Michelle Enjoli learned to love two things growing up in a big family in a small town in northern New Jersey: coffee and conversation.
What she didn’t expect is that both would have such a significant impact on her career over the years. She landed her first job as a morning show television producer at age 22 and became a highly successful digital platform supervisor for Mercedes-Benz USA and a digital strategist for Delta Air Lines. She’s forged her own path as a renowned speaker, career and leadership development coach and personal branding expert. And Enjoli attributes every opportunity to her ability to connect with people on a deep and meaningful level—often over a cup of coffee. And now, this dynamic Buckhead resident’s goal is to help others learn how to do the same thing as they search for fulfillment both professionally and personally. In October of 2018, she developed a coaching curriculum called CONNECT and has since become one of Atlanta’s most inspiring career mentors.
Where did you develop your love of connecting with people?
I have a very close-knit family, and it was always very open and welcoming. I grew up learning how to interact with different people. It led me to want to study journalism, to investigate people and tell their stories.
How has your ability to connect affected your career?
The best opportunities you’ll find are from connecting with people and not through advertising. In fact, every pivot I’ve made in my career has been because of a connection I’ve made.
What brought you to Buckhead, and how did the move impact you?
I relocated to Atlanta with Mercedes-Benz in July of 2015. We had to do a lot of hiring when we got here because some people from the headquarters in New Jersey didn’t make the move. Suddenly, it was like we had a brand new company with a mixture of people who made the move and new hires from Atlanta. It was a very multicultural and multigenerational company. We also had gaps in communication. I had an idea and brought it to the head of diversity and inclusion. I wanted to start a business resource group focused on career development. Anybody at any level could join, and the goal was to allow people to connect with each other. It was a lightbulb moment for me.
Why did you decide to set out on your own and develop CONNECT?
I had a moment in 2018 when I asked myself, “What do I want to do for the rest of my life?” I decided that I wanted to teach people what I know. A lot of people are told to network, but they don’t know what that means. So I took time to build a curriculum and a set of frameworks. What I teach is more about connecting than networking. Connecting is an authentic attempt to learn about and assist someone else. And you have to be you, so the other part of what I do is motivation— how you build your personal brand and your self-esteem. There are so many places you can go with your career. I get to help change people’s lives. There’s a lot of purpose to what I do.
What’s next for you?
I will be giving a TEDx Talk in Southampton, England, later this year, and I’m so excited. I’m also writing a book. And I just bought a place at the northern end of Buckhead. I love this growing, vibrant community, and I’ve moved into the center of it all.
CONNECT with MICHELLE ENJOLI
15 Minutes With columnist at Simply Buckhead. Freelance feature writer, children’s book author and President of Green Meadows Communications, LLC.