Merran Hilton and Verity Prime, job share partners at the Department for Education, share their tips for making a successful partnership.
Verity Prime from the Jobshare Working Group reports on the inaugural Jobshare event, hosted by Sir Bob Kerslake in June 2014.
When the Government Office network was abolished, and we both applied for the same position in the newly created Local Intelligence Team in the office of Civil Society (Cabinet Office), we were offered the post on a job-share basis. We are part of a team of 9, with 1 colleague based in each of the other 7 English regions and we have an outward facing role, engaging with stakeholders from voluntary and community sector organisations, local authorities and business across the whole of the South West.
My husband and I have been job-sharing the role of Ambassador in Armenia for the past two years. We decided to use the format pioneered by the first couple to job-share the head of post role – four months on/off – and have found this has worked very well, for us, for the Embassy team and for our wider external contacts. It is a long enough period to see a lot of decisions/ business through and to (re)establish yourself as the person in the hot seat; but it is not so long that you lose touch with the key issues or the key people.
I’m a big fan of job shares – so am delighted this network has been established. I was recently involved with some work on getting more women into senior positions in the civil service. One of the major issues we identified was managers not understanding the benefits of having jobsharers working for them – and not thinking creatively enough about how they can design jobs to suit jobsharers.
Work to live or live to work? It’s a sad indictment of modern living but many people feel the latter best describes their situation.
Not me though. I have a job share partner or as she likes to jest, a work-wife. And much like a marriage, job sharing requires commitment, loyalty and a healthy dose of honesty. It is not for the faint hearted but the rewards can be immense.
Isobel Stephen and Jacinda Humphrey job share in the Department and Business Strategy Director role in the Department for Work and Pensions. They share their golden rules on working successfully.
Sarah Maclean and Tessa Griffiths work in the Qualifications Systems and Reform Division in the Department for Education (DfE). They both work three days a week with an overlap on Wednesdays.
Emma Cole and James Burt are currently in a job share in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. They give tips on making a job share work while sharing responsibility for projects.
Tom Powell and Kathryn Alford are currently job sharing in the Department of Energy and Climate Change in a job share partnership from the Ministry of Defence. They explain the advantages of job sharing, and how they make their job share work successfully.