Woodstock Area Job Bank

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How many times during your adult life have you wished you could clone yourself to get everything done?  I have often wished for an extra pair of hands. When my children were little, there just never seemed to be enough hours in the day.

Today, young parents are having more trouble than ever trying to make ends meet, afford good quality child care, and have some time and energy left over to enjoy their family when their work day is done.  I know many young families struggling by on split schedules to reduce the cost and time their children must spend in daycare. I know many grandparents pulled into childcare to help their own children stay afloat.

When one of my granddaughters gets sick, my daughter and son-in-law play job roulette to see who takes the day off— who will get in less trouble.  Sometimes, I know, the kids are sent to school loaded up on Tylenol so their parents can get in at least a half day before the nurse calls.  They are not the only ones.

Granted this is not a new problem, but the stakes are getting higher.  Jobs don’t have the same security they had even just twenty years ago. Living expenses are out of control. Parents taking unscheduled time off can really put their jobs at risk.

My friend Anne, used to work for MIT.  She raised two kids, never got in trouble for taking time to go to her kids’ soccer games, doctors’ appointments, or staying home when they were sick.  Why?  She had a job-share partner, Dana.  Dana also had two kids.  Dana and Anne were one employee in MIT’s eyes.  In 1984 it was new and different.  The two women originally wrote their own contract to propose to HR. No one believed it would work, but it did.  MIT got a myriad of benefits.  They had one position where no one was ever on vacation because  Anne and Dana never took vacations at the same time.  MIT never had to wait for one of the two to be present because they made a commitment to keep each other up to date on every project—no “yours and mine”.  For 25 years, the two women worked a high-level finance job and never had to walk the tightrope many parents have to walk to keep their jobs.

So although job sharing takes a lot of initial extra thought and planning, it can and does work.  In the job market today, where there are often more jobs “especially seasonal jobs” than there are workers, job sharing is a job form employers might want to revisit.

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