Stephanie, a business major and head of a creative agency, quit her job and relocated with her husband a few months before she had her baby. In a brand new place, recent motherhood and lack of support, it was difficult to pursue her career dreams. Fast forward a few years, she is now a licensed yoga teacher, teaching yoga at various elementary schools and senior centres.
There are numerous smart, hard working & motivated women whose career paths have changed for many reasons - family, relocation, economic factors like layoffs etc.
For women, pivoting and relaunching careers is ubiquitous. Yet how many of us understand, acknowledge, prepare and gain from it?
Every day of our lives, we go about as friends, volunteers, Facebook acquaintances, often unaware of the untapped talent next door, the professional skills or aspirations of the women we cross in our daily lives.
After a (some) disastrous branding mis-steps for her company, Lisa, a tax professional was surprised to discover that her neighbor Gwen was a graphic designer. Soon, Gwen was working on branding, Infographics and social media in close coordination with Lisa for her business.
Can you imagine a world where you could easily view every woman’s professional skills or aspirations, recommend, barter, collaborate and thrive, all on a single platform?
In today’s digital landscape, change across careers is happening at breakneck speed. We can be uncomfortable and not make the time for it, but we cannot ignore change.
Moena, an avid writer and journalist by training, witnessed the steady decline of the paper publishing world and the numerous jobs that ceased to exist as a result. In the past 5 years, she has undertaken 3 intensive courses on blogging, digital marketing and SEO and now has a flourishing copywriting business.
Change is leaving no industry untouched. While we grow businesses, build our careers or speculate on a new career path, are we contemplating our direction with an eye on the future?
Women are wired to be more social. Among internet users, a greater percentage of women use Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. They use social media less than men for business reasons and rather use social networking sites to make connections and stay in touch.
Is it any wonder that there’s only one social network that boasts more men (24%) than women (19%)- the professional-networking site LinkedIn. Maybe because their focus is purely business and does not take into account the social aptitude of most women, which even transcends into their professional lives.
Look carefully and witness a healthy wave of collaboration today - women watching out for each other's backs, sharing resources and referrals, online virtual coffee dates, mentoring and totally echoing the fact that a rising tide lifts all.
So we thought? Why not blend the professional, social and collaborative aspects of a woman’s personality and give #WomeninCareers a place to brag about their current skills or business, network, hire, review and collaborate?
Imagine a bold(strong) color. Now picture an ancient symbolism of women coming together under a mighty Oak for a community experience -sharing tips and helping each other. That’s the thought behind the symbiosis Maroon Oak.
Maroon symbolizes courage, control and maturity through life experiences. And the mighty Oak powerfully stands tough through it all. Isn’t that the perfect representation of a woman?
Two years ago, while working together on an IoT start-up, Business & finance major Pooja Krishna and Design Professional Aditi Tandon discovered the power of such synergy.
At a friend’s brunch, the conversation triggered from how difficult it is to find a local entertainer for a school event and meandered to discussions about the career journeys of several women sitting around the table.
It was an aha moment - listening to women recount the career decisions they made at various cross-roads in life. For the first time, by putting every woman’s skills first, each of them was looking differently at the way their friends were identified (as mom, wife, daughter etc).
Two mom professionals raising daughters, who themselves made career choices keeping motherhood at the forefront, Pooja and Aditi had been friends for more than a decade and personally understood the career trajectories and challenges of #WomeninCareers; The ambitions put on hold and the mom guilt that persists despite giving it your all. Of the everyday management skills a work-life juggle demands, the overwhelm of managing it all to the fear of leaving it all behind.
It was their belief that a strong professional presence is as much about skills as it’s about work experience. The journey to grow your career shouldn’t be a lonely ride and each of us can use the right help and relevant answers to our career questions. Answers which can come from experts or peers.
Maroon Oak for you
We want to channel the career conversations on social networks into one simple place where women help each other professionally by sharing, contributing, inspiring and even hiring.
Maroon Oak is the only Online Career Community that offers a Free solution for just that - a collaborative, Networking Platform for all the professional needs of #WomeninCareers
On Maroon Oak, your skill /aspirations will define you first. The ability to customize your profile, enables you to list your current business endeavor or skill, your website and social media details and a place to post or view opportunities and special promotions- all on one platform.
Share information on your subject matter expertise through our Video Blog or get inspiration from our blog, with articles intended to provide you with solid takeaways to act upon or get inspired from.
The objective is to help YOU capitalize on your network - whether it's to connect to find a job, offer a job, look up locally available skills, check out or team up with competition, broadcast your talent or side hobby to take it to the next level - the possibilities are endless.
The best part - a Membership and all benefits are completely free!
We provide connectivity not only to grow professionally, but also as an important career survival skill.
The question we ask of our Members every day - where are you in terms of opportunity, skills, collaboration and visibility? This helps us enable career aspects ranging from building professional credentials and your brand presence, updating digital skills, using social media or simply finding the right people to connect with as well as a platform to peer mentor and collaborate.
Specifically, we work with:
Skilled solo women entrepreneurs, looking to promote their businesses and find resources for collaborations, but no single platform where they can showcase themselves or locate talent based on skill, availability and location.
Talented women choosing to work part-time and creating connects with the number of companies and entrepreneurs willing to offer part-time work but unable to find the right candidates.
On Maroon Oak, Shannon, an aromatherapist collaborated with Ruth, a flower vendor in the neighboring town, to develop new fragrances for her product line. Karen, Anita and Catherine collaborated for guests posts.
Kim, owner of a pharma start-up, needed a local project manager at a reasonable salary. Tamara, a recent empty-nester looking for a job, was the perfect match.
Simultaneously, we strongly emphasize that women need to stay updated on skills and connections even while on a hiatus.
Why Collaboration Counts!
Since, women often search for local talent online, a positive brand presence and recommendations by peers go a long way. For the multitude of providers getting lost in the gig world, collaboration with peers will make them stand out more. Pooling resources and connects will offer better chances at business success as more and more large employers will be hiring on contracts rather than on full-time basis.
Here’s a simple exercise to drive home our point. Look around you today and identify 5 women - friends, neighbors etc. Do you know what they do or want to do? Can you help them professionally - connect with customers, mentors, coaches or just have an inspiring career talk? Who knows what changes are sparked by simple conversations.
Help Us Connect You
Join us on MaroonOak.com. It’s Free and easy to sign up. Follow us on Social media for even more inspiration. We would love to hear from you and your career journey.
Help us get the word out to encourage every career woman to be a part of the community. Share and strengthen the network together.
Because alone, we are strong. Together, we are exponentially powerful!
Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of the author, Aditi Tando or Maroon Oak. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.