This blog post has been one I have been trying to write for a few months now. I struggled with what I wanted to convey so advance warning – I may go on the occasional tangent.
After I graduated last year I had to face the dreaded job hunt. It’s not just the searching which makes it difficult it’s trying to find something in the field you are passionate and interested in. I was lucky to land myself a nice little internship after months of rejection. It was in the third sector, redesigning and activating the charity’s website and social media profiles. It was a great experience and I was lucky to be offered an extended contract as the internship came to an end.
This was excellent news however it also created a bit of a problem. At university I had studied politics and sociology as I had always had a passion for politics and loved the variety of topics within both politics and sociology. It was for this reason I had applied for another internship through the amazing folk at Inclusion Scotland which would let me do research and gain experience of working for an MSP.
It was going to be a difficult decision of turning down a job that could become permanent for a three month internship which could give me so much experience, particularly in a field I want to be working in. It’s a hard decision to make when you want to continue to develop professionally but also personally with hopes of learning to drive and flying the nest. All of which a stable income helps with.
After a successful telephone interview that I believed had not went well I was offered the internship and lucky for me I was asked if I would take the position as a job share. I loved the idea and was lucky that my current boss was happy to have me on a part time basis. The idea of a job share hadn’t crossed my mind and to me now that is a huge problem.
The job share allowed me the best of both worlds and so much more. Working as part of a team allowed for myself and John (the other intern) to be able to bounce ideas around, discus the best way to work, to divide and conquer tasks and to support each other’s strengths and weakness as we both had different skills and experiences we could bring to the table. These not only enhanced my experience but allowed us to work smarter and produce a report that I am very proud of. It also gave the added benefit of making a new friend and comrade in the hunt for work.
The point I am taking a long time to make is that opportunities for job share positions are not advertised enough, it is not an option I believe I clearly made available or that both employees and employers understand, even to me it still feels a bit like uncharted territory.
I worry if potential employers will be put off if I want to job share and I think employers are still unsure of the vast benefits it can provide. Job sharing is hugely beneficial to both employees and employers. As an employee you get the support and opportunity you need to shine and as an employer you get diverse staff that have a huge range of experiences that will benefit you.
In the end I firmly believe two heads are better than one!
Allison is a former intern on our Access to Elected Office and Disability Equality Internship Programmes.