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Melissa du Plooy is a digital marketing manager, director and shareholder at Doughgetters, a complete cloud-based digital accounting franchise network.

Melissa’s role is not only to execute practical marketing tasks for DoughGetters, but also to offer support and give strategic communications input to the DoughGetters franchise partners and clients. She tells GH writer Ondela Mlandu about the journey…

A love for collaboration

“In both my private and professional life, I am passionate about inclusivity, be it through networking or connecting people. I love collaborations and working with people gives me the greatest joy. I have a deep appreciation for creativity in whatever form it may come – whether it is numbers, entrepreneurship or nature,” says Melissa.

READ MORE: Tshenolo Sebogodi: This SAMA Award Nominee Dishes On How She’s Combining Music And The Law

Using online platforms wisely

According to Melissa, LinkedIn is one of the best places to learn from industry thought-leaders.  There are plenty of webinars happening on the platform – many free of charge. All you need to do is sign up. “It’s also important to network, to make phone calls, to reach out, intern, job shadow, anything to get yourself out there. If you have the passion, it will show in your output,” she says.

Overcoming struggles and success…

Melissa couldn’t get a job for four years. “I experienced a lot of rejection! To me, it didn’t make any sense because I had a degree. By then I had built up four years’ work experience, we’d just moved to Cape Town, I’d just gotten married, [was] full of energy – but nothing. I had to dig deep,” she says.

“I came to realise that my career is not my identity; it doesn’t define who I am,” she says. Melissa now sees her career as an aspect of my life where she can live out my passions. “From a practical side, I just took on a lot of temporary paying projects. I met beautiful people along the way, experienced different work environments, from editorial photoshoots to the high school classroom, and even got to travel while paying the bills,” she says.

READ MORE: How To Crack It In The Marketing And Communications Space

Top leadership lessons learnt along the way…

1/ Don’t undervalue the small beginnings.

“For the weaver bird a twig on its own does not have a purpose, but over time a collective of these twigs begin to build up and form a beautiful nest.”

2/ Choose your battles.

“As entrepreneurs, we always want to do everything ourselves, but sometimes you need to take that one step back to take five steps forward. Surround yourself with the right people. You draw inspiration from those around you… The last thing you want are people who break you down [instead of uplifting you],” she says.

A book Melissa highly recommends…

“This might surprise you, but as a young working mother, The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson really shifted the way I look at motherhood and my career priorities. Shortly after reading this book the opportunity at DoughGetters came across my path [and] the flexible working arrangement has been a massive win for my family,” says Melissa.

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