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Pierre Pissoort has been with Mediabrands for eight years, working for the company’s Research and Development department. “On the one hand my job is rather technical in nature, stuck in the back-office analyzing data, but given that I manage a number of clients, I also have a more commercial role.”
Pierre really appreciates the dual aspect of his role.
“For me, this is a good deal. I really do enjoy communicating with others. On the flip side, however, I also value being able to have the odd moment to myself during periods of analysis. This is an ideal mix.”
Pierre enjoys being right in the heart of the action within the company, even becoming a member of Mediabrands’ party planning committee, a role he particularly enjoys. “I find that the management listens and tries to do its best to satisfy as many people as possible within the company. I’m also particularly lucky to have such a great team around me. We are more than just colleagues. For example, since the start of the pandemic, we have been meeting every day for half an hour to share our experiences, just as we might have been meeting around the coffee machine at work. We either talk about professional topics, or simply about our lives and families, or in my case, gardening, a passion I discovered relatively recently. We call this time our morning ‘coffee call’. Another example is the Friday night drink we organize once a month. This all makes us a strong team that’s very supportive of one another. It creates a certain energy and increased motivation for our work.”

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

Socially at ease

Pierre is seen as the ‘funny one’ of the group. He is also known to his colleagues by his nickname “Participant 42” and is often the heart and soul of the team, whether because of his rugby bruises (his favorite sport for the last 15 years) or simply his jovial nature. “If, for example, we are talking about having a few beers after work, they know they can count on me. I’ll never say no to that!”
Otherwise, at work, Pierre shows great determination. “If I set myself the task of achieving something, I usually do. I like to do my work properly. At the same time, I’m also easy to talk to. I really enjoy talking with colleagues and meeting new people. I see these as some of my key strengths. At least that’s what my manager says. One thing I enjoy doing is combining different elements of my skills set. For example, rather than just process market research data, I include it as part of my client presentations. And as I enjoy talking to people, I find it easy to involve different people I know within the company. This ability to not simply focus on one aspect of my job has really helped me progress in the way that I work.”
As much as things are going well for him today, things were not so easy for Pierre in the beginning. “My first two years with the company were difficult as I had no experience at all. When I arrived at Mediabrands, I had just left university. I was a little too carefree, not very focused on my work and probably a little unprofessional. However, one of Mediabrands’ strengths is its level of patience. They had faith that they could pull me up and help me flourish professionally. They took the time to help me develop.”

Adventure leave

Three years ago, Pierre decided to make a radical change and went to New Zealand for a year. “It was something that I had always wanted to do. The idea was to go on an adventure, to get out of my comfort zone and allow myself to grow as a person. So, my wife and I took the plunge. We sold everything we had and left. We travelled everywhere across the country. To earn money, we worked in several dairy farms. We worked in people’s houses in exchange for food and lodging, we helped with the grape harvest, etc. It really was a wonderful year.”  Mediabrands’ reaction came as a surprise to Pierre. “At work, they allowed me the opportunity to take temporary leave. I simply wasn’t expecting it. I was even ready to write my resignation letter, but my manager said this would not be necessary. I was then told that my job would be waiting for me when I got back. This really was a great vote of confidence. When I came back, I was a bit scared at first. But now, it feels like I never left. After only a few months, I was back in my old routine.”
Pierre has great memories of his year abroad, an unforgettable experience that fills him with pride.
“It showed me that where there’s a will, there’s a way, that I am capable of more than I had originally thought. And this did me a world of good!”
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