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Civil Service

How to make a job share partnership work

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Diversity and inclusion, Our Civil Service

Job sharers Merran and Verity in the Department for EducationIf you’re working part time job sharing can be a great way to continue or develop your career. But it is a completely different way of working, and making the partnership a success takes time and planning.

The practicalities

Before you start it's worth working through these sorts of questions with your potential job share partner:

  • What are your working patterns? Job shares tend to cover the whole week, for example 2 people working 3 days each, with an overlap day.
  • What are your ambitions and experience?

Everyone’s different

Everyone has different ways of working, job shares with very different styles can work really well but you need to talk about how you work together and have a joint approach:

  • What are your different styles/approaches to work? Do they complement each other?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your instincts on decisions, policy and staffing?

In a successful partnership people won't be able to tell the difference in your roles. Thinking about these sorts of questions before you start will help create a seamless role, but the following are our top tips for creating a successful partnership:

It's not about you, but 'us'

It's one of the hardest things to do but you need to give up your ego about owning the job. Both of you take the credit and share the criticism and it's important not to attribute blame or praise.

Tell us once

If you’re in a “true” job share you will act as one person and aim for a “tell us once” approach. 

Seamless handovers, excellent filing and time management are essential to achieve this.

Working with your team

Be clear how you work with your team, and set out your rules of engagement - both as a partnership and with the team.

Do you act as joint managers for the whole team, split the team up between you?

Do you use a single email address and phone number or are you both copied in? Do you work across the team's portfolio, or take on different projects?  All work well, but only if you set out clear rules at the start.

Ultimately there is an element of luck, using your gut feeling and basically giving things a go. But regular reviews between the two of you and with your manager to check how the job share is working are critical to keep things together.

It does sound like hard work, but there are huge benefits and what's more, no one will care as much about your job as your partner.

If you’ve got any questions you can leave a comment below, or please get in touch via our linkedin group or follow @verity_prime or @deborahbrooksN3 on twitter.

If you are interested in finding out more, why not come to our next event?

The future of flexible working and job sharing in the Civil Service
When: Wednesday 26 November 2014
Time: 9.30 am to 11.45 am
Where: HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards
Click here to register

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  1. Comment by Olufunke Oham posted on

    Thanks Verity.

  2. Comment by Verity Prime posted on

    Hi, I'm sorry we don't have any tickets left at the moment (and a room limit for numbers) but may have people drop out at the last minute if you want to let me have your details email
    We will be tweeting from the event (if you're on twitter) on @csjobshare and if you're at a Department we can see if there's a jobshare or part time network for you to join?

  3. Comment by Olufunke Oham posted on

    I would love attend this event. Is it possible to allocate more tickets. Some of my colleagues are also interested. Thanks