Laura Spawn founded Virtual Vocations, Inc.—a telecommute-only online job board—with her brother, Adam, in 2007. For the last 10 years she has been dedicated to providing others with opportunities to find their own telecommuting jobs. Her favorite thing about working from home is that it allows for greater control over her daily schedule and the flexibility to be with her kids in the afternoons. In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading, writing, and camping with her family.
1) How did you get started working from home?
I found my first telecommuting job by searching online for work from home opportunities and locating the position on a job board. The job involved researching professionals that could be contacted if needed for legal testimony for a national legal company. I contracted with the company for about six months before the project was completed.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
As CEO and Co-founder of Virtual Vocations, Inc., I chose my work from home career more than 10 years ago after acknowledging my own frustrations with finding legitimate telecommuting work opportunities and realizing there were probably millions of other jobseekers out there experiencing similar frustrations..
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I put my entrepreneurial head together with my brother’s developer mind and we collaborated to form Virtual Vocations, Inc., an online job board featuring human-screened, telecommute-only job leads. Now I am fortunate to not only work from home and spend more time with my family, but also close every day knowing I am helping other jobseekers find their own WAH careers through safe and effective means.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
When we launched Virtual Vocations, I did a lot of writing and content sharing on other sites and forums. Also, I shared telecommuting jobs I found across smaller communities to spread the word about the Virtual Vocations website and services.
5) How do you market your business?
We utilize a variety of marketing methods, including daily and weekly email blasts, social media campaigns and engagement, and periodic, week-long telecommuting celebrations to promote the remote work lifestyle, the benefits of telecommuting, and Virtual Vocations services, to reach a broad spectrum of customers.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I have tried working at various times throughout the day and have learned that I am most productive from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. I tend to wake really early and get a couple hours of work done before it’s time to get the kids to school, then I complete the bulk of my work before 3:00 p.m. when it’s time to pick up my children. Following school pick-up, I usually tackle another hour of work later in the afternoon or evening to tie up loose ends and answer messages.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Honestly, how successful Virtual Vocations would become by helping others find telecommuting opportunities that suit both their professional and personal needs. Initially, launching Virtual Vocations in 2007 was an experimental project to get my feet wet in the emerging world of working online. Neither my brother nor I anticipated Virtual Vocations would become as successful as it has, or that we would be working on the site full-time within in a matter of years. More than 10 years later, I am still excited to wake up and get to work every day!
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
First and foremost, consider the fact that just because you want to work from home does not mean that you should work from home. Working from home is not a magic formula for making your professional or personal life easier. And if you struggle with time management, organization, and self-motivation, working remotely can be more difficult than working in a traditional, onsite role. However, if you can responsibly manage your time, remain productive, and meet your deliverables, you will reap the benefits of unparalleled professional flexibility and independence.
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Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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