How often have you meet a working mum who works in the corporate world part time and yet they’re on emails and calls on their days off? I’ve experienced the part time trap and learnt the hard way that part time isn’t a substitute for job share.

What is the difference between part time and job share?

Job Design

A part time role should have responsibilities that can be achieved in part time hours. It should be positions in the organisation that can survive without the person being required to work full time. Job share is two people working part time hours to fore fill one full time job. The demands of the job means it needs to deliver the requirements of the role in 38 hours a week.

Be careful when returning to work asking for part time hours. Does that mean your role, responsibilities and deadlines will change accordingly? The answer is that they should or the role should be job share rather then part time.

Sharing the role and responsibilities

In a part time role one person is responsible to complete the job. When the employee is not in the office the work stops until he/she returns. In a job share arrangement there are two people sharing the responsibilities of one job, which is of a huge benefit to the employee and the employers. When I’m on my day off I can totally switch off because I know my job share partner is on it. My employer knows there is always someone in the office covering the work and the company is getting two brains for the price of one. The work continues as if someone was hired full time.

If you’re getting calls on your days off or can’t achieve a deadline without having to working additional days then the role should be job share rather than part time.

Continued potential opportunities

Part time roles are often limiting to the amount of opportunities presented to the employee. The higher the position and salary generally means a heavier reliance on the employee to achieve the job objectives that cannot be sustained in a part time capacity. In a job share role the job share partners can sustain more impactful, substantial and senior roles. Employers are not disadvantaged as the partners cover the intensity of a five-day week and keep up with the demands of the company. Having two people share one role can create efficiencies by bringing two different or complimentary skillsets increasing the opportunity and likely success of the partnerships performance.

You reached a certain level before going on maternity leave so why should you return to a more junior level part time role with a lesser salary and a step back in your career?

If you are planning to return to work and requesting part time hours look ahead and don’t just aim to secure the part time hours but think about the your overall success in the position you return too. At Gemini3 we offer individual coaching sessions to navigate your way through your return to work negotiations to ensure you set yourself up for continued career success.