Mentor to Sponsor: The Next Level for career advancement

Mentor to Sponsor: The Next Level for career advancement

The Next Level: Mentor to Sponsor

Employers use considerable discretion when deciding who to promote. It can be challenging to navigate an organization’s political and ideological structure. Unconscious bias may contribute to perceptions that non-Whites have more talent and potential, suggesting that these relationships are worthwhile. Employees are left to their own devices to learn through cultural and institutional paradigms. Sponsors can help you navigate these unspoken structures. 

Mentoring, formal vs. informal

A mentor can be a sponsor and vice versa. A sponsor reaches beyond giving feedback and advice and leverages power and influence to advocate for the mentee. Mentoring relationships can and do exist outside organizational contexts. However, formal mentoring often occurs inside organizations as part of a human resource initiative. Moreover, informal mentoring can have equally, if not more, significant benefits for protégés and mentors. The importance of “whom you know” when pursuing high-level positions within an organization will not be discounted by a sponsor.

Are you ready for the next level? Sponsorship may be the answer.

  • You can demonstrate your skills by moving from low-level assignments to critical roles with the help of a sponsor.
  • You can gain greater visibility by being exposed to high-level networks through a sponsor.
  • A sponsor can help you speak the executive language.
  • A sponsor can help you solve problems a particular cultural and institutional paradigm might provide
  • A sponsor can help you cultivate valuable social capital.

Be In the Know!

You can significantly impact promotional opportunities by leveraging a sponsor’s knowledge. Career mentoring programs such as the Black Women’s Career Network help Black career women find mentors and offer career advice to those seeking to advance their careers. These programs note that you are more likely to get promoted and advance in your career if you have a mentor.

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