Do you need a mentor? Wait…what is a mentor exactly?

So when you started your professional career, you thought to yourself, of course I need a mentor. And 10 to 15 years ago, that would have been 100% true. But now, that’s an evolving question.

What does it really mean to have a mentor?

When I started my career, a professional mentor was a given. You needed one. And the sooner the better to find one.

  • This very tenured management professional would help you navigate the waters of corporate america. This was the golden ticket to finding success and hopefully career progression.
  • In Business Ops, it happened organically. So you either searched for someone and hoped they would be willing. Or the best thing that could happen, someone saw your talent and picked you.

But over time, the line between mentor and a new term called sponsor emerged. What is the difference between a mentor and a sponsor?

I found after a few years that I wanted a sponsor. I wanted career navigation support versus morale support. Though both are great roles to help with professional growth. Just depends on what you need.

So what about today? This process has really evolved. In addition, people change roles often, even companies often. You aren’t as likely to keep the same mentor or sponsor.  So here are a few things to consider.

  • Changing companies can be an advantage, take what you can learn from each experience.
  • Maybe look for someone that you can see providing guidance even if leave your current company.
  • If you are an entrepreneur, use an accountability partner or a mastermind group.

Mentors, sponsors, accountability partners and mastermind groups all share one very important goal.  Their collective goal is to help you get from where you are today to accomplishing your dreams.

be inspired, be empowered, be BOLD

Make it an amazing day!



Leave a Reply