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Job share concerns

(3 Posts)
JoJoLu Thu 12-Sep-19 15:13:22

I’m lucky enough to have a job I really enjoy, which I currently job share. We each work 3 days a week with 1 day overlapping.

We have worked together for a number of years and it’s been a total godsend while bringing up our young kids.

We worked together in one area and then moved to a different part of our organisation around 3 years ago to do quite a different role.

My colleague went on maternity leave to have baby no 3 after about a year into the new role and so on her return this year, I am now more experienced and confident in the role than she is.

As a result, I am the one taking on the trickier projects and leading a lot of the work, while she does the more day to day and easier tasks. She avoids the projects that require more thought, so it always falls to me and simply wouldn’t happen if I don't do it. I almost feel like she’s becoming an assistant rather than a peer.

I remember how it feels to be low in confidence after maternity leave so I’ve been trying hard to be patient and kind until she’s back up to speed.

But as it’s now 6 months since her return, I hate to say that I am beginning to feel a wee bit resentful.

I know she is paid the same as me, if not more - but what’s most frustrating is that I’ve no idea if my manager is aware of the disparity and as we are considered as one person, she is often recognised for my hard work.

Our workload is huge and I’m feeling the pressure. Before I could trust that things were progressing well on my non working days but that’s no longer the case sad

I have loved job sharing until now and she’s been a pleasure to work with. I consider her a good friend, she’s really kind and thoughtful but I’m beginning to feel like I no longer want to job share and as my kids are growing, I could increase my hours a little. I truly love my job though and don’t want to change roles.

Do I just suck it up or should I try and talk about it openly with her and/or our manager? I don’t ever want her to think I’m not a team player or not willing to support her. I guess I just want my efforts recognised.

maxelly Thu 12-Sep-19 17:22:00

Sympathies, job shares are great while they are working but leaving them is much more tricky than leaving a 'normal' job because you do tend to feel that obligation to your partner. Obviously you can't commit to a lifetime partnership though so they do tend to reach a natural end at some stage.

What do you think would happen if you were to leave, would the organisation keep her on part-time and/or be able to recruit another job share partner for your role? If so and you are prepared to go up to near full-time I think I might start looking at promotion opportunities internally or externally as it sounds as though you are ready.

You could perhaps have a chat with your manager about your career development (without criticising your job share partner in any way or implying she isn't pulling her weight), and just make it clear you feel you are ready to take on more/the next step, and highlight some examples of the more complex work you've been taking on recently. See what s/he says?

If it was possible, how do you feel it would work if you could both stay in the same team but with one role effectively 'promoted' to a higher grade/more hours while the other remains part-time/same grade (both of you having the opportunity to apply for the more senior post of course) as in some ways that would be ideal- do you think she would resent it/create a bad atmosphere? It really depends on the person, if she isn't particularly career minded and/or not really interested in progression or more hours at the moment then it could be fine but I can see some people feeling undermined and kicking off so it's a tough one...

JoJoMcN Thu 09-Jan-20 09:38:42

Thanks so much for replying maxelly and sorry for the radio silence! I appreciate your thoughts.

I've had various discussions with both my job share partner and line manager about the situation. Things haven't improved much since I posted and in fact the past few months have been insanely busy at work ...and the job share has really exacerbated the situation and how stressed I'm feeling.

My manager has been great to a point and recognised the disparity in end of year performance. We have a meeting next week to discuss how to make the job share work better (ie how we can help build her confidence) but I've had time to think over the Christmas break and it's clear to me that really it is time to take a moment and evaluate the partnership altogether. Job shares really work best when both partners are performing at a similar level but also motivated by the same values. I think what we both value has changed since she's been off and my manager needs to recognise that, otherwise one or both of us will end up feeling resentful and demotivated.

I'm really not looking forward to us sitting down together to discuss because she is very emotional and gets upset. I feel awful but have to be honest about how I'm feeling.

As I said I don't want to leave the job. I love it so much and it's a very niche role so there's very few opportunities out there. If there was, I know I'd be looking to move on and secure a new role.

It's a really rubbish situation and I have valued the job share so much but I never thought ending it would be quite this difficult 😞

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