Build Your Dream Team

When it comes to your career, it can sometimes feel like you have to tackle everything on your own. It’s a daunting idea that in order to build a happy, successful career, you have to have all the answers yourself. Luckily, this isn’t the case! There are people out there dedicated to helping you launch and advance your dream career. You just need to find them!

Who you need

There are three main types of people you want in your corner when trying to advance your career. Consider these people your dream team — the advocates you need to help you be the most successful version of yourself possible. Of course, you are the most important ingredient in this team, but it always helps to have others around you, supporting you, and helping you achieve your goals. Here are the three types of people you want on your career dream team

 

1. Coach

A coach is someone who helps you with performance. A coaching relationship is action-based and result-oriented, a partnership dedicated to helping you achieve a specific goal. Coaching often focuses on “soft skills” such as conflict management and difficult business conversations. Unlike a mentor, a coach will be more willing to give you specific advice on how to maneuver in your career. With coaching, both parties can be driving forces in the relationship. You and your coach can both reach out to each other with questions and advice whenever necessary.
 

2. Sponsor

A sponsor is a senior leader involved in using their influence to land your positions, promotions, or projects. It’s a higher-risk form of mentorship, as your sponsor is publically supporting you and endorsing your skills. A sponsor can be your superior at work, and can directly influence your work status and help you make those crucial connections. Sponsors absolutely drive this relationship. They work to support you both with and without your presence, often advocating for you in meetings or behind closed doors.

With all these different types of people on your team, you’re sure to succeed. Your dream team is there to help you achieve everything you want out of your career, so take advantage of their skills, knowledge, and connections to help you reach greatness! But remember, your success also is up to you. Make sure you listen to your people and take action after each meeting.

3. Mentor

A mentor is someone whom you have a more informal relationship with. They are mostly there for emotional guidance, and to help you find the right career path for your success. A mentor is incredibly helpful in steering you in the right direction, In fact, the most successful people attribute their leadership skills and professional success to mentors. In fact, studies show that 80% of CEOs had a mentor at one time.

 

Here are five tips for getting the most out of your mentorship, so you can truly reach your potential.
 

1. Keep it a two-way street. Mentorship isn’t just about the mentee… Mentors actually get just as much out of the relationship! But in order for this to happen, you need to give what you get. Show appreciation and gratitude and provide support in any way you can.
 

2. Make sure there’s chemistry. One of the biggest mistakes professionals make is simply asking someone to be a mentor. This doesn’t work! Find people who you naturally connect to and ask for a cup of coffee… If it goes well, ask them to see you again! Mentorship is something that happens naturally. The genuine relationship between the mentor and mentee makes a huge difference in the success of that mentorship.
 

3. Don’t rely on your mentor for everything. Your mentor should be someone who supports and advocates for your success, but not someone who gives you detailed advice on what to do to get there. Expect to hear hard truths, rather than just what you want to hear, and understand that you shouldn’t look to your mentor to fulfill every aspect of your needs.
 

4. Draft your agendaDon’t rely on your mentor to guide the conversation. Come prepared with questions, concerns, and talking points. It goes back to mentorship being a two-way street — it only works if you put in the work. Nothing’s more frustrating for someone than feeling like their time isn’t being honored — part of that means doing the legwork to ensure a successful meeting! Use Career Companion to outline your agenda before your meetings.
 

5. Communicate progress. Your mentor will be so much more open to helping you if they know you’re actually following their advice! Make sure you take the time to communicate your progress (and big wins!) to your mentor. Check-in with them and let you know what you’ve accomplished, or what steps you’ve taken toward their advice. Also, make sure you take notes during each meeting, so you know what to do moving forward, and what you can discuss with your mentor at the next meeting. You can then log these notes in Career Companion to keep them organized and ready for review!

If you’re attending an awesome event, ask your mentor to join you. Schedule a lunch, visit each other’s offices, or go for a walk in the park. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something both you and your mentor will enjoy. The more you both look forward to your get-togethers, the stronger the relationship will be!

Mentorship is a special relationship that increases self-confidence, engages emotional intelligence, and catapults success. If it can work for Mark Zuckerberg (who was mentored by none other than Steve Jobs), it can work for you! Make sure you put in the work, understand the dynamics of the relationship, and stay engaged — you’re bound for success!

Action

  • Use Career Companion: Career Playbook > Experience: People and capture all the key players in your career

  • Track all your important career conversations with them such as agenda, learnings, feedback, etc.

  • Pay it forward by being a mentor, coach, sponsor for someone else