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Job Sharing

An Interview: Part 1


Many women, and men, are faced with the choice of continuing their careers or raising a family. Job sharing provides the opportunity to do both. To learn more about this alternative work arrangement, I interviewed Kathy Tenenbaum and Gerri Vopelak of Job Sharing Resources, a company based in Merrick, New York.

Dawn Rosenberg McKay: Can you please tell me about your company, Job Sharing Resources?

Job Sharing Resources: Job Sharing Resources is an employment services company, that is dedicated to job sharing. We focus on positions in information systems, finance, marketing and administration. Job Sharing Resources will find a job sharing partner for employees that a company wants to keep, and keep satisfied. Job Sharing Resources can match up job share partners with the right experience and needs. My partner Gerri and I have expertise and personal experience in the area of job sharing and understand the nuances of this alternative work arrangement.

DRM: Can you explain what job sharing is?

JSR: Job sharing is a flexible work arrangement where the responsibilities of a full-time position are split between two people. Job sharing offers many benefits to companies as well as meeting the needs of the employee.

DRM: Why would someone consider a job share? How can it benefit an employee?

JSR: Someone would consider job sharing when they feel that because of personal responsibilities they can no longer work on a full time basis. Job sharing allows an individual to create a sense of balance in their lives, while still being able to preserve their career skills and status within their profession.

The first step in thinking about job sharing as a possible option is to take the time to assess the various components of one's own life: work versus personal relationships. During this process of career life planning, one should think about their own life and whether it is in balance.

DRM: It's fairly simple to understand the concept of splitting a salary based on the percentage of time each person works. Benefits, i.e. health benefits, vacations, and sick days, are a little more complicated, I imagine. How does that work?

JSR: If part-time employees in the company receive full-time benefits, then each partner would also receive full benefits. If full-time benefits are not available, one option is for one of the partners to forego the benefits if they can go on a spouse's plan, while the other partner retains the benefits. Benefits can also be offered on a prorated basis where the two employees' benefits equal the cost of one person.

DRM: How long has the concept of job sharing been around?

JSR: We have read about isolated examples of job sharing in the early 1980s. However, job sharing has really become more prevalent during the last ten years, as women have entered the professional ranks in greater numbers and expressed interest in alternative work arrangements.

Part 2

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