By Tracy Tanner & Blake Howard Norton, The Accidental Job Share
Job sharers sharing money. It doesn’t get much more personal and intimate than that. As job sharers and business partners, making money and sharing it is something we’re super familiar with. As therapists who also counsel business partners, we help partners maintain a healthy relationship with one another and the overall financial health of their business.
Making money and sharing money
In the last two years, we’ve radically changed the way we interact with money, right down to the way we think about it. And everything comes right back to our relationship. It’s tough because, in the case of money, we’re not just talking about mine and yours. Our business is sort of an unofficial third member of this job share partnership; What’s good for one of us or the other might not be good for the business, and vice versa.
If you’re job sharing for a company, you might be facing a different kind of money talk with your partner. It might encompass how to:
- Structure pay and benefits and whether the percentage is the same and based on hours worked or experience,
- Stretch a salary for one position to cover two working part-time,
- Increase your income with a strategic plan, if commission based, or
- Leverage your productivity and results achieved by job sharing to be promoted as a team. You’ll advance your career and paycheck.
In job sharing, the way businesses may structure pay and benefits for a job share team, is flexible. But regardless of how your pay is structured, we’ve discovered 5 essential tenets to making money work for us in our business, our job share partnership, and our lives.
5 ways to make money work for your job share
Talk it out
We all know you’ve gotta talk about this stuff but that’s easier said than done, right? Instead of telling you what to talk about, here’s how you and your partner can talk about and feel good about the subject most of us find so hard: money.
- Schedule a “bacon and biscuits” chat – Don’t let yourself get caught up and feeling overwhelmed about expenses, income, taxes, wages, distributions… You get the picture. Money might be the thing you dread talking about most with your job share partner. We get it! That means you need to carve out special time with nothing else on the agenda…and then stick to it!
- Treat yo’self during your chat – We like to do our money management talks over a pedi or lunch. Think how productive you’ll feel adulting while doing something that nourishes your body and spirit. Sometimes we break it up by walking to our coffee spot or a longer walk through a cozy neighborhood. Have you ever noticed it’s easier to have the big convos when your body’s in motion and you’re not sitting directly across from one another? Your focus is on the path ahead and your blood’s flowing. Meanwhile, your endorphins fight stress off, leaving you feeling more at ease and clear. Creating the right space for your chat makes a difference.
- Manage money anxiety – Slow down if you feel overwhelm setting in or stress creeping up. Learn to identify your triggers and how to cope with them. Have an agreement ahead of time to take short breaks as needed, tend to the feelings of discomfort as they arrive, and then take a deep breath and step back into the dialogue.
Understand your relationship with money
Our money mindset is our basic set of beliefs and values about money. Our relationship with money develops along with this mindset through our life experiences and human wiring. Think through these questions:
- How were you raised to think and feel about money?
- Were finances discussed in your home? If so how did your parents talk about them? What did or didn’t get said?
- What was the emotional tone of family money talks? Were you included in family money discussions or not?
- What has been your experience as an adult with finances? With your spouse? With your job share partner?
- Where do you feel most anxious or fear-based around money issues?
- Do you find yourself taking financial risks or watching every penny?
- What gives you a feeling of empowerment and confidence around money?
There’s no right or wrong here, but an objective accounting of your own money mindset is a great starting point. You’ll discover how your beliefs and values about money are working for or against you.
Create a shared money mindset
Once you understand your own feelings, beliefs and values about money, learn about your job share partner’s (without judgment!). Think about and talk about the big picture and how you both relate to money. Where are you similar and where do you differ?
The two of us have had some tough and intimate conversations about how our money mindsets impact our financial decisions in the business and also impact how solid (or not!) we feel in our partnership. Owning our own “stuff” and being willing to listen to our partner’s feelings and beliefs from a place of openness, curiosity and compassion makes a meaningful difference in trusting one another implicitly.
From there, work together to create a job share partner money mindset that works for you both. This can include moving from fear of scarcity toward a belief in financial abundance, knowing what one another’s money anxiety triggers are and how to quell those fears, and setting up a structure for how to make big financial decisions that are responsive to your needs versus reactive to your feelings.
Know how your money flows
You’ve got to prioritize money and be in the know about how it’s moving around. Staying in the dark about your finances might work for a short time, but ultimately it will catch up to you. This is the time to recruit a specialist if need be, like a CPA, bookkeeper and financial planner, that can help you understand the ins and outs of money. If you own a business, like us, this part is essential. But even if you are job sharing in the corporate world and don’t have to think about expenses or overhead, you and your job share partner should track your productivity and have goals around money. You will achieve more with clear financial and career objectives.
It’s not really about 50/50
No matter how your pay is structured, just like nearly everything in job sharing, it’s not about striking the perfect, even split. Even if you and your job share partner have the exact same pay and benefits and work the exact same hours, chances are, there are different ways you use your time and money on and off the clock. Just like in a marriage, finding ways to feel like your partnership is equitable rather than exactly equal can lead to feelings of generosity, trust, mutual respect and support.
We regularly review our finances and division of responsibility to ensure we each feel some balance, then make adjustments as needed, without getting too caught up in the dollars and cents of it all.
Job sharing our therapy practice was the best decision we ever made, one that’s given us an appreciation for job share teams in every sector. Our goal is to support your job share partnership’s health and well-being through our personal experience job sharing and counseling partners in life and business. That way, even in the hard areas, like bacon and biscuits, you reap the enormous benefits of job sharing.
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This article is part of a series of how to build and maintain a successful job share business partnership by GT Therapy Group Co-founders & Co-directors Tracy Tanner & Blake Howard Norton.
Musings featuring or written by Tracy Tanner & Blake Howard Norton:
Melissa Nicholson is the Founder & CEO of Work Muse. Work Muse drives the adoption of job sharing in business as a source of competitive advantage while helping individuals find work-life balance. Join the #JobshareRevolution here. Hello@workmuse.com for more info.