Add This to Your Retention Toolkit: Career Partnerships

We interviewed former Target Corporate leaders Beth Malmin and Angela Detviler and their HealthEast manager John Higgins for This Job Share Team’s Secret to Promotion, and are pleased to partner with the team for our series on career partnerships. 

By Beth Malmin & Angela Detviler, The Career Partners

We’ve all heard the phrase “two minds are better than one,” and we vehemently concur. In fact, we can prove it. We drove results and productivity to organizations as career partners that we never could have delivered solo.

One constant theme is true: We are better together, and it’s our competitive advantage. That very theme catapulted the organizations we’ve worked for.

Career partners Beth Malmin & Angela Detviler stand back-to-back

What is a Career Partnership?

Some 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 partnerships bring 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 greater commitment to the organization and to each other. Partners in a career partnership are aligned in their career goals and create plans for how to achieve them together.

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), and established a consulting business working with 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.  

We are career partners because we are better together.

Career partners Beth Malmin & Angela Detviler collaborate on a change model.

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

The way professionals work is clearly changing, and smart companies must look for ways to continue workforce engagement among diverse wants and needs.

close the talent gap

So, how do career partners contribute to closing the talent gap? As progressive employers know, the talent gap we are experiencing is real and 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 job sharing because career partnerships are better for business.  


Then you’ll love our FREE cheat sheet!free job sharing cheat sheet

This article kicks off Creating, Maintaining, and Leveraging Highly-Successful Career Partnerships, a series for how to build and maintain a successful career partnership.  B&A Consulting Partners is excited to partner with Work Muse, the leading firm on job sharing solutions in the US.

Musings featuring or written by Beth Malmin & Angela Detviler:

Work Muse drives adoption of job sharing in business as a competitive advantage while helping individuals find work-life balance. Join the #JobshareRevolution here.

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