Would You Take a Job You Share With Someone Else? Here’s How

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

Full-time schedules don’t work for every employee. But sometimes, part-time schedules don’t fit perfectly either.

Whether it’s a lack of flexibility, a lack of options in your career field, or something entirely different, sometimes full-time and part-time schedules aren’t the right fit.

While not as popular in the United States as in other countries, job sharing can be the right fit for some people. So, now you’re curious.

What is job sharing? And how do you do it? You’re in the right place to get your job-sharing questions answered.

What Is Job Sharing? How Job Sharing Works

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A basic definition of job-sharing is when one full-time position is shared between two part-time employees. Each works a different but complementary schedule to ensure the work is completed.

The schedule is based on the needs of the company, the demands of the role, and the availability of each person.

Sometimes, the job sharers will work overlapping schedules (both are in the office on Wednesdays), and other times, the employees will work opposite schedules that overlap slightly (one person works from 7 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and the other person works from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.).

Most job sharers split the 40 hours evenly, with each working 20 hours per week. However, that’s not always the case. Some job-sharing roles are 10 and 30, or 15 and 25 hours, respectively.

Why Do People Choose Job Sharing?

Generation Z at work
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The reasons for choosing job sharing are varied. This flexible work model is a popular choice for parents who want to balance work with raising their children, individuals pursuing further education, or people easing into retirement.

Job sharing allows for a better work-life balance and the opportunity to continue a career while accommodating other essential aspects of life.

Some common reasons people choose job sharing are:

  • The ability to stay connected to their career without the commitment (or responsibilities) of a full-time schedule
  • To achieve work-life balance (spend more time with family or pursue passion projects, for example)
  • For flexibility when it’s not possible through other means (like full-time remote work)
  • As part of a career change
  • To allow two people to work on the same project or at the same seniority level

Shared job responsibilities can also provide extra security for employers. One job-sharing partner can keep the workflow steady when the other is out due to an illness or emergency.

Additionally, two heads are often better than one in terms of problem-solving and innovation. The diversity in thought and approach that comes with two employees’ input can also be a massive benefit to the employer.

How to Find Companies With Job Sharing

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Companies don’t always advertise job-sharing positions. Use these tips to find a job share that fits your needs.

1. Search Company Policies

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Diving into company research is one of the best ways to find job-sharing roles.

Review official websites, focusing on the careers or HR sections. Many organizations are proud of their flexible workplace culture and will proudly showcase job sharing if it’s an option.

Additionally, you can contact the HR department via email or LinkedIn. Ask questions about their specific policies and any available job-sharing roles. Their response can give you insight into their general view of work-life balance, even if they don’t currently have any job-sharing roles.

2. Utilize Job Search Services

Older worker
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Using job search engines and applying filters, such as “part-time” or “flexible hours,” will increase your chances of finding the perfect job-sharing opportunity.

Niche job sites like FlexJobs excel here, offering a curated list of scam-free jobs that specifically cater to flexible work arrangements.

Using legitimate job boards, you’ll save time by filtering out irrelevant listings, avoiding modern online job scams, and finding roles that match your unique work-life balance needs.

3. Tap Into Your Network

Happy remote worker
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Your network can be the ticket to finding hidden job opportunities. Start by sharing your interest in job sharing with colleagues, friends, and professional acquaintances.

Attend industry events, such as conferences, seminars, and workshops relevant to your field. Remember to follow up with new contacts post-event to build your network and explore any job-sharing opportunities they mention.

Also, utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn to network. Join groups and forums related to your industry and target roles.

Take it a step beyond simply “liking” posts by engaging in the discussions and adding thoughtful and relevant ideas to the conversation. Include comments about job sharing where appropriate.

4. Talk to Your Current Employer

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Your ideal job-sharing arrangement might be closer than you think.

If you’re currently employed, consider discussing the possibility of job sharing with your employer. You may be surprised that they are open to the idea, especially if it means retaining a valuable employee and increasing overall job satisfaction.

Refrain from walking into the conversation ready to state a wish that only highlights the benefits for you.

Be prepared to present a well-thought-out proposal outlining how job sharing would benefit you and the company.

What Is the Difference Between Part-Time Work and Job Sharing?

Senior businesswoman in a meeting at work
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Job sharing involves two or more individuals working together to complete the tasks of one full-time position. This arrangement differs from a part-time position, where you work fewer hours and are entirely responsible for the deliverables.

When you’re job sharing, it’s a more collaborative approach that can benefit the job, you and your coworker, and the organization.

With job sharing, you can bring two sets of knowledge to the same position: teamwork, shared responsibility, and double the commitment to excellence.

Common Questions About How Job Sharing Works

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As you explore job-sharing positions more closely, you’ll likely have many questions about what is a job share, the boundaries, and the specifics.

Use the answers to common questions to help you wrap your head around this type of employment.

1. What is the risk of job sharing?

Happy older worker in a meeting
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

The risk of job sharing largely depends on the partnership dynamics and the support you receive from your employer. Miscommunication and lack of alignment on critical issues could create challenges.

However, with clear boundaries, detailed contracts, and open lines of communication, job sharing can be a very low-risk arrangement.

2. Is job sharing flexible work?

Business woman working remotely and using her computer for an online meeting, video call.
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Yes, job sharing is a form of flexible work offering substantial freedom in structuring your workday. It allows for creativity and personalization in creating a schedule that suits both employees’ needs.

3. What are the benefits of job sharing?

employees staff workers high five
By Flamingo Images / Shutterstock.com

Like all flexible jobs, job sharing offers benefits, such as more time for personal interests, reduced stress, and a better work-life balance.

For companies, it can improve productivity, enhance the overall quality of work, and foster diverse perspectives and creativity.

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