Transcript: How to Banish Burnout Applying Job Share Principles

Melissa Nicholson

MELISSA NICHOLSON: Job sharing is Quiet Quitting’s  Kryptonite. Whether you’re actually job sharing in your job at work or not, I’m going to lay out the steps that you can apply to your life today using job share principles at home and at work.


INTRO: Welcome to Job Share Revolution. The show about job sharing—a partnership between two people to bring two minds and skill sets to one full-time position. I’m Melissa Nicholson, former job sharer turned founder of the first U.S. job share company. But it wasn’t long ago that I felt like an utter failure at work and as a new parent. Job sharing was my game-changer. I reclaimed four days a week to fully engage in my life while my capable partner handled everything. Together, we achieved more than I ever could solo. Fast forward to many lessons learned to bring you the training and support I wish I’d had to change lives and the modern-day workplace. Let’s live life and slay work.


MELISSA: Welcome back! I’m so excited you’re here for Jobshare Revolution and our mindset minisode. So these minisodes are specifically designed to help you get in the right mindset to make your big work and life changes. I think it’s really important that we take the time to focus on who we want to be.

Let’s just be really honest. The last couple of years have been a lot on a lot of people, and perhaps no one more than women, especially women caregivers and especially women caregivers of color. So, it’s really important that we get our minds in the right space when making any kind of changes in our lives or the way that we work. I’m really excited about the mindset exercise that I want to do with you guys today, and what that can mean for you.

In 2022, according to a Deloitte global survey of five thousand women, more than half of the women in the country planned to quit their jobs in the next two years. Unbelievably, 53% of those women said they felt more stressed than one year ago—with burnout being the number one factor. And I don’t know about you, but it makes so much sense. Nothing has really changed in our lives as far as the support systems we have in place. We’ve had to do those things internally, ourselves. And it’s a lot of work.

I have a confession to make. While educating companies has always been an important part of the Work Muse mission, it was always you who inspired me the very most. You, the go getter, busting it in a workplace never built for you. You, the caregiver, the system breaker, the savvy life prioritizer. You see, I am you. As Out of Office co-author Anne Helen Petersen observes in her Culture Study newsletter, “Years in, and without a social safety net, we are worn thin, treading water, feeling utterly demoralized, unable to do our job well at work as family members or as humans even.”

Anne’s keen observation on how we have become the safety net for others, despite the fact that we are floundering forward, has been swirling around in my head, and I’m giving you permission to say it out loud.

In 2021, my mom showed up on my doorstep. And instantly, in a moment, I became her only caregiver as we discovered that she had Alzheimer’s disease. That was a lot.

While you’re getting intentional about who you want to be and how you want to show up, so am I. So I’m leaving behind my wounds, wearing it all on my sleeve, and being the dutiful daughter. I’m putting myself first, my family first, then my friends and my mom. We don’t have to tread water any longer. We can be one another’s life savers. I intend to be kinder to myself, to my family and friends—because we have been through a lot.

More than half of the women in the country plan to quit their jobs. I get it, I had school-aged kids during the pandemic when I got whammied hard-core by next-level aging parent caregiving. We all went through a lot. On top of that, nothing was predictable, but one thing was glaringly apparent. Schools were our only social safety net in the U.S. and without reliable schools, moms were the safety net. We were the safety net. Women are more than burnt out; frankly, they’re fried. And they’re no longer afraid to say and get what they need at work, or else sayonara, adios, outta here. I don’t blame them one little bit.

But if quitting isn’t an option right now or you’re looking for a way to refill your cup at work, I want to share something that’s worked for me: applying job share principles at work and home. I’m going to say this once and I’m going to scream it from the rafters—job sharing is Quiet Quitting’s Kryptonite. Whether you’re actually job sharing in your job at work or not, I’m gonna lay out the steps that you can apply to your life today using job share principles at home and at work.

The first one is to understand that it’s not quiet quitting, it’s boundaried working. Be open, clear, and transparent about how you get work done, and what your working hours are. Delegate the tasks that you can and trust others to complete them.

Are you ready for step two? It’s a good one. You’re going to apply job share principles at home with your parenting partner and your kids. Share the load based on what members of your household like doing, what they can do—especially if it’s your kids—and what can they do well. Then, it’s up to you to give them the grace and let them do it their way, even if it’s not your way.

And in your third step, there’s one option that will immediately banish burnout permanently. Sharing the load with a supportive job share partner so you can rest, recharge, and return every single week actually excited to be there, brimming with ideas and ready to slay.

So whether you’re ready to apply job sharing in your workplace or not, you can take the job share principles and have a job share mindset and apply that to your life-life with the people who are in your life. It will teach you so much, and when you are ready to job share, you’re going to know exactly how to do it. 

Because here’s the truth, when you apply the job share principles at home, you set up an equal co-parenting relationship within your home. One where every member of your home is sharing the load, trusting one another, and is just an overall happier family unit. So there it is, that’s your Mindset Minisode for today. So I know this podcast is job sharing-centric. Duh!

But what I want to impart on you more than anything is that job sharing is a way of life. You can apply it in every area of your life—volunteer roles, at home, at work, board work, if you have a business. All it is is working with a supportive partner so that you actually have the space and the time you need to rest and recharge.

So I’m super excited about our guest in this next episode. She’s a working mom who faced some incredible challenges during the pandemic, as we all did. She has young kids who needed a lot of support during the pandemic and still need a lot of support, and really, she was just at the end of her rope at work.

I just can’t wait to introduce you. Her name is Karen and she is going to read you her resignation letter, and I think it will freakin’ blow your mind. So that is what we have to look forward to. And until then, I really hope that you enjoyed this minisode. If you did, I’d love it if you’d share it with a friend and someone who really needs a little extra support and a little help getting their mindset in the right place and figuring out, “How do we be one another’s safety net?” If we don’t have a safety net out there from the structures in place, how do we be the safety net for one another without burning ourselves out, but actually recharging, in the process? That’s a huge goal, but it’s totally doable.

I also want to share one more thing. We have an amazing guide for job sharing—it’s The Work Muse Guide to Job Sharing, and it is the blueprint for how to create your successful job share. I’m going to link to it in the show notes so make sure that you grab it, devour it, and know that there is so much goodness ahead. It will give you a hint for what our program Job Share Academy looks like and the roadmap to how I help you create your own job share. There’s no one more capable to creating the life that you love and the work that you love, than you. So there’s no one more important to empower in this process, not even employers, than you—the person who wants a better work-life balance.

So until next week, I’ll be sending you a lot of love my friend, and hope this has been helpful for you. Bye for now.

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