The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: Job share is a nightmare

Question: My job share person left after four years and they’ve now appointed someone else. She’s been there for three weeks and I can’t stand working with her. What can I do?” Maureen

Answer: “So this worker not only has to learn her new job in an established workgroup but also negotiate your negativity whilst attempting to build a working relationship. That’s a tall order even when fully supported so your behaviour is making it nigh on impossible.

The original job share was set up because you were close friends and there would have been a long-standing unwritten behaviour code between you as well as formal written procedures. That’s been challenged by this ‘interloper’ who has displaced someone you knew well. You are allowing your feelings of loss (and possibly betrayal, after all your friend has left you) to negatively impact your professional relationships.

Only you are responsible for your behaviour so acknowledge the internal state that’s generating your current actions and the reasons behind that. Be honest and you’ll soon recognise that you’re ‘dumping’ on the new worker unfairly. Once you’ve managed to disassociate that, I suspect that what’s left to annoy you is merely those actions of a new recruit which will settle as they learn their role.”


Laura Murphy is the founder of mtc2 ltd, a management consultancy, training and coaching company. Laura is an organisation development specialist and business coach. If you have a problem then contact her at

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Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.