There are moments in life when you find an instant connection with someone who bursts into your orbit. In this case, it was two someones—GX2—Gabriela Mercado and Gabriela Proctor. The decade-long Univision job share partners recently transitioned to co-founders of GX2 Media to make an even greater impact for their clients.
I like people who don’t keep a good thing to themselves but let others in on the secret. GX2 embodies this. First featured in Work Muse’s Job Share Project, the team soon led Work Muse workshop Q&As and now, Work Muse contributors. That last bit took a little coaxing. I thought I deftly pitched their series. However, I soon realized the team, who only gives 100%, worried writing in their second language might be a challenge.
As in the case of job sharers everywhere, we put our heads together—because three brains are better than one—and got creative! Work Muse interviews, GX2 shares!
We’re bFfs, but you don’t have to be. How to find your job share partner
By Gabriela Mercado & Gabriela Proctor
it could be better for boundaries if you don’t know the person.
Gabriela M: In our case, Gaby and I were both in the same industry and were already best friends. It’s funny because I think we were more at risk by job sharing since we didn’t know how it might go. So, I don’t think being friends is a requirement at all. In fact, it’s probably far better if you don’t actually know the person because you can be clear about your boundaries. We were extremely lucky.
shared values and respecting why you are job sharing is key.
What you need to look for is sharing the same values in life. Equally, it’s important to understand why you each want to job share and respecting that of each other. Again, it’s clarity—knowing we are doing this and why it’s important—so that I will do my best for myself and my job share partner.
It’s never a perfect match. It’s a work in progress. You’ll always need to fine-tune your job share.
different approaches are fine, but chemistry matters.
Gabriela P: I think personality-wise, you need to click with that person. Besides my husband, the person that I trust the most is Gaby. That level of trust is the same as it would be with a spouse because it’s your income, your business, your money. So you need to make sure you trust that person at the same level you would with someone you would be married to. It has to be personality-wise just like friends and co-workers. You need chemistry. The way you deal with your clients and your co-workers needs to be similar. We have different approaches but at the end of the day, we have the same values behind those approaches. So I think a similar values approach is important.
your partner can be outside of your organization.
Gabriela M: Ask around—it’s as simple as that. For example, right now, we know someone who really needs a job share.
Gabriela P: And she doesn’t even know that she needs it! It doesn’t need to be somebody from within your organization, it can be outside of your organization. But ask around!
It’s just like dating. Put yourself out there!
be vocal that you want to job share and know that your reason does not matter.
Gabriela M: I guess in our case it was so easy because we had young kids, but maybe you want to get a masters or travel or have the flexibility for whatever reason. You need to be vocal. It’s not going to make you weak if you are finding a job share partner. It doesn’t mean that you are less committed, because maybe that’s a fear, that they will think that you are less committed to the work. It’s not true.
Work Muse: It’s definitely a fear.
Gabriela M: You are committed to your life and you want everything to work. In our case, we are giving more to our job three days a week than when we worked for five days. It’s smarter too. You start thinking, “Is this really effective or am I going to do my three days and really focus and make us money?”
Gx2’s 4 action items to find your partner:
Work Muse: So you’re advice on finding that person is:
- Look and let it be known you want to job share
- Ask people in your network,
- Know you don’t have to be exactly alike and know that
- Your partner does not need to be your best friend.
Gabriela P: It’s never a perfect match. It’s a work in progress. You’ll always need to fine-tune your job share.
Work Muse: With partner check-ins to make sure everybody is feeling good and everything is well with your stakeholders.
network in online and in-person groups to find your partner
Gabriela M: And you exist NOW! When we started job sharing, there was no one like you. So Work Muse is a resource for people who would like to job share. You’re like match dot com with your facebook group.
Gabriela P: Honestly, you have to start looking into those groups. Groups that are already looking for flexible work. That’s how you can find your match.
Work Muse: So networking within Meetup groups
Gabriela P: Yes! It’s just like dating. Put yourself out there!
GX2: (In unison) And don’t discriminate!
Work Muse: Because you’re going to narrow your selection of who that partner can be by saying they aren’t a mother, they’re not a working mom.
Gabriela P: They don’t have to be.
use personality tests for compatibility but know you don’t need to be identical
Gabriela M: And going back to you, you have personality tests. Work Muse has so much that wasn’t available when we started job sharing.
Work Muse: But even with your advice—
- Go with your gut,
- Make sure you’re compatible with the person, and that you
- Have a similar approach, philosophy, and value-set
—you don’t have to be identical.
Gabriela P: Exactly.
know it’s not forever, but take the leap of faith anyway!
Gabriela M: And just know that, if for some reason it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that your job life is done. It’s not like you can never go back to work full-time, that’s always going to be available for you. Have that leap of faith. Try it. Love it. Then, be there forever.
Know that you can always go back. It doesn’t mean that you are signing it in blood and then you are done.
pilot your job share and know a work culture shift is on the rise
Work Muse: What about piloting your job share with your employer?
Gabriela P: We were just with a client and he was talking about how hard it is to hire people. Recently, he started doing a three-month test to see if it works for well for both employer-employee. No hard feelings if it doesn’t work out. People get so serious about their jobs.
Work Muse: The partner is a barrier for every single person. Even if they’re a great fit for job sharing, they can’t see who that person is going to be.
Gabriela M: There’s another girl that job shares in our industry who has another interest and is a trainer. It’s just a shift in culture.
Work Muse: In Switzerland, they say “slash careers”—job share and work part-time in two careers. One may be your passion project career.
Gabriela P: You can always say, “I might need to job share for X amount of time in my life.” Know that you can always go back. It doesn’t mean that you are signing it in blood and then you are done.
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This article is part of a series from sales and marketing job share leaders Gabriela Proctor & Gabriela Mercado.
Musings featuring or written by Gabriela Proctor & Gabriela Mercado:
- Meet GX2: Univision Job Share Team
- 8 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Asking to Job Share
- 7 Ways to Teach Stakeholders to Work with Your Job Share
Melissa Nicholson job shared for nearly a decade and 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.