Do you need a mentor or a sponsor to advance your career?
Both can be helpful at different times in your career. Sometimes having a mentor and a sponsor at the same time is useful, depending on your career goals.
Here is one woman's story of when she realized the difference:
What Is A Mentor?
A mentor is someone who
usually works in the same field as you
knows your strengths and weaknesses
can help you articulate what you want from your career
gives advice to help you build new job skills
A mentor isn't someone who
uses their network to help you get your next promotion
talks to others about how great you are as an employee
Which of the following would be appropriate to ask your mentor?
What Is A Sponsor?
A sponsor is someone who
is usually in a senior position at your company
talks to others about how great you would be for that promotion you want
A sponsor isn't someone who
will help you develop new skills personally or professionally
cheerleads you as you move up in your career
What might you ask your sponsor?
Mentor Or Sponsor?
She has been working at a bank for five years and is almost done her MBA, but feels stagnant in her career.
is torn between trying for a leadership position in her current department, applying in another department, or leaving the company altogether
needs help weighing the pros and cons of each option
would welcome someone putting in a good word for her with their network
Which option would you recommend to Carolina?
When looking for a mentor and/or sponsor, keep in mind that:
A mentor usually works in the same field as you.
A mentor can help you develop your skillset.
A sponsor is usually more experienced and has a large network.
A sponsor can leverage their network to help you get your promotion.
To get started:
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