Should you have a sponsor or a mentor?
For some, the term sponsor is a new term, however, the concept of a sponsor is not new. There are many articles circulating the internet about this term.In my book, Women in Government: 10 Key Strategies to Advance Your Career, I discuss this concept in great detail.
A sponsor is needed in order to advance your career, while a mentor is there to instill hope, offer advice, and point you to the necessary resources to achieve your career goals. A sponsor is able to plant seeds for you and recommend you for positions and opportunities.
Have you ever wondered how some people are able to get special projects and details? This is so because they have a sponsor who behind close doors and in the meetings that matters, is willing to push their names and recommend them for projects and details. In my book I discuss who you should seek to be a sponsor and how to get a sponsor.
Think of a sponsor as an investor. Like an investor, a sponsor will market you and your potential in order to make sure their investment pays off. A sponsor will only attach their name to someone they believe in, therefore, make it easy for sponsors to believe in your potential and abilities. Help your sponsors help you. Earn their trust and work hard to gain their attention. Once you have your sponsor’s attention and trust, the payoff is priceless. The payoff can be your dream job or a high ranking position you thought was not in your reach.
Don’t get stuck in middle management or in your current position. Find a sponsor in upper management at least 2 levels above your current position to guide you up in your position. Find a sponsor with decision making capabilities. A sponsor can act as a consultant on your behalf and inform others of your amazing capabilities.
In the blog, Yes, You need a mentor, but a sponsor will really boost your career, the author discusses the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and the necessity of a sponsor. This blog also points that people with sponsors increases their chance by 23% to advance in their career compared to people without sponsors, according to the Center for Talent Innovation, founded by Sylvia Hewlett.
Therefore, work on getting a sponsor.