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Job sharing = turbo power

By Rachael Hughes and Ciara Millar

We joined Royal London in May 2020, having spent a significant proportion of our careers working for one of the UK’s largest financial institutions, the last seven of which as a highly experienced and successful job share.

Our decision to job share originally stemmed for our need to work flexibly to balance the priorities of each having young children with the demands of a busy job and wanting to continue to have a fulfilling career.

However, working in this way we soon realised the broader benefits that job sharing brings.

From an organisational perspective there are the benefits of having double the expertise. Whilst we’re both Employee Relations professionals, we each have our own separate strengths, experiences and interests in different areas.

These diverse and complementary skills give a broader offering whilst also giving us personal development from our shared learnings. Also, having the benefit of two people working on a problem, project or task, leads to more robust decision making and outcomes.

We’ve always worked at pace but it’s also a huge benefit as there’s no ‘hump’ day, one person’s equivalent of a Friday is the others start of the week!

There’s also greater continuity and coverage. We rarely take the same time off so someone is always around during busy holiday periods and when the other is off, we’ll often flex our normal working days to cover important meetings. As part of our cover for each other, we have joint access to mailboxes so if anything urgent or important comes in, it can be progressed without the sender having to wait for the recipient to return to the office.

Due to the lack of flexible working opportunities at more senior levels in our previous organisation, we decided to look for other opportunities and were delighted that Royal London were open to consider our joint application for the role of Employee Relations & Policy Consultant within the People Team.

Whilst it isn’t a common proposition, Royal London interviewed us separately and jointly to see the dynamic during which, we were able to sell the benefits and as an established job-share, and we’ve been able to hit the ground running. So much so, when a secondment leadership opportunity arose, we didn’t think twice about applying and equally Royal London who have embraced the arrangement, didn’t hesitate in considering our application which was successful.

Having both just completed separate 360 degree feedback, the job-share and how we work it has been cited by most (if not all) of the respondents as a key strength and advantage from both within and outside of the People Team. Working as a job share benefits us personally and the feedback we’ve received demonstrates that it’s also working for Royal London.

Some Dos and Don'ts that work for us 

DO

* Find a job-share partner who has similar career ambitions

* Communication is key, find someone who you can communicate with openly and honestly…before long you’ll be finishing each other’s sentences!

* Develop your ‘offering’ and bring this to life in a joint CV

DON'T

* Expect to work in silos or as two separate part-timers. To make a job share genuinely work, you need to be able to cover for each other

* Think you have to be a complete mirror image, your differences can be your strength

Find out more about our Making Flexible Work campaign 

Last updated 28/07/2022