Isobel Stephen and Jacinda Humphrey have been job sharing on and off since 2008 in a few different roles and currently share the Department and Business Strategy Director role in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
"For us it is a successful way of working, but there are some golden rules:
- whilst you don't need to know your job share partner before you begin job sharing, you need to have a good vibe about them. If you like, trust and respect them, and your values are aligned, then things will be much easier. It's a positive advantage to choose someone who is different from you;
- don't make any big decision without talking to your partner unless you are absolutely sure you can second guess them;
- but once a decision is made, stick with it as though you'd made it yourself;
- don't try to be identical (that's impossible and not even desirable) but do be consistent;
- pay real attention to making your handovers work – harder to do the Friday/ Monday one because it impinges on the weekend therefore focus on the Wednesday one;
- communicate, communicate, communicate – we speak nearly every day, sometimes several times – but non-work time is more interruptible when you know it's just going to be a quick chat;
- don't worry about leaving your partner a "to do" list;
- be clear with the team and others around you on how the job share will work. Will help it to work and provide reassurance to the team particularly if job sharing is new to people."