A Blog series by Elise Misse

Blog #21

Never Stop Learning – The Importance of Mentoring

I am currently responsible for Global Communications Media Measurement at my workplace, and the LEAD Network played a significant role in my successful interview for this role a few years ago. In particular, I owe a dent of thanks to my mentors from the LEAD Network. Having somebody in my corner to help me steer my ship was more beneficial than I can express.

At this time, I sought the advice and assistance of an external LEAD mentor, which provided me with a different perspective to an internal mentor at my workplace. Both approaches are valuable. However, as I was entering a new field of work, I found that the advice of an external mentor was critical. I was guided through the process as an individual, and as part of the wider business world.

Internal mentoring will understandably focus on the needs of a specific business. While this is something I am pursuing, a wider perspective aided me in my quest to get through the door in the first place.

Guidance from others helps me put pen to paper on these articles. I have several mentors that generously give up their time to help me achieve my goals. I can take direction from these teachings, and do my level best to pass them on to others.

Taking in new viewpoints is a major driving force of success. I’m a firm believer that everybody has a fascinating and important perspective to bring to the table. That’s the very reason I joined the LEAD Network in the first place – to connect and network with like-minded individuals, and absorb new knowledge from a variety of different resources.

Networking is all-important to me, whether that’s within my industry or outside. If somebody has something to say, I’m all ears. I cannot imagine ever being in a position where I’d be able to block out the advice and experience of my peers.

This attitude also plays into my campaigning for equality and equity throughout the business world. I can see that we are taking steps toward a better, less divided world. I sincerely feel that the LEAD Network can help many people negotiate this new path.

Below are the key teachings from my mentors. I continue to take the advice and support to learn and grow. I’m confident that following the advice of these experts at the LEAD Network can work for you, too. Here are some of those golden rules:

  • Seek new opportunities and seize them as and when they arise. It’s so easy to be blindsided by fear, and worry about what we don’t know rather than embracing what skills we can bring to an employer. We never regret the risks that we take –only the ones that we avoid and skirt around.
  • Choose a work environment that you are passionate about. You’ll need this to drive you forward throughout the interview process, and to continue to give you the motivation to put your feet on the floor every morning. A job that you care about and you’re good at means that any sacrifices made for work will feel less of a wrench.
  • Don’t apologize for the fact that, on paper, you might be considered an outside candidate for the role. Concentrate on providing case studies that demonstrate transferrable skills, and ensure that the interview team knows exactly what you can bring to the table. If we only ever do the same work that we’ve done in the past, how can we hope to learn and grow?
  • Choose a role that provides flexible working hours. I have no qualms about working hard. I relish the opportunity to roll up my sleeves. However, I also have children and a husband who I want to spend quality time with. A little flexibility and understanding from an employer goes a long way.
  • Do whatever it takes to stay relevant and up-to-date. The business world moves quickly, and what’s cutting edge today may be obsolete tomorrow. Always look to attend courses, read books, listen to appropriate podcasts, and anything else that will further your education. A big part of this comes from networking with like-minded individuals.
  • Accept advice and guidance. I have enjoyed success in my career, which is something that I’m grateful for every day. A big part of this gratitude is acknowledgement that other, more experienced people have helped me carve out that success. This is why I’m keen to offer the same assistance to the next generation of working women. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I will help in whatever way I can.

Both internal and external mentors have helped me in my current role, and I hope to be working with the business for some time to come. Does that mean forever? I can’t answer that question. The future is an open book, and I’m not interested in skipping straight to the end. Right now, I’m intrigued to see what twists, turns and new opportunities are ahead.

Throughout my volunteer journey, I am working alongside the dedicated and talented professionals at the LEAD Network. I am honoured to be a part of this team, and achieving great things together.


About LEAD Network Europe

The LEAD Network Europe is a non-profit and volunteer-led organisation whose mission is to attract, retain, and advance women in the consumer products and retail sector in Europe through education, leadership, and business development. The LEAD Network is run by and for its members, women and men, and we value every individual for their unique perspective. With a primary focus on promoting gender equality the organisation strives for the advancement of women of every race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, educational background, national origin, religion, physical ability and lifestyle. Its vision is of a fair, diverse and vibrant industry where everyone can thrive. A diverse workforce where both men and women are enabled to contribute their full potential and lead their organisations to the next level of value creation. LEAD Network accounts for 18,000+ members – both women and men – from 81 countries.

For more information, please visit www.lead-eu.net