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Meeting your Potential Job Share Partner:
  Topics to Cover

The first meeting between potential job share partners will be a lot like an interview for both parties. You need to approach the discussion openly and honestly.  You must be compatible to be successful and you must be able to negotiate and work through issues.  Communication is a big part of the equation, obviously, so you might as well start now.  Know what you are looking for from this partnership and be real. 

The following are some guidelines for topics to cover before you make a decision. And remember, you aren't the only ones who will want to know how the job share will work: Employers will want to know that the details are worked out as well!! And they WILL be asking!

  1. Share Your Resumes: This is a great ice-breaker and can lead you through a discussion of qualifications and past experience. It will be important to look not only for similarities but for key differences. If, as job share partners, you can demonstrate a more diverse skill set to potential employers this will be to your advantage. You can potentially be even more marketable as a team.
  2. Discuss Career Goals: Where does career fit in the scheme of your life right now and in the future? Where would you like to be in 10 years? What kind of work ethic do you have?  Remember, you will be moving up the ladder or staying where you are as a team!
  3. Communicate about Communication: What are your expectations for communication with your job partner? How will you facilitate good communication? Will you be available by alpha-pager when you are not at work, will you have a hand off period each week or day, how will you introduce yourselves to clients and co-workers. How will you provide seamless coverage? You will not be successful if you find yourself constantly saying, "Gee, I don't know, we'll have to wait until my partner gets in."
  4. Hash out a Work Schedule: Will you split hours equally? Will one of you work week A and one Week B or will you each work half a week? Will one work each morning and one the afternoon or will you split the time by days; Monday-Wednesday at noon for one partner; Wednesday noon to Friday for the second or will you intermingle the days. If the employer will allow some overlap time, when will that be?
  5. How flexible can you be: If one partner has a last minute emergency or relatives in from out of town can you switch days? Can it happen on short notice? Will you take advantage of it or are you basically committed to working your normal schedule?
  6. Coverage For Time Off: How will you cover for each other when one is on vacation? What if one partner has to take a leave?
  7. How will Responsibilities be Shared: Answering this question will be very specific to the job. If you plan to run your job share seamlessly you will both be equally responsible for all duties. If one partner is stronger in a particular area you may want to have that person take care of those responsibilities. You need to make sure that you are both comfortable that work is distributed fairly over time. At a minimum use each other as a resource for information.
  8. Sharing ! Can you easily share credit with your partner? Can you take constructive feedback? Can you give positive feedback when it is warranted? Teamwork on the job is always difficult and, as adults, we often find it difficult to learn from each other. In a job share situation, you will each be dependent on the quality of work of the other. If you see a need for improvement you need to be comfortable sharing that information. And you need to be able to take suggestions without being defensive. You need to both be open to learning from each other.
  9. Some Things Will Be Different: Can you let go of some of the work? You will need to trust your partner. They may not do something exactly the way you would have. As long as the work is acceptable, this needs to be okay. The goal must be for the team to optimize work efficiency and to provide the best quality work possible while equally sharing work.

Additional pages that you may find of interest:

Maintaining a Healthy Job Share Partner Relationship

Job Share Partner Search for Job Sharing

Job sharing Challenges









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