By Teri Hockett
Hello, my name is Teri Hockett, Chief Executive Officer of What’s For Work?
This month, my team and I celebrate the launch of What’s For Work?, a journey of three years in the making. What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs. And today, I am here to share the story of how we came about.
Friends with Ideas
A few years ago my husband, Jim Hockett, came back from a 3-week backpacking trip in the beautiful State of Montana with his good friend, Dennis Thompson; ready to start a new business focused on redefining how employers acquire talent and people find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies. Jim and Dennis were experts in their field, and both had prior experience in building businesses with great success. Jim, an expert in the field of Computer Science, and Dennis, in the field of Career Management and Executive Search, along with being a published author of Four Degrees to Your Dream Job. Together, they were ready to redefine career management.
A Female Perspective
As with any great business idea, you eventually run into stumbling blocks, which was the case with us. At one point in the design phase, the guys were thinking of scrapping the whole idea. But I put the brakes on that nonsense. You see, while Jim and Dennis were thinking grand scale solutions to career management, it was women that really needed help.
As fate would have it, I had spent many hours with Dennis proctoring his seminars and learning his methodology; and I just knew that this was the solution to the challenges that some of my friends and I were encountering as we began trying to get back into the job market. It was my belief in and passion for their idea that landed me the CEO position.
A pivotal moment came one afternoon, when Dennis and I meet with my good friend Peggy to review her job skills so that she could write her resume. Peggy’s story, like so many others in my circle, was intriguing. Here was an educated, bright, articulate and wonderful woman without a significant work history. She married shortly after college with about 6-months of work history under her belt, had a couple of beautiful children and moved several times to accommodate her husband’s career. Peggy chose to be a stay at home mom, and she did an outstanding job of this. But how could that help her re-enter the job market now?
Dennis asked some probing questions, such as What have you done during this time?, followed up with Exactly what did you accomplish? At first I felt a little put off, like here we go again feeling judged for our choices. But what came next was nothing short of amazing. Peggy had overseen multiple household moves, a complete home renovation with a budget of $100,000+, she served as PTA President twice, and held NCL positions over six years leading up to NCL President once. You see Peggy was Employed by Life; she had skills, experience, and maturity that could land her an executive role in today’s marketplace. From this moment, I knew we had to bring What’s For Work? to life and help others like Peggy.
As for me personally, it was more about having everything in one place. I made the decision to return to the workforce after years of raising a family, supporting my husband, etc. I started researching all sorts of things, from how-to write a resume, where to look for jobs, skills I might need, creating a digital presence, and so on. The list went on and on and quickly became overwhelming.
I found answers and suggestions all over the web, but nothing had everything in one place. How was I ever going to stay organized with my search? I sent out dozens of resumes into what felt like a black hole, which left me with questions. Did they disappear? Were they received? Was I being considered? Who can I speak with on the status?
During the process, I had to keep notes about what jobs I had applied for, just so when (or if) they did contact me for an interview, I would be ready. Even more interesting was that several of the calls I did receive were not even jobs I had applied for – talk about being thrown off guard!
To make a long story short, the process of re-entering the job market was confusing and chaotic at best for people like Peggy and myself — something had to change.
The Way Forward
What’s for Work? took challenges like the ones Peggy, I, and other women experience to heart. As a result, we made available professional resources and tools that help women take control of their careers — with everything in one place.
As the late great Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to find what you love”, and “the first story is about connecting the dots.” I can relate to this, because I have found a job that I love, one that I am proud to be associated with… What’s For Work? I found this by being married to a brilliant man with a talented and wonderful friend, that came up with an incredible idea. When put together with the needs of my dearest friends and my own, What’s For Work? was born.
Let the adventure begin. 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read, I look forward to connecting with you.
About the Author
About What’s For Work?
The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/
Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.