When it comes to career development, and really so many other things in life, you can’t do it alone, and because you can’t do it alone, neither can others. Once you realize the power of your own voice, look around you and figure out who you need supporting your voice, who will be your greatest advocate, who will you talk to first when you have a ground-breaking idea?
While discovering and embracing your own power is important, the “Power of Us” can be the game-changer. Men support each other all the time – where do you think the phrase the “good, old boys club” comes from? If women employ some of the same techniques used by men to work together, support each other and lift while they climb, career support can be transformational.
As with everything, it’s important to find the power balance, a balance of mentor and mentee. When you identify a woman boss or colleague who will help amplify your voice at work, you may have also found a mentor who could become a huge advocate for you. A good mentor will support your voice and help transform your ability to speak out and speak up. She (or he) can:
- Advocate for you and open doors to resources.
- Make strategic introductions.
- Recommend you serve on boards, committees of the organization.
- Provide inside information and help you learn the politics of your company or industry.
- Help push you to the next level by shining a light on what you might not know about yourself.
- Believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself.
If you’re the one in this scenario who has become the mentor, the work colleague who is ready, willing and able to lift while she climbs, make sure you’re not mentoring others to the detriment of your own career. There’s a mentor for everyone. Even if you need to look outside your department, company or industry, you need a mentor to help create visibility and open doors for you.
Internal and external mentors serve different roles. An internal mentor is someone within your own organization, workplace or industry. This person understands the culture of your workplace or industry. A mentor who knows these intricate details can provide advice and insights that no one else can. If you work directly with the person, she/he can also provide a unique perspective of how you are perceived in the workplace.
External mentors come from other companies, and different areas of business. The balance of having an internal/external mentor, similar to the male/female balance, will help provide a holistic approach to the self-improvement process that takes place in a mentoring relationship.
Early in my career, I was more inclined to take a quick lunch at my desk. I didn’t fully understand the value of having lunch with my co-workers, learning the players and gaining support for my ideas and my work. Getting to know people and supporting each other is also more enjoyable, so don’t miss the opportunity. It’s good for your career and good for your mental health!
If you are eager to make a greater impact in your career, it would be my honor to be part of that process with you. Please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can empower you to achieve that goal.
©Copyright 2018. Kay Fittes. All Rights Reserved.