Those of us old enough to remember the commercial for Pantene hair products will be familiar with these famous words uttered by a young New Zealand model by the name of Rachel Hunter who would go on to reach the lofty heights of Supermodeldom (probably not a word) and marry Rod Stewart.
I was reminded of this phrase as I spent some time mind-mapping on the topic of job sharing. I’m just in the initial phase of commencing a job share and I’ve talked about it on the latest episode of my podcast, Being Indispensable. I want to be able to share my learnings from sharing my role as Executive Assistant.
Encouraging work life balance through programs and policies is something that many larger organisations are working harder than ever to embed. The traditional 9 to 5 role may not suit everyone, men and women alike. Part-time employment rates are predicted to rise, OECD data indicates that approximately 15% of workers are employed for 30 hours or less. Interestingly, the Netherlands is far above other OECD nations in this regard with a figure of over 35%. In Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported “continued strength in part-time employment growth” in it’s July 2016 employment statistics.
I’m calling this job share a ‘mini experiment’, a phrase I’ve adopted because it speaks to the intention of trying something new with a view to seeing how it works, observing and noticing rather than getting hung up on the outcome and the result. This doesn’t mean that this trial is being undertaken without a clear analysis of the business benefits. In fact, the opposite is the case.
On my podcast, I intend to share the framework that I believe will make this ‘mini experiment’ a success for the business leaders we are supporting, the internal and external stakeholders, the organisation, our colleagues and for ourselves.
Choosing the right partner to job share with is a vital ingredient in this recipe. An awareness and if necessary analysis of working styles can be extremely important in setting the job share arrangement up for success. Approaching the opportunity with a growth or learner mindset is also vital. Using the creation of a job share situation as an opportunity to introduce complementary skills is also worth considering. In my case, the person who I am job sharing with is particularly strong in systems and processes with a high level of attention to detail. This is something I am really looking forward to leveraging.
Using the creation of a job share situation as an opportunity to introduce complementary skills is also worth considering. In my case, the person who I am job sharing with is particularly strong in systems and processes and a strong track record of introducing a more rigorous approach to this in organisations. This is something I am really looking forward to leveraging as it’s when conducting our hand-over that I’ve become painfully aware of the gaps in this particular area. As I remark in my podcast episode, it’s the classic scenario that if we were hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow would someone be able to come in and pick up the pieces (metaphorically, of course)!
I’m looking forward to outlining the ‘scaffold’ or framework of thinking that has emerged from my mind-mapping exercise on job sharing. In the meantime, I’m excited by the opportunity this ‘mini experiment’ presents and learning how other Executive Assistants manage a job share scenario. Please share this article with anyone on LinkedIn who you think could provide insights into this topic or would benefit from my experience.
By the way, can anyone authenticate the existence of the Swiss Hair Institute mentioned in the Rachel Hunter clip? Oh the art of the advertisement, it sounds so credible!
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I work with executive assistants and administrative assistants to equip them with the skills and confidence they need to influence more effectively and demonstrate the leadership and interpersonal skills to make them a 'linchpin' to their boss and organisation.
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