The Corporate Catwalk Talks Mentorship

The Corporate Catwalk Talks Mentorship
by Career Contessa
September 07, 2016
Even bloggers have mentors. Today, we catch up with Olivia Jeanette, founder of the Corporate Catwalk, about her own career. 
Why is it that people assume work wear can't be cool? We love a fashion blog as much as the next girl, but half the time, we're looking at seasonal trends that are literally against office policy at most workplaces. We get it. A black blazer is a classic, and we all love sticking within our comfort zones, especially when we're meeting with clients or our bosses. But as savvy, driven career women, can't we maybe throw in a little glamour? 

Imagine our delight when we connected with Olivia Jeanette, the woman behind (and in front of the camera of) The Corporate Catwalk. Here was this woman who knew how to do it right—translating her passion for aesthetics and style into a work-friendly model. We are totally on board with that. 

Given that Olivia knows both the corporate world and what it's like to be a young solopreneur, we decided to pick her brain about how she runs her own career, her own mentors, and the advice that guides her. Tables turned.

But First Things First: Don't Forget to Enter Our Giveaway

Want some mentorship of your own? We've got you covered—for free. Enter our giveaway ASAP*.

And Now: An Interview with Olivia Jeanette, founder of The Corporate Catwalk

How do you make important career decisions?

It's not a solo decision. I will consult my husband, my "mentor", and weigh that up with what I am thinking. It's super important to get the thoughts of those individuals with whom you trust. If for nothing else but reassurance or they may bring up something you hadn't thought about prior. I usually always go with my first instinct however, because if you are spending a ton of time going back and forth, than there are probably some unanswered questions that need to be addressed before coming to a final decision.

What's been one of the biggest challenges you've faced so far in your career?

This biggest challenge I've faced hasn't been a certain singe situation. It's really been establishing myself as a top performer in a very male dominated industry. The tech industry has changed a lot over the last 5+ years though. If you focus on what you can control, your work ethic, you will thrive.

When did you have your first mentor?

Working at the State Capital in Missouri is when I had my first mentorship. I remember like it was yesterday. His name was Rodney and he was one of the best lobbyists at the Capital. Not only was he extremely talented, but he was also generous with his time. I've learned over the years, that one of the most valuable things in your life is your time. For someone to take the time to share their experiences and opinions with you is priceless.

What's the best thing your mentor ever taught you?

"The answer is always no if you don't ask." This taught me to not be scared to ask for what I wanted in my professional career. I started my career "feeling bad" for asking for things I wanted, but I realized if I don't ask, I'll never get what I want. You have to remember, people cannot read your mind and your goals are not necessarily the first thing others think about. Don't be afraid to ask.

Did you realize this person was playing the role of a mentor at the time? (I feel like mentors can sometimes come into your life without even noticing it.)

No. It just happened organically. I watched how they worked and carried themselves. I began to understand why they were successful and began to ask questions and spend time learning with them.

How has your relationship with your mentor(s) changed over time?

I have lost touch with my first mentor, but those experiences and learnings with him really set up the building blocks for where I am today.

What advice do you have for women starting out? What about for women further along in their career?

Be who you are. Easy I know but if you try being someone that you aren't, it will end up catching up with you. More times than not you won't be successful or happy. Find a role that fits your personality, gives you a path to success, and makes you happy. As an experienced women in her career, I think it's really important to take a step back every once in a while and reset. Think about where you are, where you are going, and if you are on the right track. If not, make adjustments and leverage someone(a mentor) to talk through ambitions and concerns.
*Giveaway runs through Friday 9/9/16 at 5pm PST, announced via email on the 9th. One entry per email entered. Winner will be chosen at random. By entering, you confirm that you are 18+ years of age.