Finding the right job-share partner

You and each of your prospective partners should spend considerable time getting acquainted if you don't already know each other. Discuss the details and expectations of the position and the job sharing arrangement. Such a discussion will also give you an indication of general compatibility.

As in any relationship, there is no perfect match, but in making your partner selection decision, consider the following criteria:

1. Good communicator: Maintaining a workable and productive arrangement will require effective communication on an ongoing basis. Your communication styles should mesh well.

2. Cooperative: A supportive teamwork attitude of mutual respect, and a give-and-take approach to the exchange of ideas are positive indicators of a right partner. Someone who is strongly competitive is generally not a suitable pick.

3. Similar and complementary skills: While you want someone with a good background and with experience in your field, someone who complements your strengths and weaknesses can enhance the partnership by rounding out the position.

For example, a combination of your strong organizational skills and your partner's creative bent can yield better results on projects and programs than either strength alone.

4. Similar work habits: Attention to detail or big picture approach? Methodical or intuitive? Organized or sloppy (important when you share a desk or filing system)? Prompt or procrastinator? Swift or thoughtful in decision-making? Compatibility in work styles may not be a make-or-break factor, but in general, it will make for a more harmonious arrangement.

5. Flexibility: Ideally, your partner should be able and willing to trade time with you should the need arise. Child care arrangements may be the limiting factor in meeting the ideal, but expectations in this category are worthy of discussion.

If you think it is would be a value-added feature to your proposal, you may want to highlight some of the above characteristics as you describe you and your job partner in your proposal.

 

Pat Katepoo is the developer of the e-workbook, Flex Success: A Proposal Blueprint & Planning Guide for Getting a Family-Friendly Work Schedule. Click here for more info.

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