Some years ago, just as I was moving from a middle management career role to an executive leadership position, one of our staff asked me to become her Mentor. She shared that the CEO had encouraged her to reach out to me. Although I hadn’t given any thought to mentorship, I sensed that it came with a responsibility I wasn’t sure I was ready for – but if our CEO thought I was “mentorship material” then I would be the best Mentor I could be.
In retrospect, I learned that mentorship is somewhat undefined. I offered a listening ear, support, and guidance when requested. And, I expected nothing in return.
Mentorship is still an important career building tool for those who want to shine in their organization. But, today’s professionals who are looking upward are clamoring for a Sponsor.
To me, sponsorship is a more proactive role than mentorship. Where an employee may ask her Mentor for advice about a workplace issue or next project to take on to move her career forward, a Sponsor may raise the employee’s visibility in the organization by recommending her for a short-term project in another division or having her make a presentation at a professional conference.
Sponsors can make you visible to the top people inside your company, can help you identify new opportunities, earn pay raises or promotions. The relationship is built on trust – and the Sponsor will expect you to deliver and be a positive reflection of her or his sponsorship. In short, a Sponsor is a person who can make your successful career journey a reality.
You can have multiple Sponsors throughout your career. Recently I attended a seminar where the panelists, a group of C-level women executives, discussed their career growth. The topic of a Sponsor surfaced — and I was delighted to hear one of the panelists refer to their trusted Recruiter as a Sponsor.
Having an external Sponsor, such as a Recruiter, adds to the positive exposure you are likely to get outside your current organization.
And, it makes sense — Sponsors are vested in your achievement because they believe in you. So, as you consider the Sponsors in your career life, don’t overlook a valued Recruiter.
Connect with a JustinBradley Recruiter today: http://justinbradley.com/about-us/leadership/
Beth is the CEO of JustinBradley, drives the company’s strategy and culture. She has 20 years’ experience managing financial recruiting and consulting services. Prior to founding JustinBradley, Beth was the president of Don Richard Associates. She was a key team member in their IPO and, subsequently, held COO and CDO titles of Acsys, the 5th largest publicly traded financial staffing firm in the United States prior to its sale in 2000.