What You Don’t Know About Job Sharing. Or Me.

It’s your time…You’ve heard about job sharing (kind of). And you might know me, and that I experienced actual, real work-life balance job sharing for years starting when my daughter was six months old.

Here’s our formal definition if you need a quick cliff note: Job sharing is a partnership between two people to share the responsibilities of one full-time position.

But here’s what you don’t know about job sharing Or me. 

By job sharing, I:

career-self-family

  • Worked three days a week, enjoyed one full day to myself (for errands, yoga, DIY projects, and don’t shoot me, matinee chick flix and in-store try-on-the-clothes shopping), and had three days to fully engage with my family.  And occasionally, I would pick up one kiddo for a one-on-one mom date kayaking on Lady Bird Lake on my “me” day.

remained an equal breadwinner with benefits

  • Got full-time benefits and split my commissions 50/50, and that while not all job share partners receive full-time benefits, many do.

could take 2 weeks off guilt-free, without work pileup or burning vacay days

  • And my partner each worked three consecutive days with one day of overlap, which gave us a secret vacation perk! I could take a week off, then we could trade our workweek the second week giving me a full two weeks of vacation!! The employer advantage? My company only missed an employee for two days!

actually unplugged 4 days a week

  • Never checked my work email on my four “off” days. If my partner needed a quick brainstorm or there was a big decision to be made, she would text me and vice versa, which happened maybe twice a month.

was 100% interchangeable with my partner

  • And my job share partner were so in sync that we could almost channel what the other would do. People saw us as completely interchangeable and sometimes they would actually call us “job share”, which slightly annoyed me.

LOVEd working with my awesome partner

  • Had a supportive partner who ALWAYS had my back, made my job the most fun ever, and who made me better than I could ever, ever be on my own.  The relationship became equally as important as the flexibility I found job sharing.

could rest free when life threw me a curveball

  • Found in a time of family crisis, my job share partner would save the day! My partner took work off my plate or vice versa, so we could focus on our family until we all pulled through and could return to work with focus and clarity.

had 4 job share partners who made me better

  • Had four partners over the years and every partner I worked with made me better at my job. I learned from their strengths, which were different from mine, and those combined strengths made us one super-employee…

to become a total badass in my job

  • Which meant we were leaders in our field as consistent top billers making between $1.2 and $1.4 million for our company every year.

put in the work to make it all work

  • Learned that job sharing is not always easy; it requires work on the front-end to get the team off to a strong start. And, it requires regular check-ups to make sure the partnership is healthy.  This is something I learned over time.

learned how to create happy job shares

  • Started job sharing with stars in my eyes for my infant knowing little about what makes for a strong job share team. But throughout the years, I learned more and more about creating strong job share teams. I saw how incredible the job share relationship is, one that job sharers describe to me as “intimate”, which always makes me smile because I completely get it.

Aside from all of that, you may not know that I threw myself into a year-long research dive, interviewed job share teams near and far, and developed the first-ever training for job sharing to spread the practice so others could experience the most rewarding experience of their lives job sharing too.

work muse will hold your hand:

My goal is to guide you through the process to ensure the most rewarding job sharing experience. Our hands-on program taken in a supportive cohort will help you:

  • Find the right job share partner
  • Build the business case and create your Job Share Proposal 
  • Get the green light for your job share with the salary and benefits you need
  • Create your Job Share Agreement to set the parameters and protect the partnership
  • Develop seamless communication and handover strategies
  • Understand how to work with stakeholders as a job share
  • Utilize effective tools to make your job share transition smooth and help you work through everyday challenges.

I am committed to helping you keep your career on track while finding true work-life balance in a successful job share.

Learn more about the first-ever job share training program and join our waitlist for Job Share Academy!


This article appeared previously on Linked In.

Melissa Nicholson is the Founder & CEO of Work Muse, a job share solutions firm. Job sharing is a partnership between two people to share the responsibilities of one full-time position. Work Muse drives adoption of job sharing in business as a source of competitive advantage while helping individuals find work-life balance. Join the #JobshareRevolution here –– events, resources, and relevant content to empower you in work and life! For more info, hello@workmuse.com.

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