Part Two: Attracting the Right Sponsor to Accelerate Your Career
Preparation is essential to your career success.
In Part One of this article, I shared with you a few things you should already being doing or know about to attract the right sponsor in your organization.
Now the second part of this article focuses on the ongoing actions you can take to be proactive helping you to get noticed by sponsor within your organization.
Here are some ideas:
Putting Yourself Out There
Many times it is easier just to do our jobs and go home. However, if sponsorship and leadership support are important to you, then it means that you will have to go that extra mile. Ensure you take on assignments that will help key leaders in your organization see you in action. Often how you perform or complete an assignment is an indicator to others how you will approach future opportunities. People are naturally attracted to success and successful individuals. Your leaders are no different. They like to see that you have taken risks in your role or assignments. They like to know that maybe everything wasn’t perfect or you had a few mishaps along the way but you recovered. Don’t be shy about stepping out of your comfort zone.
Communicating Your Desires Thoughtfully
Many desire sponsorship, but few actually share their wishes with their organization. Let your leadership and those in the organization know about your request for sponsorship. Many times we think that it is about being tapped on the shoulder. Sometimes instead you may have to do the tapping. It’s ok to let your leadership know in your organization know that you would like to be sponsored by a certain person. Before you communicate this, do your homework on the sponsor you desire. Make sure that your rationale is clear and what you hope to get out of such a relationship and can also give. Also be open to suggestions. There may be someone in your organization that you desire to serve in such a capacity, but for many reasons they may not be the right one for you. It could be timing, capacity or that person would not be a good match for you even though they have the ability to assist and position you. Be open.
Building the Right Relationships Early On
Obtaining sponsorship starts with those you desire in your organization feeling comfortable about who you are and what you represent, which sometimes takes time. Spend the time finding leaders that you have an interest in getting to know and you think would have an interest in getting to know you. Introduce yourself. They don’t have to be in your particular function or part of the organization. Seek to find a leader that comes from a different background or area of expertise that the organization thinks highly of. Building such relationship will help your leadership know more about you and you will have the added security of many knowing who you are and what you have contributed or are contributing to your organization. Such relationships will pay off for sure especially if these are the key decision makers in your organization that are often talking about you (as discussed earlier), when you are not in the room.
This is not an all-inclusive list. But will hopefully help you in getting the right sponsorship and guidance in your organization to build upon your career. Here’s to your continued success!
I am Francine Parham. I speak and write about your career, the realities of what happens at work, and how to navigate through it successfully. I am the creator of the Career Pocket Guides™, a series of books that provide practical insights, tools, and tips to use for your career success. Look for the first book in the series: “The Ultimate Career Pocket Guide” (available April, 2016). In the meantime, join me at the NAWBO-NYC Conference, March 14 to learn more about communicating your perfect pitch.