If you have ever struggled with the lack of support from others to help you grow your career, it’s essential for you to look for that support, rather than wait for it. Support can be in the form of mentorship, coaching, or sponsorship.
A mentor is someone who can help you achieve your professional goals, with the advice and support necessary to motivate you to succeed. When you evaluate your circle of influence, ask yourself the question, who can be my mentor? Are there mentorship programs within your organization that you can be a part of? Have they overcome the struggle of being a woman of color in your industry and successfully gone up the career ladder?
Here are some things to consider when choosing a mentor:
Determine what you need from a mentor
Start with people from your network or professional organization
Share why you want them to mentor you
Schedule a meeting with him/her and explain why you are seeking mentorship and why you selected them
Determine how long the mentorship relationship will last and how you will be held accountable for achieving your goals
Another form of support is from a career coach. A Career Coach is an expert in career planning, resume building, negotiation, and interviewing. When evaluating your network, who has experience in career planning for Black Working Moms? Who has experience in helping women of color successfully go up the career ladder while managing a family? Who has the same values as I do?
These are very important questions in searching for a career coach.
Here are some things a career coach can do for/with you:
Hold you accountable to achieve your goals
Help motivate you
Provide honest feedback
Provide a personalized career path
Help you define your personal brand
The last suggested resource of support is that of a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who not only gives you advice but also shares their resources with you. You are able to have sponsors without having a formal name for your relationship. These can be individuals in your network or current organization who see your potential and are willing to give you a helping hand.
Schedule a virtual coffee chat with me to learn more about how you can choose the best support system for your career growth.