If you ask anyone how they became successful, they will probably tell you they did not do it alone. Even the most successful person has sought help at some stage in their career. What they may not tell you is how or why they chose the help they did.There are three key relationships you need to cultivate to enhance your presence and advance your career. Let’s take a look at them below.
When you know where you want to go but don’t know how to get there, that’s when you need a career advisor. They understand your industry, knowing where current and future demand can be expected so you can prepare yourself for taking the next steps.
An advisor listens to your story, understands your goals, assesses your skills and current situation, and shows you how to align your career with your strengths, values, and aspirations.
When you feel stuck in your role, unclear on where to go next, or unsure of how to achieve fulfillment in your job, a career advisor will help you find clarity.
The dictionary definition of mentor is “an experienced and trusted adviser” and I’d like to offer some advice for choosing the right person for the role.
While your first thought might be to approach your direct leader, or someone who you see as successful, a better thought would be to look for someone a little more removed. Your direct leader might know you well, but their advice would be influenced by their perception and expectations of you in your current role.
Ask yourself what you want from a mentor. What skills, experience, advice, or contacts do you want to develop? Then consider who might be best positioned to meet that need. Don’t limit yourself to finding mentors from within your organisation. Look beyond and even into non-business-related groups. Focus on the results you want and find a person who has experience in that area, who has contacts in the field and who may be able to offer you new opportunities. That’s what matters.
Allyson Zimmermann, Director of Catalyst Europe”, says “Sponsorship: it’s not who you know, but who knows you.” In other words, your work speaks for itself, and good word will spread.
A sponsor is someone who “has a seat at the table” and can influence decisions. The person is a high-level operator with a sound reputation in the area you wish to enter. How will they notice you? They have heard of the value you offer, seen the results you deliver, and can see further potential in you.
A sponsor may do everything a mentor does and, in fact, may have started out in your relationship as a mentor. However, sponsors go a step further by becoming your advocate. They use their influence to bring you to the attention of the ‘right people’ and open career doors for you. In effect, they put themselves on the line for you because they know you have what it takes. A sponsor is, therefore, someone who trusts and believes in you.
How can you be found by a sponsor?
Work hard on forming relationships with the people around you. Become known as reliable and constructive. Learn to talk about solutions, not problems. Polish your skills continuously.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take credit for your successes or to talk about them. A bit of self-promotion can do you good.
Within these three key strategic relationships, you have someone who can guide you in your career choices, someone to help you grow in your current role and boost your performance and results, and someone who has noticed your good work and actively markets and promotes you for advancement.
Consider our career clarity online coaching to clarify and support your career aspirations. When you work with me, you will achieve the results you long for. Contact us today and let’s chat.