responsibilities I had.
Five years ago, I became a single parent of a three-year-old girl. As many people know, there are many challenges associated with being a single parent, and one of those is finding the time to spend with your children. I owned my own business, and it was a business built out of passion; however, in time, due to economic conditions, it began requiring extensive travel to grow and maintain the customer base. I quickly realized that this would be unsustainable to continue to run the company and raise a child at that time. I knew I needed to search for a buyer of my business; I also started a new business and began researching MBA programs.
I soon found myself in a situation that I felt to be unique at the time. I had just started my first semester in my MBA program after being out of school for thirteen years. While the course work and workload were challenging enough, I also faced the challenges of rebuilding academic study habits and everything associated with becoming a student again. During this time, I was also still in the process of selling the business I had built over the previous thirteen years, was also running another relatively new company, and was also a single parent to a, now, five-year-old girl.
As I adapted to being a student again, and the first semester went on, I felt that I was adequately balancing school, work, and parenting. However, as time moved on, things began to change. I started getting less sleep, not eating as well, feeling more challenged with completing my school work, not performing as well at work, and unfortunately not being as great of a parent that I knew I could be. In an effort to do it all, I was only fulfilling my obligations at 75% of what I knew I was capable of. While I did know that things would ease up in time once the business sold and when my MBA was completed in two years, I didn’t know what to do now. I found myself overworked lying awake at night, wishing that there were two of me to handle all of the responsibility. I wanted to feel that I was giving 100% in all areas of my life.
I began researching possible solutions to my situation and came across the concept of job sharing. Job sharing splits a full-time position between two people to reduce working hours without sacrificing career continuity. People job share to create flexibility and work-life balance to focus attention on other important aspects of life, such as taking care of children and family members, going back to school, or pursuing a new idea. This is precisely what I needed!
Unfortunately, my excitement soon faded, because the articles I read were primarily from European and Australian publications where job sharing has been fully adopted. However, I did find that some of the most progressive companies in the United States use the job-sharing model. The only problem was that I was geographically constrained and could not move. Also, how would I even be able to find another person to share my job?
Fast forward to today. I graduated from my MBA program in the spring of 2019, and the business sold. My time has been drastically freed up. I made it through. Some days I didn’t know how I was able to keep going, but I did. You may be wondering why I am sharing this with you? Well, I recently stumbled upon the first job-sharing platform in the United States, jobpairing.com.
The company states: “When talented professionals want to continue their career but are passionate about schedule flexibility and finding balance in their life, our pairing process begins. Job sharing is a professional arrangement in which a full-time job is split between two individuals—or job mates—each responsible for the success of the job as a whole. Our mission is to help you find your ideal job mate. Once paired, we help you connect and present your joint proposal to companies eager to recruit and retain top talent.”
This is EXACTLY what I needed three years ago, a job-sharing platform that matches potential job mates through a combination of more than 10 data points, location, preferences, and compatibility. While I am not currently sharing a job, I am pleased to have found this resource If I ever find myself in the position I was previously in.
As I said before, I know the situation I found myself in is not particularly unique. Millions of people have similar situations where they feel like they just can’t do it all. Is job sharing right for you? If you think it might be, you are now fortunate enough to have a resource to make that possibility a reality.