Salma Jafri, Work-from-Home Mom: My Story

I am like you. I grew up mostly in Karachi, attended school and college here, graduated from IBA with an MBA degree and worked in the corporate sector for 9 years. I got married and had my first child in 2007 and my second child in 2012.

Like many of you, when I had my first baby I was faced with the dilemma of going back to an office or becoming a stay at home mom. At the time I chose to leave the office and be home with my baby because I wanted to savor every moment of this new experience. But a few months later, I realized I wanted to work again.

Since leaving my baby to another person was unthinkable for me, I turned to the Internet in a bid to find a way to channel my ambition, earn an income and feel more fulfilled as a person.

The more I researched online, the more I found out about awesome opportunities as well as online frauds. I stayed up reading and researching night after night. The more I found out, the more questions I had. There was no one person to answer my questions. I just had to keep looking for the answers online and try to separate the wheat from the chaff, to try and find who and what was legitimate and what wasn’t.

It took me a few months, but I finally stumbled onto – a website that brings together skilled freelancers looking for work with employers looking to outsource work. I remember how ecstatic I was to land my first project worth $600 to help an author research her book. I found more clients and built up a solid reputation on Elance. I did this mostly by understanding how to market myself better and spending copious amounts of time trying to understand the client and his/her needs. Once I found that sweet spot, clients started coming in and work started to flow. I hired more writers to help me out with the workload.

Today, five years later, I have an established content marketing firm that provides services such as blogging, social media marketing and online videos to Fortune 100 clients as well as small businesses from around the world. Each member of my team works from their respective home and we collaborate online. Most of my clients come from either my website,, or through referrals from past clients.

To learn more about my life, you can listen to my BBC radio interview here (my part starts at 8 mins) and watch my Elance video on YouTube or Vimeo.

My story is one of constant learning. I taught myself everything I know and I’m happy to be alive in the Internet age where knowledge is available if you have the strength and determination to seek it. You can do it too. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely easier today than it’s ever been!


Written by HerCareer is a career community of women seeking consult, inspiration, and the tools needed to succeed in the workplace.