Recently I was fortunate to be introduced to Laura Reismann who worked as an Associate Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble on the Gillette Disposable Razor Global Business Unit and in her role also worked together with a job-sharing tandem Laura Miller and Melissa Lush. We are very grateful that Laura was ready to share her experiences and insights from working with a job sharing tandem with the Sharing Tribe and our community.
How were you introduced to the job-sharing model?
I learned about job-sharing while working at Gillette together with Laura and Melissa who were sharing a product management job. The concept struck me immediately and I realized the advantages it brings, especially for the work-life balance.
During that appointment, I was promoted to the Brand Manager, also as a result of the great job and results I have achieved while working together with Laura and Melissa.
Sometime later, I took off time for family reasons and wished I could find a similar job-sharing role. Nothing was available. I knew Laura and Melissa had to create their job share position. It’s a shame there aren’t more opportunities to help people balance the responsibilities of home and work.
I’m working on a contract role now.
That sounds inspiring, but it also leaves room for more opportunities. What do you think are the main advantages of job sharing besides achieving a work-life balance?
I believe complementing each other’s hard and soft skills and working closely together as a job-sharing couple together with the rest of the team (in this case: myself) is the way to reach mutual goals and learn and challenge each other. Our working relationship was built on confidence, trust and mutual understanding. Also, our working styles were quite similar and that helped us be very productive which meant there was a seamless approach.
What was your working approach?
Laura and Melissa have created and maintained a transition file with the most recent information on the status of various projects. I have also been involved in its updates. The main goal of this was to help one person pick up where the other left off and it proved to be a very helpful tool for keeping us coordinated and organized.
Our Director had great respect and confidence in the team. He provided direction, but allowed us to all work together to discover our own way to stay organized and work at peak performance.
What are some other lessons learned?
First, job-sharing IS a way to get back to business and to have the type of position that one deserves.
Second, job-sharing should shine a light on the fact of how difficult it is to achieve work-life balance. There is an even bigger need now with covid-19 and remote working than before.
Personally, I had great fun and really enjoyed working together with the job-sharing couple and I can totally recommend it to everyone aiming for a sustainable career and work-life balance.
How would you pitch a job-sharing model to an employer?
To finance two part-time positions within the current employees: the retention is already achieved because they are so far in the company. The company, therefore, invests in their further training and upskilling.
Statistics also show that employees who work part-time or share a job have fewer absences, better holiday and illness coverage, which in the end results in more productivity and better value delivered to the overall team’s results.
What would you advise other employees that are interested in the job-sharing model?
Create a job-sharing position from a role with your current employer and definitely arrange before going into a maternity or paternity leave.
Hear the perspective and learn from someone who is working with the job-sharing couple.
And what would you advise line managers that are interested to learn more and implement the job-sharing model?
They should get training and coaching on how to recognize the good job-sharing match between two employees. Often we can be biased and favor people we know and have worked with, but usually, it helps when we are open to employing people from other departments and diverse sets of skills and backgrounds since they bring another fresh point of view. The personality and working style of the job-sharing couple also needs to be matched to the rest of the team.
Furthermore, making sure of who is taking care of the continuity of the job-sharing relationship is as important. Handling the workload and team management should be line managers’ responsibility as well, but it can also be delegated to HR or the job-sharing team itself.
Your last piece of advice, Laura?
I am now working as a part-time marketing consultant. However, I still support the job-share concept and would seriously consider that as an option. I enjoy working with others and I think it would add more support, consistency and professional interaction and comradery.
If you are unsure about how to approach a company yourself, join a community that is experienced in this working model, for instance, the Sharing Tribe’s community. Visit their online educational and networking events and mingle with like-minded people. The chances of getting to know your future job-sharing partner are great. You can also invite your friends and colleagues to join you. Their network is well connected to employers as well!
Thank you Laura for sharing your insights and experience. We wish you all the best in your private and professional endeavors.
We have seen that Laura’s positive and engaging experience gained while working with a job-sharing team convinced her that this model is the right one for her as well.
Since she couldn’t fulfill her wish to job-share, she is still curious and open to try it out in the future and to find a matching and motivated partner. Her beliefs are built on the job sharing key success factors which are identifying a perfect match, collaboration, communication, transparency, commitment and accountability.
We hope you enjoyed reading about Laura’s Job Sharing experience. If you are intrigued to learn more about the advantages of the job-sharing model then please join our community, post a free job ad on our platform or contact us to make an appointment