Career Sponsorship: Empowering Others and Paying it Forward

For most career-oriented individuals, career pathing and progression is constantly on the forefront of the mind.

Perhaps you’re doing what you need to do, but you’re still being halted in your progression. Let’s face it: you can’t be fully present in 100 projects at once, while expertly maneuvering through your career jungle gym and maintaining some semblance of a balanced life.

What if you had an advocate out there, talking on your behalf, promoting your skills and benefits in front of the most crucial influencers of your career, while you’re not there? That’s what sponsorship is all about.

The New York Times charismatically describes sponsors as individuals that advocate on their protégés’ behalf, connecting them to important players and assignments.

The article also defines how a sponsor can significantly impact one’s career, especially a woman’s, by:

  • Advocating on a woman’s behalf, apprising others of her exceptional performance and keeping her on the fast track.
  • With such a person in her corner, the data shows, a woman is more likely to ask for a big opportunity, to seek a raise and to be satisfied with her rate of advancement.

Like with most things, there is risk in starting a relationship with a sponsor. It is a two-way street paved with trust.

If you have a sponsor that commits to you, you need to reciprocate with a promise of delivering exceptional performance. You need to depend on each other, be each other’s champions.

As a personal benefactor of a sponsor, both early on in my career and currently, I have seen how powerful this relationship can be and what it can bring to your career: recognition, advancement, empowerment, fulfillment, and arguably most important, the desire to pay it forward.

Now it’s your turn. Take a risk on someone that embodies the values and shows signs of a future leader.  Help create a culture of promoting one another, elevating those around you who deserve the chance to be seen, heard, and respected. Be a platform for those who aren’t quite there yet but are certainly on their way.

So I challenge you, who is in your corner? Better yet, who will you champion?

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/jobs/sponsors-seen-as-crucial-for-womens-career-advancement.html


About the Author Deena Rini 

Deena is the Practice Leader for Oswald Financial, Inc.  She is responsible to drive revenue growth and profitability by maximizing client retention and effectively allocating resources to secure and support new business.  She earned her Masters of Business Administration at John Carroll University with honors in 2011. Ms. Rini earned her Bachelor of Sciences degree in Mathematics and Business from Muskingum University. She has also continued her education by completing executive education courses at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University throughout her tenure with Oswald.


The Oswald Women’s Leadership Council, developed in 2013 to inspire females at all levels to empower, develop and advance, has focused its 2017 education efforts around Empowerment, including Women’s Leadership 2017: 10 Paths Toward Empowerment in Your Work and Life. Read earlier articles from the Council on its web page.

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