I was blessed to hear three words from a wise co-worker: mentor, mentee and sponsor. These are the essential people every career woman needs. The age old saying is you can’t do it all on your own. This holds true even in the office as the support system you create can greatly impact your success.
The mentor is the first person to seek out. It is someone who has been there and done that and now has extra time on their hands to guide someone else. Mentors can be sought out at any stage in your career. Even if you aren’t a college student just starting out, there is someone who is willing to help. The key is not expecting a mentor to find you, take the initiative and invite someone to lunch or coffee. If you are thinking of giving back becoming a mentor is a great start.
After finding your amazing mentor, you may be surprised to recognize when someone needs help also. Don’t underestimate yourself, you have something to offer. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to gaining a mentee. There may be someone who is younger and needs to learn the ropes or someone older who could use a refresher on new technologies. Most importantly a mentee helps you groom yourself to be the best leader you can be.
The sponsor is a testament to all of your hard work. When you are absent or being spoken of, the sponsor can attest to your abilities. In essence this person serves as a walking billboard. A sponsor may take the form of a manager or coworker who knows your work ethic and talents well. Remember you cannot be in all places at once so make sure your reputation precedes you.