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A Sponsor

1 min
mentoring  ✺  leadership  ✺  career  ✺  management

This one role has the potential to have a disproportionate impact on your career growth...

(...and they may not be your manager or your mentor)


Who are they?

1. A senior-level professional within the organization 2. They have visibility into your work 3. They understand you career aspirations 4. Have the desire to be an advocate and ally for you 5. Possess influence and are decision makers

How can they support you?

↳Visibility: Sponsors raise your visibility by echoing your achievements and potential to the right people.

↳Advocacy: They advocate on your behalf for opportunities that can advance your career ambitions (e.g. high-impact projects, promotion discussion).

↳Guidance: Sponsors provide strategic advice to help you make informed career decisions (overlaps with mentorship in this aspect).

↳Network: Sponsors can make introduction and extend their extensive network (internal and external) in support of your growth.

How can I get a sponsor?

This is a relationship that needs to develop organically. However, here is what you can do to increase the likelihood of this happening:

1. Network internally (formally and informally) with leaders in the organization - don't let differences in seniority deter you 2. Volunteer for opportunities that provide exposure, even if they are outside your direct area of responsibility 3. Identify common causes or passions between you and potential sponsor(s) 4. Provide value to potential sponsor(s) - can be as simple as feedback 5. Deliver exemplary work and results 6. Make your work strategically visible 7. Share your career ambitions