HireMyMom Success Story: Leslie Hawkes
What’s your success story with HireMyMom.com?
I first heard of HireMyMom in 2008. My youngest was just 1 at the time but I had been out of the workforce for 3 years by then. We had moved to a new state where I didn’t have a work history or any contacts so I thought it would be a good idea to start laying a foundation for future work by taking on a few freelance projects. I honestly can’t remember how I first heard of HireMyMom. It may have been a Google search for work from home jobs. I found my first project through the site within a week of subscribing in 2009. It may have even been on the first day that I searched the listings. I’m a writer and I found a short-term project that was just enough to get my feet wet and still have time for my kids and home responsibilities. My subscription cost was paid for with the first article I wrote.
I took some time off once that 8-month project was finished since my daughter was needing more of my attention but once she started preschool I looked again and, again, found a position the day I looked at the site. This one has turned out to be a wonderful, long-term work situation.
It was for a content marketing firm and they needed SEO (search engine optimization) content writers. I had never done that particular kind of writing before but they were willing to train me. We spoke on the phone once and I was hired as a freelance writer. I’m still working with them today in 2016! That position has resulted in me writing for 2 other content marketing firms as well.
It’s an ideal situation for me. I run my own business, make my own hours, and work from home, but I do not have to market myself or find clients. The companies I work with keep me so busy I don’t need to! I can just focus on writing.
What I especially love about these companies I work for is that they are owned and managed by SAHMs themselves so they understand all the obligations I have outside of work. I’ve developed some great virtual friendships through the jobs too, which really helps minimize any SAHM loneliness I might experience. I feel like part of a team even though we are all freelancers.
What’s your educational and experiential background?
I have a pretty varied background. I have a Bachelors in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration. Before we had kids I worked in local government (municipalities) and non-profits where I’d always end up managing the PR function, even if it wasn’t my actual job description. Writing comes naturally to me and it lends itself really well to working from home so it made sense that writing jobs are where I’d focus my efforts.
What is your top tip for landing a gig on HireMyMom.com?
I would say be honest about yourself from the start. The employers on HireMyMom already know they are marketing towards SAHMs. Don’t feel bad or try to hide your gap in work experience and don’t worry so much about your availability and if it will be enough for an employer. For the right employer it will be enough. Be honest about your capabilities and time commitment and you’ll find a better fit.
I would also say, don’t undervalue yourself. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re not “worth” a certain rate because you work from home, or you’re only going to be part-time, or you’ve been out of the workforce for X number of years. That’s not true. If you have valuable experience that can help an employer, then there is no shame in being adequately compensated for it. You’re giving up time with your family to work. Make sure it pays off for you.
What’s your favorite thing about HireMyMom.com?
I LOVE that so many employers are SAHMs themselves. It’s like a little community of support even if you don’t know the person on the other end of the email. I also love that it’s a trustworthy site. You aren’t going to find junk jobs here or any scam work from home jobs. As a writer it’s hard to find jobs that will pay a decent rate, but you don’t see any of those low-paying junk jobs on HireMyMom. I tell every mom I know about the site.
What’s one fun fact about you?
I used to be a forest ranger! I worked for a county forest preserve system right before I had kids. In fact, I was pregnant with my first one as a ranger. I loved it.