Marika Mayhew and Michelle Ewing have successfully job shared two roles for more than 4 years. They live in different countries with Michelle based in New Zealand and Marika in Australia, and have only met face to face three times but that hasn’t stopped them being successful job share partners.
Michelle and Marika had both been with IBM for a number of years before they became job share partners in 2010. Both had young children and were looking for a flexible work arrangement that would allow them to continue doing meaningful work as well as give them the time they needed for their family.
“The challenge was I wanted to do interesting and impactful work but not work every day of the week”, explains Marika. The best way to meet these objectives was to seek a job share arrangement and identify a suitable job share partner. Her manager was aware of Michelle being in a similar situation and the job share option was suggested to them.
Job sharing involves two people who work together to fulfil the requirements of one full time role. Michelle and Marika’s job share allows both of them to work 3 days a week to enable one overlap day. Their working week is structured to allow time to collaborate, share ideas and ensure they are both fully across key deliverables.
“The overall experience of job sharing has been fantastic for both of us,” says Michelle. “We are now heading towards our fifth year working together and have moved into a new Global role in a job share arrangement in the Learning area.”
Job sharing has meant that they can completely switch off on their days away from the office, be that during a non-work day or while on holidays. It has allowed them to know their projects are in good hands with their job share partner.
Michelle and Marika have developed robust information sharing practices and take the time to maintain a strong working relationship between themselves and their clients. Being in a job share means that they are both sharing the position and this requires an immense amount of mutual trust.
Teamwork is also the key to a successful job share. “You can’t be focused on individual outcomes,” explains Marika. “An ideal job share occurs when the client views you and your partner as one.” Their measure of success is that their client’s experience when working with them is seamless and they don’t notice they are dealing with two different people.
“Over the five years we have worked together we have shared a number of experiences including those outside of work which has helped us to build a strong bond and deep friendship which has been a wonderful bonus of job share,” says Michelle.
For more information, take a look at the IBM Diversity website.
What will you make with IBM?