Many working moms with high-pressure jobs think, if only two women job sharing could fill this position! Job sharing can be a terrific solution for employees who want challenging careers and lots of time with their family. But there are disadvantages for two women job sharing -- or for two men.
Job Sharing Means Less Income
The primary disadvantage for two women job sharing is the loss of income. Typically, an employer will cut your pay proportionate to your reduction in hours from a full-time schedule.
So, if you work 20 hours a week and your job-share partner works 20 hours, you each make half a full-time salary -- and sometimes even less than half.
Moreover, organizations often cut benefits for workers who job share. So you may have to contribute more toward your health insurance -- if you're even eligible for medical benefits. The company's contribution toward your 401(k) account or other retirement plan usually will drop as well.
You Share Accomplishments
Working in a job share is the ultimate exercise in teamwork. There are many benefits to this approach, but one key disadvantage is the loss of individual accomplishments.
If you work as an integrated job-share team -- as opposed to simply splitting shifts -- you must acknowledge your partner's contribution to any achievement. Some people miss the sense of personal accomplishment. Or, they feel uncomfortable being associated with their partner's failures or shortcomings.
Two women job sharing are often compared with each other, or they may be viewed as interchangeable. Some don't like the sense of having less of an individual identity and some feel the arrangement sets up an unpleasant competition.
Your Circumstances May Change
Entering into a job share is a major commitment to your employer and your teammate to make the situation work. But sometimes life circumstances change.
If you get a divorce, your spouse moves or another development forces you to seek full-time work, it may not be available at your current employer. That's not only tricky for you, it disrupts your job-share partner's life as well.
This is true of any part-time work arrangement, but in a job share your connection to your work partner adds another element of variability.
Even in the short term, your teammate's ups and downs affect you. If she's struggling with an unreliable child care situation, or her child is sick, you may be called to fill in for her.