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02 Feb

MomFair is Coming to Agoura Hills Mar 12, 6-9PM!

TheMomFair: Job Fair and Conference is coming to Agoura Hills, March 12, 6-9pm! Our panelists will be discussing "Career Transitions for Moms and the Challenge of returning to Work." Join us for an informative discussion and network with recruiters, counselors and moms, who are also looking to return to work or transition their career. Also take some time to meet with team recruiters in our Work from Home Marketplace, where you will have the opportunity to learn first-hand why direct sales are a great way to "keep your foot in the door" and work from home! Get your tickets now! Have a MomAngeles Perks Card? Save $10 with Promo Code. Click here for code (you must be logged in to see the code) or check your weekly Perks Blast for details.

TICKETS WILL NOT BE SOLD AT THE DOOR. YOU MUST RSVP TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT. WE CLOSE TIX SALES AT MIDNIGHT THE DAY BEFORE THE EVENT.

Event registration for TheMomFair - February 2015 powered by Eventbrite

WHAT IS MOMFAIR?

MomFair provides you with the inspiration and resources you need to start thinking about going back to work. In addition to an informative panel discussion and exploring flexible work from home opportunities, meet and get feedback from experts relating to resume building, your Linked In profile, fitness, personal style and childcare. We also host a Work from Home Marketplace to put the a variety of options for keeping yourself working while home with kids or building your own direct sales empire at your fingertips.

6pm-7pm - Work from Home Marketplace, networking, meet with recruiters, coaches, experts, resume building, personal branding and headshots 7pm-8pm - Panel Discussion moderated by Laura Nickerson, Q&A 8pm- 9pm - More networking and and Work from Home Marketplace

MODERATOR

Laura NickersonLaura Nickerson is a Momblogger the go-to gal for cheap and local Family Activities. She hosts the weekly television show "The Buzz" for CTV and does a weekly top 5 family activities show "SCV Buzz" for KHTS AM 1220. She is a Momblogger at BuzzLA and Conejo Valley Happening and recently wrote a family activities guest blog for KOST 103.5. Her radio and television show "Broad Topics" ran for 5 years, and she also was a traffic reporter for Clear Channel stations KFI and KTLK, in which her reports always sounded like this: "Traffic in LA is bad, really bad. Try learning to skateboard, or fly. You'll get there faster on this...Sunday morning...". Of all of the things she has done, trying to get two kids to nap at the same time has been the most difficult. You can find her online at www.lauranickerson.com, www.hometownstation.com, Twitter and Instagram @nickerberger @scvbuzz #buzzLA.

PANELISTS

Jennifer Chow Bevan is a Los Angeles based executive career coach and strategist and has coached hundreds of professionals through their career transitions and relaunches. With 15 years of professional experience in MBA career management, management consulting, brand management and investment banking, Jennifer brings her personal experience and success navigating change and transition coupled with her coaching experience to help her clients.Jennifer served as a career coach at UCLA Anderson School of Management for almost six years, conducting over 2,000 coaching sessions with MBA students. As co-developer and lecturer of the Parker Career Management Series for MBAs, she’s taught every career skill from self-assessment to offer negotiation. See more on her site PathRelaunch.

amy headshotAmy Ritz is the Marketing Lead for Accenture’s practice in Northern California, developing marketing strategy and facilitating client relationship development opportunities that help to increase Accenture's local presence in the region. Amy began her career, post MBA, at Mattel where she served as a Director of Marketing on the Barbie brand. Other work experience includes VP of Marketing at a now defunct start up, and Account Supervisor at a boutique advertising agency. After a nine year (yes, nine year) maternity leave, Amy returned to the workforce in her current role at Accenture. Amy lives in Beverlywood with her husband and two children (13 and 9).

jen bensonJennifer Benson founded Jeneration PR in 2005 after several years of practicing as a civil litigation attorney. Frustrated with the lack of creativity and slow pace of work in litigation, she began promoting a cosmetics line that she discovered on a trip to Europe and enjoyed it so much that it served as a catalyst to leave the legal field and pursue a fulltime career in public relations.Jennifer is now a regularly featured PR & social media expert on American Express OPEN Forum for small business and has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur magazine, PR Week, Los Angeles Daily News, Fox 11 News, TV Guide Network’s “Hollywood 411″ and was profiled on Apple.com. Jennifer was also featured in the “Limelight Series” on PR Web, and selected by Babble.com as one of the 10 “Mompreneurs Who Made it Big!”

nicole hirsty saine croppedNicole Hirsty Saine, Celebrity Event Planner and Amy Kaufman Levy, 3D animation Executive Producer, founded The Play Destination after spending countless hours at numerous indoor playgrounds, kids birthday parties, and classes, where they were inspired to create something different for their mommy community. As a mother, event planner and entrepreneur, Nicole understands the challenges busy moms face trying to get their kids to classes, find safe places for them to play and, of course, planning great birthday parties.

What else happens at MomFair?

WORK FROM HOME MARKETPLACE & CAREER RESOURCES At every event we set up a career marketplace. While it may look like a trunk show, its really about finding career opportunities. And direct sales is an amazing way to hone your skills and stay sharp - plus work from home! Come meet team recruiters from the following companies:

 winnie and kat tmf arbonne young livingTMF CluckCluck_Logo  tmf wildtree logo Madison-Debt-Tax-Relief-Circle-LOGO-Smalltmf rodan and fields

RESUME REVIEWS  At every event we have professionals available to review your resume and offer advice on how to put your "best you forward" on paper. So bring your resume with you to the event!

PR-logo-72dpi2

THE BEST YOU We bring in experts to be available one-on-one during the first hour of the event and after the panel discussion to chat with you about work life balance, making fitness a priority, making a good impression online, updating your resume and tips for job interviews. Our friends from The Headshot Truck will be joining us to offer affordable headshots to our attendees as well!

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WANT TO ATTEND BUT NEED A SITTER? Problem solved! Get a $75 credit with UrbanSitter good for one month FREE membership and a $50 sitter service when you book a sitter on March 12. Just visit https://www.urbansitter.com/promo/momfair to redeem. urban sitter logo copy _______________________________________________________________________________________

BE A PART OF THE MOMFAIR Are you a direct sales representative looking to add to your team? A recruiter looking for top notch candidates? A career counselor? Resume specialist? Or do you offer other resources to busy moms? Email galite@momangeles.com to find out about being part of our marketplace.

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02 Jun

Top 10 Tips to Help Working Moms Manage Their Time Better

Moms - raising a family is an all-consuming job in itself with making lunches, carpool, managing in-school and after school activities, volunteering at school, managing your social schedule (ha! we wish), the grocery shopping, making dinner, doing the laundry and getting the dogs to the vet, its just the tip of the iceberg. Adding work into all of that seems near impossible. Or doing it all seems near impossible. Here's some tips we have for making life seem more manageable.

Number 1: "Do What You Can Do" Be realistic about the goals you can accomplish in a morning, in a day, in a week. And be forgiving of yourself. As Moms we "do what we can do."

Number 2: Make lists and split up the lists into categories or days. It makes everything you have to do seem more manageable. Then dole them out throughout the week.

Number 3: Accomplish 3 things every day. It's that simple. Pulling from your To Do lists, decide on 3 things that you HAVE to complete that day. And if you have time to finish your "3 things" for the next day then kudos to you!  That's an extra accomplishment.

Number 4: Delegate. You don't have to do everything. Find ways to pass off tasks to other people. Need to clean out your garage? Post specific tasks on Task Rabbit and have someone else help you sell off things item by item or hire a personal organizer to clean out your garage and get it ready for a garage sale. Pay both people with the money you earn from selling items in your garage.

Number 5: Accept that its ok if your laundry sits in the dryer for 3 days before you have time to fold it and put it away. Laundry can be folded while watching tv. Use the time you would have spent folding laundry to check one other item off your "3 things" list.

Number 6: Get the kids to help. Feeling like you aren't spending enough quality time with your kids? You don't have to cook dinner alone. Have them help you roll meatballs, add ingredients to a salad or set the table.

Number 7: Proximity is key. We love Samantha Ettus suggestion of the "golden triangle" - run your errands in the geographical "triangle" between home, school and work.

Number 8: Take advantage of the internet. Dry cleaners deliver. So do restaurants. And guess what - so does Vons. You can place orders for almost everything in your household online. Set up an Amazon Prime account and order everything online. For $85 a year you can save yourself a lot of time and gas money by NOT running errands. And with an Amazon Prime account you also get free access to their streaming content (movies and tv shows).

Number 9: Take turns with your husband on the weekend. Finding me time is especially hard for working parents. You should both commit to taking your kids for a playdate, team sport or birthday party on the weekend while the other spouse does something for themselves. Run one errand on the way back. Then switch!

Number 10: Sleep. If you are too tired to think straight, you will not be able to implement our time-saving tips bc you'll be too foggy to think about all the things you need to do. Plus sleep helps lower stress. (PS - did you know there are sleep studies that show that getting the right amount of sleep affects belly fat...yup, higher levels of cortisol...caused by stress, leads to belly fat.)

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23 May

May 29 Event: The Power of Social Media

Join Siobhan O’Neill, Vice President- Digital, Edelman Public Relations for a stimulating discussion of the increasingly important role of moms in social media within the world of public relations and business. GET TICKETS ONLINE
Thursday, May 29th
7:00- 9:00 pm
$15 prepaid online
$20 at the door
She emphasizes the importance of starting with research and having a holistic awareness of the persuasive power of viral material and its ability to make or break a company’s reputation. She is joined by Wenday Doulton, CEO Katalyst Group and Janis Brett Elspas, Tech Columnist for SocialMoms.com and MommyBlogsExpert.com for an evening of exciting conversation.
Who are the power users of social media? 89% of moms who own mobile devices and have Facebook pages access the site on mobile at least weekly, according to BabyCenter's 2013 Social Mom Report. Among non-moms with the same characteristics, the proportion was 73%.Also, 61% of mobile moms who tweet access the site at least weekly on their smartphone or tablet. Among non-mom Twitter members who owned mobile devices, the proportion was 55%.According to the study, moms in general tend to be heavy users of all the major social networks: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. They also tend to have larger networks of friends and followers than the general population.
Siobhan O 'Neill is a communications management professional with nearly fifteen years' experience in the digital space.She serves Edelman clients as a Vice President in the West Coast Digital practice and is part of both their Crisis Practice's Emerging Leaders Program and their Food Practice Network. She has been a guest lecturer for USC Annenberg School of Communications and a Visiting Professor teaching digital media to graduate students at Johns Hopkins University's Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences.
Wendy  Doulton CEO, The Katalyst Group has an extensive background in executive search focusing on digital media, entertainment and online. With a focus on industry specialization over functional expertise, Wendy has conducted numerous searches for senior leaders and functional heads ranging from various Technology leadership roles to Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Content/Programming, Product and Operations/Finance. Past and present representative client companies include Google, Amazon, Discovery, Yahoo Media Group, Twitter, Nike Digital, The Gap, Otterbox, Sony and Fox to name a few.
Educated in England and France where she earned her BA in International Relations and Economics and having conducted searches on all continents, Wendy brings a truly global perspective and understanding to her work.
 
Janis Brett Elspas, proud mother of four -- TRIPLETS plus one more -- all born within a year. She is an award-winning blogger, seasoned social media strategist and traditional PR consultant specializing in communicating with and marketing to women, moms, dads, kids, and families across the generations.
 

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14 May

Cubi-hood

It never occurred to me how much time I actually spent in my cubicle. Like millions of Americans and people around the globe; we spend countless hours day after day, year after year working in a constricted space alongside the masses. It was not until I left my company in Jan 2013 to take time to be with my family I had a chance to reflect on my cubi- hood. I spent 15 solid years hanging out in a gray plastic sterile little wall space. Looking back, it was two years short of my entire childhood growing up in the suburbs of Detroit.

Over those 15 years, I viewed this room with no view (except for some of my last year’s where I had proudly earned a window) a space that provided me security and rewarded me for the fruits of my labor. On the other hand, I often felt restricted and confined to my ‘cube’ beginning to resent this space as it prevented me from enjoying the outside world. Whether this meant just breathing fresh air, participating in activities, traveling or growing as a person. In my opinion, the experiences beyond the monotonous walls were the type of growth only one could experience if you were not sitting hunched over in a dull box all day. Some people could even go as far to compare it to a prison cell; allowed to break for a 20 minute lunch in the courtyard, engage in a bitch session with a co-worker (fellow in-mate) and then back to work you go! Don’t be fooled, there was no real privacy in this space, you can never shut the door and at any time anyone could walk into your space, you are always on. I quickly learned bathroom stalls and hidden conference rooms are your friend if a moment of privacy was truly needed.

Candidly, as I started to ponder my ‘cubi-time’ many different things occurred in addition to the daily work grind. Many conversations and interesting encounters happened with people whose paths I would most likely not have crossed in life.   I sat next to a wonderful girl who was fighting a severe case of MS and just tried to make in the office so she could maintain a regular job and help provide for her family. The struggle she must have gone through during the day inspires me to be a stronger person. I saw fellow cube mates fall in love and get married. I experienced people planning their weddings, baby showers and other important life milestones and got to hear intimate details and day-by-day updates. There were colleagues trying to conceive and saw the pain and tears during mis-carriage. I learned about the challenges of bright, talented African American women getting passed over for well-deserved promotion only because of stereotypical and political limitations that are sometimes the harsh realities of corporate America. I witnessed a colleague’s who heart was broken by her boyfriend which then she proceeded to walk the halls of the office depressed and almost lifeless for months.   Moreover, I witnessed a fellow co-worker lose three family members and her closest companion her dog in one year and saw the rollercoaster of grief when loved ones pass.

During the recession, there were co-workers lives devastated as a result of layoffs and the distressed look on their faces knowing they had to head home to their families to only reveal their new reality.

In the early and less serious years, there was cubi-phone boyfriend relations, break-ups, make-ups and even a vomit here and there due to a bad hangover.

On a positive note, I heard the joy people had boasting about their children; learning about their latest family activity or hear fellow mate’s lifelong dreams. And we celebrated so many special milestones (birthdays, wedding, baby showers, and promotions) to many to even recall. There was always a shared smile when co-workers were acknowledged for hard work and rewarded with new exciting career opportunities.

Last year, when I packed up my cubicle and set-out for new adventures, it occurred to me that all of the time spent in the so-called mundane gray walls was my second childhood, my cubi-hood.

Ironically, the space that I viewed as limiting turned out to be a window to the world, gaining new perspectives, understanding different cultures, encountering inspirational colleagues and engaging in relationships which provided invaluable life lessons and experiences. Never underestimate the power of your cubi-hood.

 

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05 May

From Blogher…How My Daughter Made Me Feel Better About Going Back to Work

Excerpt from Blogher Contributor dvorakoelling

So, I'm going back to work. Full time.

It's such a crazy feeling, to be on the cusp of this major change. I'm elated, on the one hand, because I got offered a job that seems challenging and interesting in an environment that seems incredibly positive and supportive. I will no longer just be known as "mommy" or "Ember's mommy" or "Oren's mommy." I will have a valid reason to wear something other than sweatpants and a t-shirt. I won't have to fill my co-workers' sippy cups with apple juice every ten minutes. I will be able to have actual adult conversations, and not just daydream about them.

But I'm also sad and worried. In ten days, I will no longer be singing "Let It Go" with my kids every five minutes. I will no longer be taking the kids to the toddler story times at the library every day. I will no longer be the person who is with my kids each time they reach some huge or tiny developmental milestone. I will no longer have my sweet little hand-clapping, feet stomping, head-bobbing entourage with me throughout the day.

My kids are amazing. They can be difficult to manage every hour of every day, but they are amazing. I am so proud of who they are, even at only 16 months old and three and a half years old. And even though I am having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that the intense period of mothering that I have experienced as a stay-at-home mom is coming to an end, I know they are going to do really well in this next phase of childhood. Because they are amazing.

So this is my SAHM swan song...TO READ THE REST VISIT BLOGHER ONLINE

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24 Apr

1 Million for Work Flexibility

When you believe in something, really believe in it, you have no choice but to take and stand or become involved. We've done just that. We are joining forces with the many voices and companies who believe in creating work flexibility. 1 Million for Work Flexibility is a national initiative to bring people together and create a collective voice in support of work flexibility.

"In order to truly change workplace culture, we believe it is critical to engage the individuals who want and need work flexibility. Currently, change is typically driven by corporate HR departments. While the corporate efforts are valuable, we believe that both efforts—from individuals and from corporate headquarters—are needed in order to achieve more traction for change. By working together, we can help make work flexibility become a core part of the 21st century workplace."

We are joining forces with our friends and partners at FlexJobs, MomCorps and Business Talent Group along with many other great organizations like Working Mother Magazine, NAFE, MomRising, Women for Hire, eWork, Flexpaths and many many more (see the entire list here) to spread the word and encourage flexible work solutions for Moms, for Dads and for people everywhere.

Want to know more?  Visit them online at www.workflexibility.org.

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07 Apr

4 Tips for Starting Your Own Home-Based Business

Dreaming of launching a business from your home? You’ll join an ever-growing number of entrepreneurs, according to a broad new report based on 6,000 surveys.

Sixty-nine percent of all U.S. businesses start in the home and half of them are still home-based long after they launch, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report.

“The median start-up cost was $15,000 but remember, that’s the median – it means plenty of people spend much less than that,” says Renae Christine, a serial entrepreneur who has created dozens of successful home-based businesses for herself and others. She shares practical how-to advice in her new book, “Home Business Startup Bible,” (www.richmombusiness.com).

“I started out helping other stay-at-home moms who wanted to create businesses, but there are men and women of all ages who want the freedom and independence you get from owning your own business and keeping it in the home.”

Christine says she learned a lot from early colossal failures and from her successes, too.

“A lot of people just starting out don’t think in terms of, ‘Will this choice still work in five years if the business is very successful?’ You need to consider that because it’s difficult and sometimes bad for business to go back and change things once you’ve become established,” she says.

If you’re thinking about starting a home-based business, she shares some tips for laying the groundwork.

•  It all starts with an idea – is yours a good one? You need to be able to easily explain your idea (product or service) in one or two sentences because that’s all you’ll get to “sell” it to customers, investors and the media, including bloggers who you seek out for reviews. If you can’t explain it well in two sentences, either work on a simpler way to describe it or come up with a new idea.

•  Determine whether your idea has been done before or if it’s brand new. There are generally three possibilities: It has been done but there’s still demand; it has been done and the market is saturated; or it has never been done. You can be successful in any of these scenarios, if you know where your idea falls and strategize appropriately. Search keyword phrases to see if what you have in mind already exists. If you come up empty, there’s either no demand or it’s never been done before. If it’s been done, search for competitors and see how many they are, what they’re doing, and how you might innovate to provide something even better, whether it’s product quality or service.

•  Create a list of all the things you need to plan for in your business. The list might be a series of questions whose answers will be the basis for your business plan. They might include – but by no means are limited to: What are you going to sell and for how much? Will you make or buy the product? How will you package and ship it? Will you ship internationally? How will you communicate with customers? What will be your business colors? Will you hire a bookkeeper or explore software to do that yourself? The list may seem daunting, but take time to make each decision one at a time and soon, you’ll see your business taking shape.

•  Name your company after yourself or give it a made-up, easy-to-remember one-word name. Naming the company after your product or service seriously limits future expansion (remember – it’s important to think ahead!) Naming it after yourself or giving it a one-word, made-up name allows you to expand into other products, services, and even industries. It also provides a common denominator that ties everything together. If you think you may eventually sell the company, go with a made-up name (think Zappos, Etsy, Google.) Doublecheck the U.S. Patent and Trademark website to ensure the name – even if it’s your own! -- is not already trademarked.

About Renae Christine

Renae Christine is the owner of by Renae Christine, a company that has launched several successful businesses and has helped launch dozens more for others. A journalist, she’s known for her popular YouTube videos (search Rich Mom Business channel), which use humor and pragmatism to advise others who want to launch home-based businesses. She recently published “Home Business Startup Bible,” (www.richmombusiness.com), a comprehensive how-to guide. Christine is also the founder of the Rich Mom Business University and co-hosts the online TV show, “Funny Stuff and Cheese.”

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18 Feb

Why Blog? It’s a Great Pathway to Getting a Job

Many of us think of blogging as the answer to earning an at home income. Ask any blogger who's been at it for a while and they will tell you that creating the blog is the easy part, making money from it is a whole other ball game. Yes, there are many successful bloggers out there who are earning a living just from running their sites. But many of these successful bloggers are also marketers who understand how to build audiences and how to work with brands to accomplish marketing goals.

For instance, Andrea Fellman of SavvySassyMoms has worked tirelessly to build online content that resonates with readers. She has a tremendous following both online and in social media. With more than 55,000 twitter followers, 7,000 Pinterest Followers and 8,000 Facebook fans Andrea is able to to reach a lot of Moms and for that advertisers will pay. In fact Andrea has done so well as a blogger that she and her family moved to Costa Rica last year.  This is an amazing example of why it pays to blog. Congrats Andrea!

But don't let the money be your motivation. Blogging develops skills. To be a blogger you must learn to write and write well. You will learn to manage WordPress, which is a highly sought-after skill set these days. You will also have to learn how to properly utilize social media to promote your blog. Hootsuite, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will become your best friends. You may even become a video producer and learn iMovie or other editing software and become familiar with posting to Vimeo and You Tube. If you look up job descriptions for Social Media Managers online they all list these skills and tools in the job description. But you can't just know how to use the tools, you have to have shown proven success with building audiences and developing messaging with social media.

In a recent article on BlogHer, CB Harmon writes "With great trepidation, I sat down to write my resume last summer, after a 13-year (yes I'm old) hiatus from corporate America. It was only then, when I sat down to reflect on what I'd been doing since I began blogging in 2009, that I realized the vast number of skills I've acquired, skills that employers want."  Those skills included understanding of SEO, an ability to write keyword rich content, writing and editing skills, expertise in producing and delivering effective email campaigns, social media expertise and video recording and editing experience. WOW! That's exactly what most Digital Media Manager jobs ask for in the skill set. 

Also, blogging is a way to stay sharp, to keep your head in the game and give you some time out of Mommydom and "kids speak" all day. It's also a way to build your business network. I have met so many companies, decision makers and business professionals because of my blogging. It also gives me something else to chat about at cocktail parties and the Dads I am chatting with don't instantly walk away when I tell them I am a stay at home Mom. (Working Dads often find that having one stay at home Mom - their wife - to chat with is often all they can handle at a cocktail party.)

So start blogging ladies!  All it takes is one simple topic. Pick something you know, something you are passionate about writing about and just start writing.  Here are some examples of Moms who took their passions or their kids passions and turned them into a blog.

SkateMamas tagline is "Move over soccer Moms." Eva G and Bernadette R are moms of boys who love to skateboard. They hold court at the skate park, but they will always make room for one more. Just be sure that you have enough snacks for all of them. The ice cream man joins them at around four each day, and he never has any change. Just sayin.

My blog, MomAngeles, is a curated online resource for busy LA Moms. I started by gathering info on the places we were hosting playdates and it just grew from there. My passion for everything LA is what fuels my site. 

My friend Susanna blogs at NotJune and she and my other friend "Pauline" both blog about their divorces at DivorcedMomsthe leading resource and community for divorced moms to connect, communicate, express their passion and thoughts, share experiences and find expert information and advice.

There's also a gazillion food bloggers out there. But son't let that stop you. You have a voice. Figure out your niche and go for it. But we also recommend checking out this list of Top Food Bloggers because it might give you some ideas. 

How do you get started? I recommend just picking a free WordPress template to get started. Why spend any money until you know for sure what you are doing? And don't let a clever name or web address hang you up. MomAngeleswas originally called LA Toddler Fun. You can always come up with a cute name and port all of your content to a new WordPress site later. Just buy a web address on Go Daddy and set-up a WordPress hosting account. They walk you through the whole process. Don't buy any extra bells or whistles. Remember - you are just starting out.

Ready to hire someone? I wish I had a list of inexpensive WordPress designers. But I don't. Hopefully as our Directory grows more and more  web designers will add themselves to our listings. And as I find them I will add them to this post too.

Also - see these great tips from The Mommyhood Project. Great content advice! We borrowed our pic from her too. Thanks Mommyhood!

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I Fought The Law..."I Fought the Law"-- Alicia (Julianna Margulies, right) and Grace (Makenzie Vega, left) look on from the car after Zach is pulled over by a police officer, on THE GOOD WIFE, Sunday 30, (9:00 ?? 10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS ?2012 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
21 Nov

Why 43% of Women With Children Leave Their Jobs, and How to Get Them Back

This piece was originally post on The Atlantic on April 19, 2013

I read Lean In expecting a manifesto for my generation. Instead, I found myself in a statistic on the bottom of page 98. "43% of highly qualified women with children are leaving careers or off-ramping for a period of time." This is me. I am the 43 percent. For those of us who left the traditional workforce to raise their kids with full intention of returning to the workplace, Sheryl Sandberg provides no advice or strategies for re-entry.

I have a similar background to Sandberg. With a BA from Columbia, a Masters from Harvard and an MBA from Wharton, I also spent time as a management consultant, working long hours. My OB still jokes about my phone call when I was seven months pregnant to ask if I could go with work to visit an oil rig in Jakarta (the answer was no). I negotiated the first maternity leave ever for a consultant in my office. There had never been a woman at my level who had gotten pregnant before. I was back at work after 10 weeks as I always thought I would, leaving my baby with my supportive husband and a nanny.

I was missing out on key moments in my daughter's life and I was an exhausted, nervous wreck. It would be an easy story to say that my consulting firm pushed me out—but it was the opposite. They tried hard to keep me. They let me work from home often and take time off for appointments. "Just get the job done," they said. That was the problem, though—getting the job done was all about giving everything to the job, and that wasn't sustainable for me once I had a child. I don't fault my firm at all. They are a scrappy service business that needs to consistently deliver high value to their clients by working better and harder. I was good at my job, which was why they were willing to accommodate me—but it was also why, after having my second child, I had to leave.

Leaving the workforce was not easy for me. I spent many a mommygroup crying in the bathroom after other moms declared that being a stay at home mom fulfilled everything they had ever hoped for in life—the best job ever! I mourned my career, and the role where people listened to me, where there were right answers. That couldn't have been the farther from the truth as a mom. Turns out that you can graph milk intake in many different ways, but it still doesn't mean your five-month-old will sleep through the night. READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ON THE ATLANTIC

paulettePAULETTE LIGHT is a co-founder of MomStamp, a website for product and service-provider recommendations.

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18 Nov

Why Freelancing Is a Great Way to Opt Back In

Recently, Laura Gerson wrote an insightful article on the challenges of getting back into the workforce after taking time off to raise her child. Though Gerson had plenty of successes pre-baby, afterward, she found it difficult to find work, even polishing up her resume and meeting with recruiters.

What’s a new mom supposed to do? In her piece, Gerson highlighted a great point: Flexible work environments exist. Not only are these environments tailored to your schedule, they can also help you to transition back into the workforce after you’ve taken time off. The flexible workforce is the fastest growing segment of the employment market, which means even more of these jobs will be available in the future.

Freelancing is part of this flexible workforce. Not only is it a great option, but by 2020, 40 percent of the workforce will be freelancing. Let’s get you ahead of the curve by looking at some reasons why you should consider this path:

Helps you to gain needed experience

Freelancing is a great way to make waves in an industry, especially if you don’t have much experience. Like Gerson, you may have worked in the marketing industry before you decided to take a break. By applying these skills to a freelancing career, you’re able pick your projects, boost your resume, and gain much needed experience to build a freelancing business.

Provides autonomy

Freelancing is the perfect career for a stay-at-home mom. It allows you to be your own boss, make your own hours, and focus on work you find creatively fulfilling. The increase in work-life balance doesn’t hurt, either -- in fact, data shows that 86 percent want work options that include flexibility. Therefore, by being your own boss and freelancing your skills, you take control -- and responsibility -- for your career without someone having to make the rules for you.

Removes the location barrier

Freelancing is a business without borders since you don’t have to go into the office every morning. Job searching for a traditional position means limiting yourself to the opportunities close by, unless you’re ready to uproot your life and move to a new location. With a family in tow and an already established life, freelancing gives you the best of both worlds: You can dedicate time to your family while earning money and forming a business.

Expands your business network

As a mom who wants to get back into the workforce, freelancing can help you grow your business network back up. In the world of freelancing, someone always knows someone who needs someone. Once you work with one client, they may be able to refer you to someone else who could use your skills. This has the potential to bring in more revenue and expand your operations to new companies or industries.

While it’s tough to get back into the workforce, flexible options like freelancing are available. Get your career on track on your own terms, without compromising a lifestyle you’re used to.

What do you think? What are some other great reasons to freelance?

lynndixonLynn Dixon is the co-founder and COO of Hourly.com, an employment network that quickly matches people who are interested in flexible positions with the right opportunities. Lynn regularly contributes to outlets like The Huffington PostMashable, and Business Insider. Connect with Lynn and Hourly on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  

 

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