Job sharing

Are you interested in job-sharing as a way to open up more time with your child(ren)? Please give us any comments you have on this subject.

"I am writing a thesis on job sharing for teachers. I need to have several job sharing teachers complete a very quick survey for me that I will be putting on line. If you are willing to do this, please contact me at tculpepper@powernet.org Thank You!"

"I see job share as a great way to continue our independence in our chosen career, and see it a means of keeping up w/ the times and still being able to raise our children."

"I am currently teaching 1st grade in a job share situation and I love it! It feels like a wonderful balance of keeping myself in a professional field that is stimulating and fun, and yet, I still feel as though my home life is not compromised by it. My 4 year old is proud of his mom as a teacher, and at the same time, we have every morning until lunch at home together. Furthermore, what has also been a real benefit, is that I'm able to swap time with my teaching partner for times when I need/want to be with my kids for nursery school plays, trips, etc., without having to `dip' into my sick days. I work for the public school system and know that more work places are offering this wonderful option. I highly recommend it as an option to open up more time with your kids!"

"I have shared an attorney position in the county attorneys office for 3 years. My experience has been very successful. The administration, as well as my immediate supervisor are very supportive which is why the program is as successful as its proven to be."

"I'm not in the position to job share but if I were I'd do it in a minute! I'm self employed and work at home in an occupation that the work must be done by one person. It's a service type business. If it means being able to continue one's career path in the right direction while still having some good time to spend with the children at home, then any one who can job share (employer permitting) should at least try it."

"I'm a full-time mom right now, but when the kids are older, I'd love to find a job-sharing position. It would allow me to contribute to the family finances, yet still be home when the kids need me. It seems like the closest thing to `having it all'!"

"I used to work part time for a company that was considered very progressive and a leader in creative work arrangements. I thing the Human Resources department liked this idea, but actually, management was very unsupportive, and those jobs where very hard to create, especially

coming in from the outside."

"I am an at-home mom and think anything that will give parents, mom's especially, time with their kids is of major importance. We are learning how to live on less. We have one car and a 3 bedroom house for 4 children. We hope to have 6 children before we are through. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family, and not having a mom able to be present for me and able to meet my needs as a child, I am very determined to give my children me, and my time. I want to be there for them. I am glad more moms are wanting to stay home. After being emotionally abandoned by my mom, I can't stress enough how kids long for a `mommy' and no other caretaker will take the place of mom. Not even a grandmother. To this day, part of me is still searching for a `mommy!'"

"I am an attorney with my own practice and am in my mid 30's. I often feel lost in the tug and pull between a profession in which I am just beginning to be established and the enjoyment/demands of our baby. The conflict is frequently present and usually painful - even with my switch to part-time employment."

"I'm at home with my 6 month old boy and I hope to be able to stay home at least until 1 year old. But when/if I have to go back, job-sharing would definitely be an option I'd like to consider. Job share/flex-time/part-time with benefits would be a motivating factor for many women I know. I enjoyed my job before the baby and I worked very hard but I don't even like to think about going back to work full-time. That's too much time away from my boy. But most of the part-time positions available are low-pay and little more than file clerk in terms of responsibility level."

"I'm especially interested as my child approaches pre-school years as I've take a leave of absence to be with him since his birth. I have a fairly limited field, however, so I don't know if there are many other women in my area of expertise that are interested in job-sharing."

"Job-sharing is a great idea for both men and women. Please remember that parenting is done by fathers as well as mothers, and many men would like to increase their commitment to child rearing. It's time that we support increased father participation by including them in discussions of this sort."

"As the pendulum swings back towards the importance of family life, our society will need to seriously explore job-sharing so that families can be provided for financially (most families need 2 incomes) and also provided for emotionally."

"As a manager, I would be interested in job-sharing for myself and my employees. I firmly believe most companies would get more productive per hour with job-sharing (with employees who would so choose) than a woman who is working full-time because she either quits her job and gives up all she has worked for or she works full-time. Many women do well working full-time with small children (or teens), but many just get by and don't enjoy their work, families and life very much. Productivity at work and overall happiness are lessened in this situation."

"The work place is still focussed on paying me for my time rather than for the work I do or for my contributions to the company. Job-sharing and flex-time are just the beginning of the redefinition of the exchange of pay for accomplishments and abilities. Balancing commitments to my family, my career, and myself is the important thing I can do. I am many people: A mother; A woman; A wife; A friend; A scientist; A manager; etc. Allowing me to smoothly flow through each role as needed and desired is to treat me as an adult capable of making adult decisions about all of my responsibilities rather than treating me as a child and telling me now is the time for you to be a career person, now is the time you can be a mother, etc."

"I think that employers should be more than happy to accept job sharing, because they get two qualified people to do a job. When the employees come to work they are excited about their job, not bored like some people who work 40 hours per week. Employers don't have to pay benefits or sick time etc. It is advantageous to both parties. The employers benefit because their workers are more productive because they are happy with their job."

"I am an at-home mom who is considering a return to work because the extra income would be welcome. However, with the ages of my children (5 1/2 years and 18 months), I do not at this time wish to consider a full-time position. Job-sharing arrangements would suit many mothers who are in my situation. I believe it is important for this country to give priority to the needs of all children in this society, our citizens and leaders of tomorrow, and that means helping the families children are growing up in. Businesses should be encouraged to be innovative in ways they can help employees have a strong family life also."

"I don't' have work to share."

"I am now home full-time with my son. My work place was not family oriented, not flexible, or understanding to our needs. I wish I could work part-time to keep up my professional skills and contacts. Part-time work in social work doesn't pay enough to make working worthwhile."

"I currently work 3 days a week outside the home - a 2 or 3 day commitment is a perfect balance. I'm able to get out and feel valued for my mind as well as for being a good mother. It also helps keep me abreast of changes in business which will also make it easy to make the transition to full-time work at any point. I just wish more businesses were more open to part-time or job-sharing careers."

"This may sound like a `cop-out', but it's hard to break new ground at a company or institution. It's hard, also, to risk the effect it has on your career. (Where I work it seems to be the `kiss of death' to go part-time, if you can even convince your department head to allow it.) If companies/executives only knew what a benefit it can be to them, maybe more would open up to it. Maybe a press conference would be a good idea, with people from successful job-sharing experiences to be witnesses, e.g. the Hennepin County Attorney's Office has a very open policy to job-sharing."

"I requested part-time or job-share on return to work but was told full-time or nothing (this by a female boss, no less). right now I am working full-time and I feel my 10 month old is not getting enough of my attention. The beginning and end of the work day is a non-stop marathon which leaves my husband and me drained. I feel that I will have to give up my job (one that I like) to retain my sanity."

"After having raised a child, who is now a teenager, we have the blessing of starting over with a baby, and I am acutely aware of how quickly they grow up and all you miss being gone so much. I, therefore, look at job-sharing as a real approach for being with our children during those precious and all too fleeting years. Now that we have a `second chance', we are doing all we can not to lose out on the fullness of our family relationship, and consider job-sharing one possibility."

"Yes, of course I would be interested in job-sharing, but to make it economically feasible the pay would have to be acceptable as would the medical, dental and pension benefits. Most part-time employees are denied these vital benefits."

"I job-shared a position in Human resources at a Fortune 500 company for 2 1/2 years (up until 8 weeks ago when our 2nd daughter was born). It's ideal, especially with one child (my older daughter is 4). I worked 2 days one week, and 3 the next, received pro-rated benefits, etc. My company received an employee who is fresher form working fewer hours per week, rare absenteeism, coverage during each days off. With part-time infant care as scarce and expensive as it is, plus due to my own personal to stay home full time with our 2 girls. When they are older, I would definitely consider job-sharing again."

"I believe job-sharing is one of the best answers to this nation's child rearing and child care dilemmas. It is a win/win situation for the companies that are willing to support job-sharing. They get one position filled with two people that will be fresher and less likely to be effected by job burn out and other ills associated with full-time (plus) jobs. Job-share workers will benefit from the higher income (than typical part-time) and a more stimulating position not to mention all the benefits of being home with family. I would love to see some information regarding job-sharing in Family Connection. Is there any legislation in the works to make job-sharing more available? How many companies are doing it now?

"Job-sharing should be explored for management level jobs as well as clerical and technical jobs."

"Many times it is only necessary for one of the people in a 2 parent home to work part time in order to meet financial obligations and to sustain one's marketability professionally. Job-sharing seems like a wonderful way to allow parents to do this as well as have a less crazy and pressured family life."

"I am not currently working but am a full-time student. I will be graduating in one year and then working probably full-time. I really hate the thought of having to be away from my daughter for such a large part of the day. Job-sharing would be the perfect solution."

"I worked half-time for 6 months after my 6 week maternity leave, and it was great to have that buffer. But, part-time work is a real rip off for employees, and a boon for employers. The employees have all the harassment of day-care, but usually no benefits, and they are not seen as `serious' employees. The employers have a great deal - most 1/2 time working moms I know work extremely hard - and are therefore more productive than an average employee - hour for hour, and the employer is not paying benefits. So for a job-share, an employer might get 125% of the effort for 80% of the cost."

"Not necessarily job-sharing in my case (as an Architect) but definitely flexibility in work schedules, i.e. working 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. everyday would be ideal for me - time to get my 2 children dressed, fed, cuddled and to day-care. Accommodations absolutely has to be made for families where parents work outside the home. If full-time, traditional work schedules are just too demanding, then my only other option should not have to be quitting work altogether."

"How do you go about telling your boss you'd like to share your job with another individual? I work at a small company as an assistant buyer and question how mentioning this idea would effect how the owners look at my dedication and professionalism."

"As a former professionally and new stay-at-home mother, I am greatly in favor of more job sharing in the corporate world. I miss the social interaction and mental stimulation a career provides but feel the full-time hours away from my young son ar too demanding. Unfortunately, the majority of part-time jobs out there are low paying, repetitive and mostly consist of menial tasks. Job-sharing would be a great alternative to both working mothers who would like to cut back on hours at the office and non-working mothers such as myself. It would open up more challenging positions for professionals that don't want to work the usual 40 to 50 hours a week while raising a family. In the end, we would have a win - win situation because: Both mothers would win by having the time they need with their families and careers, not to mention less stress; The children benefit from spending more time with their mother. In a case such as mine, the child would benefit by having a mother that was happy with herself, not to mention the added benefits of extra income; the employer wins by having 2 well qualified, happy individuals that are trained in positions of importance. This would really become helpful when things like vacation and maternity leave arise. Economically it would save money in insurance costs as most companies do not offer coverage to part-time employees. Thanks for opportunity to express my views on this subject. Please feel free to contact me if you would like help in organizing a job-sharing campaign. Janet Douglas (414) - 524-0843."

"I am job-sharing and it's a perfect compromise. I can't imagine spending only a couple of working hours each day with my baby daughter, which is what working full time would entail. Working 2 to 3 days per week (an average of 20 hrs per week) allows me to really appreciate the time I do spend with her, gives me needed intellectual stimulation, and keeps me current in my field. Financially, it's enough to make the difference between things being difficult and manageable. It also gives my daughter time to be with other children (at the sitter's) which she loves. convincing my employer was not easy. Although upper corporate management supports the idea, my immediate management was much more conservative and they had the final decision. They finally agreed, on an 18 month trial basis (of which 6 months have passed) and a person was hired to share with me. My management's main concern was that qualified people would not be available to work part-time, which I firmly believe is not true. Things are going very well. There are extra hassles, such as going in occasionally on my `off' days to attend meetings, etc., but those are well worth the opportunity to job-share. It should be realized however, that job-sharing will not work for all jobs - for example those which require a lot of continuity; long, ongoing projects needing full-time attention, etc."

"I returned to work full-time when my daughter was 10 weeks old. Immediately, I decided that was not the way I wanted to live my life. Although my employer, a public school, had no precedent for job-sharing, I drew up a proposal and attached current research citing the benefits to the company (increased productivity, lower turnover, reduced absenteeism, etc.). To my surprise, they accepted it as a pilot program, to be reviewed in six months. My daughter is now 5 months old and I am happily working 2 to 3 days per week and thoroughly enjoying my increased time at home. I have an acquaintance who was able to effect a similar change at her company. We have nothing to lose by asking and I think the key is to research, be prepared to show how it benefits the company and be willing to take the risk. Employers are just beginning to realize that the work force and the attitudes of those in it are geared to getting more out of family life. If they are unwilling to make changes, they will lose many good professionals. P.S. - The job-sharing concept affects all of us. As a new mom, I am happy to be job-sharing with a dad. It fits both of our situations perfectly."

"I am in a job-share situation in a busy family practice clinic. I requested to job-share when I was expecting my 2nd child. Prior to this i was working full-time. Luckily I found the perfect person. She filled in while I was on leave and now we split a full-time position. Her children are grown so she's more flexible than I am. When on of my children is sick or I need a scheduled day off, we just switch days and vice versa. Thanks to my `other half' and the support I receive from fellow employees and employers, I'm a much happier person!"

"I think job-sharing is the best idea for both the employer and the employee. I am a teacher and i think students would benefit from 2 teachers who really want to be there rather than I who only wants to be there half of the time. Unfortunately, school districts believe parents would not like the idea. Many parents I have talked to think it would be great. I would like to know what your readers think."

"I am involved in a very successful job-share arrangement for the past four years. Both my partner and I have young families (3 children each). I had always worked full-time prior to our partnership but am very content to work approximately 30 hours a week, while my partner works 20 hours a week. Our position is a 1.2 full-time equivalent. When we proposed the position to our employer we divided a 1.0 position - I worked .8 (32 hours a week) and my partner worked .2 (16 hours a week). As our program developed we found that we needed more overlap time for pertinent communication - so we requested an increase in our hours to .9 and .3 respectively. After the birth of my third child in the fall of 1989, may partner and I redistributed our hours . We have just been promoted as a job-share and hope to continue to work together as long as it is beneficial to our employer and us as individuals."

"I am currently employed in a job-sharing situation as a teacher. Job-sharing has its advantages and disadvantages. The obvious advantage is the time I have to spend with 16 month old daughter in the mornings. However, depending on the nature of the job-sharing assignment, it's easy to get caught in a vicious circle. I often find myself doing just as much work as I did when I was employed full-time. Unfortunately, I do the other half of my work on my own time which is unpaid time and less time spent with my daughter. Also, be aware of how you're actually spending your `spare time' that job-sharing has provided. I often find myself cleaning, running errands or making or taking phone calls. Finally, make others aware that this `spare time' is your time with your child. Hopefully the phone will ring less, unexpected visitors will wait until the evening to stop by and you can spend some peaceful and focused time with your child."

"I'm at home now with my 1 and 2 year old's. I am enjoying it very much and can't think of returning to a full-time career while they are young. But I think it would be ideal to go back to teaching when the kids are in school. That way I'll be doing something for myself and be available for them too. I feel that in education, things are going to have to change because of the large number of students going through school now. Soon they'll be crying for teachers!"

"It would make it easier to go back to work. I job-shared 15 years ago before kids. It was a great way to work."

"I think business will be forced to consider this as an option for working moms. We're pulled in so many directions, we need our employers to be more flexible. Many moms I know have quit their jobs because flex-time or job sharing was not an option. Everybody loses if the mom quits completely and the employer loses a trained employee."

"I am fully in favor of job-share, unfortunately, there is not much available in Albuquerque. It is an ideal way for an adult to get the best of both worlds - family and job. More importantly, children benefit by having parents around more often. I am currently a stay-at-home mom, but plan to work part-time when my children are in school. Job-share would make many more part-time jobs available to people like me. If there's some way I can be of help in setting up your `press conference', let me know. Chris Abadie (505) 821-0523."

"I was a dental assistant and now am a full-time home maker and mother. I would like to job-share a few afternoons a week to keep in practice in my chosen profession."

"I am unable to job-share in my current position because of the nature of the problems of the clients I work with (I am a school social worker). I have inquired into job-sharing but the district seems more supportive of a part-time or 3/4 time new job which is fine with me. Some education institutions are resistant to provide job-sharing because some parents feel the quality and consistency of education would be affected."

"I would like to go back to work part-time. I am not interested in just any job. I would like to return to my field as a biologist. If I could job-share it would be ideal. Since my husband has good benefits, I'm not concerned with them. I wish there was a way to network to connect with other women of similar background also looking for part-time work."

"I am more interested in finding a way to encourage employers to hire women to work at home, or helping women locate resources for finding work at home. Free lance reading, editing, transcription work and typing are some of the things I have in mind."

"I think either job-sharing or part-time positions would be a great way to stay involved with one's career while keeping money coming in and being able to spend more time with one's. I'm an engineer and can't easily take several years off work and reenter the job market without having trouble. I think it is more a problem with employers traditional views about work than actual barriers to arranging a job to fit a part-time schedule. I also believe that if employers were more willing to work our flexible schedules, employees would be more loyal and happy."

"I really want to be home with my three children but need some sort of a second income. Child care costs for three really eats up what wages I would be making. Thus job-sharing or more jobs do in home would be a wonderful option. How about some information jobs you can do from your home - from large firms, not rinky dink do it yourself stuff."

"I'm not ready to go back to work yet, with three children under 4 years old, but I think job-sharing is an excellent idea. If more women start requesting such arrangements from their employers, maybe job-sharing will become more accepted and commonplace in the working world. I hope that option will be open to me when I go back to work eventually."

"I have been job-sharing since September, 1989. I have 4 sons and my `other half' has one son. the benefits working half-time greatly outweigh the negatives. Having more time to watch my children grow, teaching the baby (19 months) colors and how to count is not something I could as easily do if I worked full-time. Yes, we could use the extra income, but I'm going to wait till the youngest starts school full-time."

"I work for a small ad agency of about 60 people. Job-sharing was tried here. Each person worked 1/2 day with a one hour overlap each day for both people to go over their work. It sounds ideal although in going 1/2 time, each person lost their benefits (medical, vacation & profit sharing). The agency had a lay off and these two job-sharers/part-timers were the first to be let go. I wouldn't mind trying job-sharing, but I can't afford to be `let go' for what ever reason. Also, I feel their needs to be a separate classification for job-share employees. They are not second rate employees. The sob is still the same, it's just that 2 employees are now responsible for that job."

"I am still a year away from wanting to do work at home, but would love to see a network formed to connect prospective employers with potential employees who are mothers at home."

"I'm not sure what job-sharing is - you make the assumption that we all know what you're talking about. I am even a working mother."

"I am going back to college part-time so I can teach part-time. I'm willing to give up benefits of insurance, sick/personal days in order to be a mom. Raising my child(ren) is the most important job right now."

( What advice would you most like to give about experiencing life with a new baby?"
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