The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
FlexJobs is actually the second business I've founded. When I was a junior in college, I co-founded an entry-level job search service called JobDirect, which was sold to Korn|Ferry International in 2000. Fast-forward several years later and, after a variety of interesting jobs, including several C-level positions, I found myself starting a family and laid off. Seven months pregnant, I knew I wanted to find a job that would offer some sort of flexibility and the option to work from home, but I was frustrated by how hard it was to find these jobs, even though I knew they existed. I was sure millions of other job seekers would want the same thing, if only they could find quality job leads, and the idea for FlexJobs was born.
FlexJobs is the leading service for telecommuting and flexible job listings, and since our founding in 2007, we've helped over 665,000 job seekers in their search for work flexibility. The goal of FlexJobs is to make the search for a flexible job faster, easier, and safer. We do this with a team of job researchers who spend a combined 70+ hours every day searching the web for jobs that offer some type of flexibility: telecommuting, part-time schedules, flex or alternative schedules, and freelancing. Then, we screen every job and company to weed out scams and bogus business opportunities. When a job seeker comes to FlexJobs, they'll find only the best, legitimate, professional-level telecommuting and flexible jobs–no ads, scams, or too-good-to-be-true opportunities.
What do your kids think about your job?
They think it’s super cool, mostly because I work from home and have always been able to see them throughout the day. It’s always been very important to me that I am able to be there for all of the important things in their lives, and with a job where I work flexible hours and from home, it really enables me to accomplish that. Now that they are 5 and 7, they’re starting to get a little more interested in the actual details of what I do, such as that I’m “the person in charge,” and that I “help people other people find jobs.” It’s really fun to be able to discuss my entrepreneurial ventures and help them see that they can create opportunities for themselves too.
Tell us about a total mom + biz fail?
When I had my second child, I thought that I would have no problem going back to work 4-6 weeks after he was born. And I was definitely wrong. I didn’t go back full-time, just 5-10 hours a week at first and then started ramping up, but even that was just too much. I felt like I could barely keep my head above water, both at work and as a mother. I’m not a big believer in regrets, but I really wish I had taken more time off to be just a mom at that time in my life.
Realistically though, as an entrepreneur, it was a huge challenge to take a step away from my company for any length of time without having it hurt the company. I would say I bit off more than I could chew in retrospect, but it all worked out, and there were some good lessons that I learned during that time of getting my butt kicked by the mom-work juggle.
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
My boys and I were talking about my mom (their grandmother) recently, and my 7-year-old stopped for a second, looked at me seriously, and said, “Mom, what is Yaya’s company?” It made me feel so proud that my kids just accept that women can have companies, and see it as completely normal. I love the idea that they're growing up in a world where that isn't a novelty, but more of a norm.
What’s your relationship with Mamalode?
I was lucky enough to learn about Mamalode in its early stages, and I have loved reading the magazine ever since. Although I don’t live in Missoula, my brother does, and so do some of our old family friends…one of whom is married to the Managing Editor of Mamalode, Sarah Millar! Ever since I was introduced to Mamalode through Sarah, I have been thankful for how honest, inspiring, funny, and tear-inducing it can be.