Over recent years I have had the pleasure of mentoring some amazing young people! It has been great supporting young men and women through their career decisions and mentoring them through their growth and experiences.
Supporting young people with their careers has since become a huge passion of mine and I often seek out new mentees who I see or feel may need my help.
They say 'Focus on your own growth before helping others' I say.... I see huge growth in myself when I'm helping others..
Some people are of the belief that you have to help yourself before you can hekp others.. but at the same time I take a lot from the support I give to others. It really fulfils me to know I have impacted so many people's lives and careers over the years.
My working life started at 16 in a bank with zero experience or understanding, I spent my teenage years in banking and all I can say is I Thank God for growth lol
So when I see young people trying to establish themselves in this corporate world I get a real urge to help. Young people can be really miss understood and are expected to grow way before their time! I've learnt that everyone has to grow as we are designed to and that process cannot be rushed!
Anyway..... back to it 😊
For me the value of mentoring came to me late! I suppose I've always had strong role model figures around me but never really considered them mentors more like a work friends or seniors in our profession. It was after a few networking events at work were they kept drumming it home that everyone needs a mentor I started to take note.Then I started to hear the word sponsor being banded around and I was getting quite confused. I needed to find out the difference between the two because I thought they were the same.
Mentor - A mentor is a person who can make you understand the culture and behaviours of the business. They should be able to help you understand the business better and have enough experience to challenge your thinking and development.
Your mentor should be able to help you with your development areas and also maximise your strengths and opportunities. Mentors can give you support and guidance to help you achieve your goals. Ideally, they are not within your department and are removed from your day to day, they are able to subjectively use their experience to guide you through yours.
Sponsor - A sponsor is usually someone who works in a management postion or another influential role within your business. This person has been close enough to you to see your work and then becomes an advocate of you and your abilities.They openly promote you as a person of great capabilities and have the influence to nominate you for new roles and opportunities.
'Actions speak louder than words'
A sponsor who is privivy to great opportunities and projects will sign post other influential colleagues to you for the next opportunity. With a sponsor your actions speak louder than your words it's your work ethics and track record that attract sponsors to you. Having a mentor and a sponsor in your organisation can really help the development of your Career.
Obviously, to attract a sponsor you need to be high performing in your role and your Mentor can help you with thaT.
I now have both and more than one.
Start to have a think about how you can attract the right sponsor that could help you get to your next role.