How to negotiate a job share

Career coach Liz Sebag-Montefiore has some advice on how to negotiate a job share.

Job Share

 

Job shares can be a great way of progressing to senior leadership without having your life totally overtaken by work, but the figures have not improved hugely over the last decade. Career coach Liz Sebag-Montefiore has some tips on how to negotiate one.

Negotiating is a key skill in life. Requesting a job share might come as a surprise to some managers, but not to others. Particularly in this VUCA world post-pandemic, it’s less likely to come as a surprise given people want flexibility, they want work/life balance and one way to resolve this is to job share. If this is something that you want, ask for it. You might not get it, but if you don’t speak up, you’re guaranteed not to get it.

Give your boss the facts and provide him or her with a business case as to why a job share could work and how it could work in practice, making sure you demonstrate that job sharing will work smoothly, easily, and effectively, for example, how there can be sufficient continuity between the two employees sharing the job. Are there other examples you could include where it’s worked well in other departments? The more you demonstrate your reasons and evidence, the better your case is. This will allow him or her to justify your request.

If it’s in an existing role, ask yourself what financial benefits you have brought to the company. How does the company see your future with the company unfolding? Be prepared to not like the answer, but also be prepared to present your own vision. Be aware of their body language and whether they are receptive.

The business case needs to include an introduction explaining what your proposal is about and needs to explain the benefits for your employer (highlighting what’s in it for them). You need to provide an overview of your current position and then a detailed description of how it can be split into two jobs. Follow on with your proposed work schedule and lay out the details of how the job sharing will work.

Strategies on how to negotiate a job share

  • Before raising the issue with your employer, you need to be well prepared and think everything through beforehand to convince your employer to accept this idea
  • Share a proposed work schedule and how the job sharing will be handled
  • Identify problems your job share will solve so that they feel secure and positive about it
  • Share the benefits of job sharing to your employer, especially if they’re concerned this will have a negative impact on the business and that it’ll require a lot of work on their side
  • Focus on how it’ll work so your employer understand that the job will get done as well as/or better than previously
  • Compile a list of combined duties/responsibilities and state whether they will be a joint, a specific, or a split responsibility
  • Prepare for the conversation well and even rehearse it to a friend or record yourself. Keep the conversation short, upbeat and be sure to thank them at the end.

*Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a career coach and Director of 10Eighty, a strengths-based HR consultancy. For more information, please visit www.10Eighty.co.uk.



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