What’s it like to be part of a job share? Emma Balfe and Claudia Salazar explain.
There is a definite benefit to working on a role as a job share - and it’s not all about improving your work/life balance.
For us, it is great to work in such a senior role as assistant director of nursing and have someone else to bounce ideas off. It’s also fantastic to get expertise in an area that you may not be that familiar with. You can’t always be good at every aspect of a job but, if you choose a job share partner who complements your skill set, you can both benefit.
Because of that, it’s important to have projects that you work on separately that benefit from your individual skills.
For example, one of us teaches motivational interviewing, while the other would lead on other projects. We share the main part of the job, the bulk of which is educational commissioning.
For motivation, it’s important to have your own goals and appraisals and develop yourselves separately - that is important for a sense of achievement.
It’s also essential that you get on with the other job sharer. If it’s a new role or if you don’t know the other job sharer, get to know them first and discuss how you think matters will work in practice.
It definitely helps you to gel if you get on well personally as well as professionally.
It is also great to have the work done while you are off on annual leave so that you are not greeted with a large backlog of work to get through when you come back from a holiday.
Some members of staff can be sceptical about job shares - but, as long as you both sing from the same hymn sheet and don’t go back to other team members with different answers, they soon realise the benefits.
One such benefit is that they can always get an answer quickly - the job is not vacant while one of us is off on holiday for two weeks, for example.
A job share works for us because we are not doing a part-time job, but a full-time, senior role. We do not feel we are doing something less than we want to.
- This is the second part of a two-part series on job sharing. The first was published on 19 June.
Emma Balfe and Claudia Salazar were jointly appointed as the assistant director of nursing and trust education lead at Central and North West London Foundation Trust in 2010.
Emma Balfe qualified as a psychiatric nurse in 1996. She has worked as a community psychiatric nurse, held a research post and worked as an improvement manager.
Claudia Salazar qualified in 1987 as psychiatric nurse. She has worked as a clinical nurse specialist and as a nurse consultant.
Making a job share work
How to make a job share work
- Get to know the person you are job sharing with to ensure you are compatible and can work closely and share the same vision and work ethic
- Ensure communication is supported by IT and other team members - both of you do not need to get every email
- Have separate appraisals and development plans
- Have one day in the week when you are both in; you can both attend important meetings on this day.
- Review how the job and the job share is working every six months or so