Teri Hockett built a successful career at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories as an administrator. She liked her work, but she left to raise a family in 1996.
A dozen years later, Hockett was ready to go back to work. But with the economy struggling, and having trouble making sense of the job market, she came to realize that finding a job was a job in of itself, often painful and tedious.
She figured there had to be a better way. So, with help from her husband and a some friends, she got a job by creating her own — empowering women by connecting them with work.
"I'm so passionate about what I'm doing," Hockett said. "I was so focused on being a mom, I stopped thinking about the things I should do for eventually working again. Now, I'm helping others not make the same mistakes and helping women find jobs that are best for them."
Her website is called What's for Work? It wasn't created overnight. Teri and her husband Jason spent over three years making the site as useful as they could, with features like a resume builder, interviewing tools, a job tracker and a community platform, all geared to women.
The site launched in June and members have signed up all over the country, from New Hampshire to Florida. In just a few months, the site has already helped women find the jobs they want.
"I found my dream job," wrote Rhonda Beatty-Gallo on the What's For Work? website. "What’s For Work? provided me the opportunity to join others in networking, job search, building relationships and so much more."
Hockett, the CEO of What's For Work?, said what many women don't realize is that during their time away from being employed they have very often strengthened attributes employers want their employees to have.
"They are managing a family and doing things like being the PTA president and connecting in the community," Hockett said. "Those are valuable assets for employers."
Part of what makes What's For Work? unique is that it not only connects job seekers, it connects employers with candidates.
Almost like a dating website, an employer can sign up for the service and look through the community to find job-seekers who fit their needs.
What's For Work? also aggregates job listings the Internet, matching job listings to What's For Work members.
"If you're looking for a job on a normal job search engine it's like being a snow flake in a blizzard," said Dennis Thompson, the CMO of What's for Work?. "It's an inefficient process. We're directly connecting the best companies with the best people."
What's For Work? is still in its infancy, with about 120 members signing up in the first few months of the site's existence, but Hockett believes What's For Work has a ton of potential.
"We want to empower women in their careers," Hockett said. "Not just in finding a job, but also in their careers. Giving them the tools to assess where they are and where they want to go."