Inspiration in work and in life

In the fifth of our January series, we ask’s Key Account Manager Hazel Elms who inspires her, whether she has had any mentors in her working life and whether her career priorities have changed since having children.

Women's soccer player on training.

We wanted to start 2020 on a positive note, looking at the people who have inspired or helped us in our careers, even if indirectly, and we thought we’d start with the team. This week it’s the turn of our Key Account Manager Hazel Elms. Who has inspired you in your life – both in work and outside?

Hazel Elms: Quite a few inspirational women:

My mum for being a working mum: you don’t realise what’s involved until you become a mum yourself, and she is my best friend!

Dame Kelly Holmes as I have long been interested in taking part in and watching sport and the devotion and dedication given by sports people to achieving their dream is inspiring!

Within work, I have been inspired by the bosses who I have worked for who have supported and encouraged me to be myself and who I have been able to learn from. Have you had a mentor[s] or someone who has helped you in your career? If so, how has that person helped you?

Hazel: I have a really close friend who I worked for 20 + years ago at the beginning of my career who is also my mentor. Jane has helped me in my career by providing me with a friendly ear, given me advice when needed and given me the belief that everything is possible. We have similar careers and providing support for each other has benefited us both. Has your career taken the path you thought when you started?

Hazel: No, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left school. I had a great opportunity at 16 and took it and that opportunity working for a big company provided me with a wider view of what career opportunities are out there.

I decided on the sales and marketing route and by working hard and gaining experience I achieved my aim of working within the two industries I loved: sport and events, working for Southampton Football Club as Corporate Sales Manager and then Williams F1 as Sales Manager and Conference Centre Manager.

I feel very lucky to have had these jobs and I gained lots of experience and knowledge in these two roles and made some amazing friends along the way. What are you most proud of in your working life?

Hazel: There are a few things that I am most proud of: one is making really good friends throughout my career and maintaining those friends, some of whom are my best friends now.

Being in jobs that I love: I worked hard to be able to get jobs that I really enjoyed. Having ambition and confidence is sometimes hard, but it is important not to give up and to keep trying until you get to where you want to be.

Being successful in those jobs, and more recently now that I am a mum, being able to continue my career while having a family is also something I am proud of. It is not always easy, but now I am a working mum I am lucky enough to be working in an area that I believe in, am passionate about and am living! Do you think what you are looking for in your work has changed at different stages of your working life?

Hazel: Yes, all the way through my career as my personal life has changed and developed. And never more so than when I had children. I wasn’t any less ambitious but my priorities changed and as my children get older I can see them changing again.

It’s about adopting a different way of working around the family and I have learnt many new skills as a mum that I can use in my work now.

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