Add This Proven Tool to Your Organization’s Retention Toolkit: Career Partnerships

We had the privilege to interview former Target corporate senior leaders Beth Malmin & Angela Detviler and their HealthEast senior manager John Higgins for This Job Share Team’s Secret to Promotion, and are pleased to partner with the team for our career partnership series.

By Beth Malmin & Angela Detviler

We’ve all heard the phrase: “two minds are better than one.”  Nobody is better suited to vehemently concur with that statement more than us.  In fact, we can prove it.  The results and productivity we’ve driven to organizations as career partners could have never been delivered if it was just one of us.

One constant theme is true: we are better together; it’s our competitive advantage.

It’s that very theme that has catapulted the organizations with which we’ve worked.

What is a Career Partnership?

Many people have heard of job sharing, a partnership between two people to share the responsibilities of one full-time position, but few have heard of career partnerships. Career partnership brings job sharing to a whole new level. Instead of focusing on the division of one role for the duration of time that the job share is in place, career partnerships foster commitment… to the organization and to each other.  Partners in a career partnership are aligned in career goals and create plans for how to achieve those goals.  

In our experience, the approach of establishing, planning and living our career partnership has brought us many places professionally: we’ve navigated leader roles at a Fortune 50 company, completely redesigned organizational structures (including a team we co-led), established a consulting business, and contracted work through many organizations.  We’ve saved organizations millions of dollars through project and change work, led and coached teams to optimal performance, and developed a change model to which we anchor our work. The milestones we’ve achieved since joining forces as career partners could never have been accomplished alone.  

There are multiple benefits we personally receive because of our career partnership, flexibility of schedule being one, but it’s not the primary reason why we do it.

Career Partnerships are Better for Business

We are career partners because we are better together.  

Two people partnering together to achieve holistic outcomes is not a new concept. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak leveraged their unique skills to establish Apple. Michael Eisner and Frank Wells successfully revitalized Disney. When we collaborate in the workplace, we seek others’ input and expertise, while leveraging and depending on each other’s unique capabilities.  

Beth & Angela collaborate on a change model

Companies we work with net so much more than what they would if it were only one of us. We’ve heard time and time again from leaders: “I pay for one, but the net quality and quantity of work my organization receives is so much more than two.”

The way in which professionals work is clearly changing, and companies must be looking for ways to continue the engagement of their workforce with diverse wants and needs.

We are career partners because we are better together.

So, how do career partners contribute to Closing the Talent Gap?

As progressive employers know, the talent gap we are experiencing as a culture is real and it’s getting wider every day.  Developing and cultivating career partnerships is one tool to leverage when planning creatively about how to attract and retain talent.

As career partners, we have no intention of stopping the way in which we choose to work.  We advocate for it because career partnerships are better for business.  


This article kicks off a series of how to build and maintain a successful career partnership.  B&A Consulting Partners is based out of Minneapolis, MN, and is excited to partner with Work Muse, the leading firm on job sharing solutions in the US, on this series!

Work Muse drives adoption of job sharing in business as a competitive advantage while helping individuals find work-life balance. Join the #JobshareRevolution here –– events, resources, and relevant content to empower you in work and life! For more info, hello@workmuse.com.

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