For many women, the climb up the career ladder involves lots of twists and turns, but there are some rules of the game that applies to everyone. The tool kit to achieve our goals are often the same: hard work, dedication, ridiculously long hours and for many, a good mentor.
Not for nothing, there’s been a general assumption that once you find your mentor you will be able to access your inner Michelle Obama. That person who will guide you, help you where you struggle and will always give you the motivation and inspiration that you need.
However, it turns out that a mentor is not the only person who can help you in your career growth. The benefits of having a sponsor shouldn’t be underestimated.
“I understood the difference that a sponsor could make in my career when the promotions kept coming,” says Angie Greaves, radio host at Magic Radio during the Women @Twitter event last month (October 2017), a panel discussion to celebrate women and diversity across marketing, beauty and advertising. Hosted during Black History Month, the event focused on the key challenges women of colour are facing every day in corporate environments. One of the key discussion areas was the role of a sponsor and the importance of finding the right one.
A sponsor can play a critical role in your career, being a vocal advocate of your hard work at critical times. That person doesn’t need to be your bestie nor your mentor, just someone that has a senior position at work and whose opinion is valued.
“I started at the HR department and I was working closely with this radio host, once he got promoted to head of the program he called me in his office and gave me my own show. That was the beginning of my career and he played a crucial role in it.”
You may not know who your sponsor is yet, but keep a look out and you’ll be able to identify someone who can be. “They were looking for someone to fill the CEO position for a while. I was called one day by a partner and he told me that he submitted my name for the role. Although, a few people thought I wasn’t ready, he strongly advocated for me in that meeting room.” said Nilufar Fowler CEO at Mindshare Global (UK leading media agency).
Now you know. A sponsor can help you work your magic. Find that person with the right power and complete your tool kit for success. We can’t wait for you to make that happen.