Transcript: A Visualization Exercise: What’s It Really Like to Job Share?


MELISSA: Now it’s the end of the day. Time for you to pass the baton to your capable partner. It got here so fast, it always does. You celebrate your wins, encourage one another, and you leave feeling so hopeful. Wednesday is your Friday.


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 INTRO

MELISSA: Well, hello, friend. Welcome back. I am so excited that you are here with me today for this Mindset Minisode. I want to make sure you are not standing in your own way. I know that sounds crazy. You’re thinking Melissa, of course I’m not standing in my own way. There’s a ton of other obstacles in my way, things making it impossible for me to have the work-life balance that I want and I need from making the big moves in my job that I want to make, in my career, the changes that I want to make, the way that I want to work.

But before we do any of that, we really have to do the internal work. So I want to talk to you about something that paralyzes a lot of us, myself included—fear. And when we think about job sharing, a lot of fear seeps in. What will my manager think of me wanting to job share? Will they even know what it is? How will I approach them? What will people think when I tell them I want to work this way? Will they think I’m crazy when I ask them to be my work partner. Will they think I’m less committed, that I’m a part-timer, that I am not fully in the game? What will someone ask when I approach them, and, I want to ask them if they will be my job share partner?

The only way to work through these fears and to make sure you are not standing in your own way is to address them beforehand. Because the last thing you want, is for you to be the person standing in your way of working in a way that fully supports your professional and personal life, so you can bring the very best version of yourself to each, and be happier in both than you ever imagined. I know I say that a lot, but it’s frickin’ true.

Here’s what I want you to do; I want you to visualize your job share. What will it look like? If you’re like me, you’ve worked really hard to get to where you are. You’ve planned your life and career and, you feel very competent in your job. You’re a go-getter. You’re that person who can always be trusted and counted on. How would it feel to give up control and trust that your partner has everything covered when you are job sharing? So this part can be really, really hard for people who want to job share. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t job share. It’s actually part of the reason why you’re the perfect person to job share. But how would it feel to give up control and trust?

So I’m going to take you through a visualization exercise today, and you can also download this exercise in the show notes so that you have it there, in writing. And you can do it with me. But go with me—I want you to close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you as I take you through this exercise to visualize what job sharing can look like for you. Let your thoughts come in. Don’t judge them and let them go out again.

Okay, here we go. I want you to first think about going to work. When you get there, you’ve got a Voxer or a voicemail from your awesome job share partner waiting for you with everything that you need to motivate you to start your week off right, including a big dose of encouragement and support, and a little extra side of love. Maybe there’s a notebook with a strategic and doable list of action items to accomplish in your next three efficient, focused work days. You can almost hear your partner’s voice in your ear, guiding the way. You probably even miss them a bit. You’ve got your coffee, kombucha, or smoothie—whatever you prefer— and you hit the ground running. There’s no water cooler, no long lunches, no skipping out for doctor’s appointments, errands, or other distractions. Just focused and productive work. It feels so satisfying. You check off your big goals for the week as you reach them, and those smaller items that get you to your weekly goals. You flag emails, update project management software, or other tools to alert your partner of the tasks you have achieved.

Tuesday’s here and you’re wrapping up for the day. You can’t wait to see your partner in the morning and tell them all you’ve accomplished for the week. After all, you only get to see them one day a week, even though you had each task and goal with them in mind wanting to do them, your team, and the company right. Now it’s Wednesday morning, it’s your Friday. Can you even flippin’ and believe it?

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—whichever it is. If you’re the beginning of the week, Wednesday is your new Friday. If you’re at the end of the week, Wednesday is your new Monday. I know! You don’t even feel tapped and run down like you usually do five days in as people check out for the weekend. You’ve got no need to check out. Maybe you have your weekly team meeting first thing, and then, you’re hand over run down with your partner to share all you’ve completed the past two days. What you’ll dive in and conquer today are where you’re going to synergize, whether that’s a meeting, closing a big deal, or a presentation you’re giving together. You’re excited. You feel that surge of energy that comes from hitting success as a team.

Maybe you talk through challenges or problems and devise solutions together. Their strengths and knowledge base are invaluable to your team’s success. It’s what makes you so good—a super team. You get going very quickly. In fact, you cannot believe how much you are able to cram into Wednesdays. It’s crazy how much you can accomplish and how fast Wednesdays zoom by. You take some time for an off-campus lunch and check in where you talk through the real things—kids, family, your lives—and you get back to it, ready to slay. Now it’s the end of the day, time for you to pass the baton to your capable partner. It got here so fast. It always does. You celebrate your wins, encourage one another, and you leave feeling so hopeful for what next week at work will bring.

Wednesday is your Friday. Thursday you wake up. It doesn’t take a full day to decompress and shake off work. You don’t check your work email, your partner’s doing that. You get up and maybe you hit the yoga class at the coffee shop down the street. That’s what I did. And you spend a day just for you. Maybe your little ones are in daycare on Thursdays like mine were so you can take dance or acting classes, like I did. Catch up on putting photo albums together or home projects. Get all those unpaid household labor chores done without distraction. Or maybe,  you just rest. Can you imagine having a day to do whatever it is that you want to do? Whatever fills your bucket.

Friday is here. And then the weekend you don’t even think about work. Your partner and you have a system for answering a quick question for the big decisions if needed. So you’ve got the time and the space to hit the zoo. Go to the park, get out of town for a fun day trip, even. You can be fully present with those that you love the very most. Maybe you volunteer, do a little paddle boarding to renew, or anything else you like. You are not missing the moments anymore, my friend. You move slowly and you notice that the world moves slowly too during the weekdays. Sunday rolls around and you are pumped. The Sunday Scaries are a thing of the past, you don’t even know what those are anymore. You’ve even had a few “aha’s”  or an idea that you’ve brainstormed the past four days because you’ve finally had the time and space away from work for creativity to seep in.

Think about it, we live in a world that is constantly vying for every second of our attention. When you have that time and that space away from email, your phone, notifications, all of those things, you can actually brainstorm creative solutions to work problems that you have on your time off. It actually makes work fun again. Your job share partner makes your job fun again, that’s a given. But having that space away from work makes going back to work fun again. You can’t wait to walk in that door and see all that your amazing partner did to set up your team for success the week before. Everyone else has the Sunday Scaries before going to work on Monday, not you. You bring vitality and an energy end that lifts your entire team, your manager, your clients, and every person who works with you. Your energy is contagious and you can’t wait for the week to begin. That’s what it’s like.

How was that for you? Can you see yourself working this way? Job sharing? When fear creeps in when you are sharing this new way to work with your boss or someone you want a job share with, and you start to take the steps to create your job share, I want you to harness this visualization.

Save it in your phone so you can come back to it, listen to it again, and use it to keep your eye on the job share ball. This is what it’s like to job share. No B.S. So make a promise that nobody, not even you, your own fear, is going to stand in your way of working differently and finding true work-life balance.

Can you do me a favor? If you’ve got a friend who is looking for a better work-life balance,  maybe someone who shared how much they are struggling with burnout too, can you share this episode with them? And if you’re looking for a community of like-minded folks who value flexibility and their careers, join us inside of the Job Share, Live Life + Slay Work Facebook community. You’ll find so much support and love in that group. Thanks for joining me here today for our Mindset Minisode.

I’ll see you next week for a lesson that I know will take you one step closer to job sharing. Until then, take this episode with you. Listen to it whenever you need a boost. Know that you can make this happen and fear is not going to stand in your way.

If you’d like to grab the free visualization exercise resource I created to accompany episode six, go to workmuse dot com forward slash six.

Okay, friend. See you next Thursday. Same time, same place. Bye for now.

Leave a reply