Have you heard the term ‘career sponsor’? A career sponsor isn’t a mentor or a coach, it’s someone who opens doors for you, who sings your praises in spaces you don’t yet have access to. When it comes to powering your career up the corporate heights, you need a sponsor. That’s completely different from having monthly one-on-one with a mentor and discuss what you can’t dare bring up with your boss or colleagues.
It’s quite hard to establish yourself as a brand or entrepreneur without the right connections. In most cases, it takes someone from the inside to recommend you. Talent alone isn’t enough. Don’t be surprised if you’ve kicked the same door for more than three years with no luck. Of course, that has nothing to do with what you can bring on the table. You probably need someone who has walked the path to make the call on your behalf. That’s not cheating at all – that’s just the way it is.
A mentor might help you envision your next position but a sponsor will advocate for your promotion. Don’t get it twisted, sponsorship doesn’t “rig the game”, on the contrary, it ensures you get what you deserve – and will propel your career far more than mentors can.
It sounds like the shortest route to success, right? Quite frankly it is but one has to have all the ducks in arrow – the right qualification, solid experience, be informed and the hunger to succeed. Even the most influential sponsor can’t open any doors for you without seeing the potential first. Like they say in the entertainment space one has to package and position themselves well to be taken seriously.
Where to get a career sponsor? Look beyond your immediate circle of mentors and seek out someone with real power to change your career. Sponsors don’t just magically appear or fall off the sky – sponsorship must be earned. For some sponsors it might take two years to plug you to the right gig. Remember a sponsor is someone who is both influential and willing to go bat for you. Therefore, you have to prove your commitment and dedication to whatever you’re doing.
If you want to succeed in your career you have to at least have one sponsor. A sponsor must have a strong grasp of your strengths. They need to have a god sense of what you are able to achieve. A sponsor is putting his /her name on the line for putting your name forward. Do you have a career sponsor? Please share the tips with other gents on how to find one.