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Who Can Help Fast Track Your Career? A Mentor, Sponsor, or Both?

The chances are you know all about using mentors as a resource for guiding your career, but do you recognise the value of sponsors too? If you really want to get ahead in the competitive career marketplace, then you may need to consider seeking different types of guidance.

While a mentor can help you to develop your career, and inspire you towards your goals, a sponsor offers unique skills that could make you even more competitive in your space. While mentors and sponsors are frequently confused with each other, they offer very different benefits. Additionally, while there may be countless mentors in the world, sponsors are much harder to come by.

Here, we’ll help you understand the difference between a mentor, and a sponsor, and decide whether you need one, the other, or both.

What’s the Difference Between a Mentor and Sponsor?

mentorsSo, what’s the difference between a sponsor and a mentor? A mentor is someone who helps you to understand your position in a specific industry. He or she can help you navigate the unwritten rules of a marketplace, and recognise the strengths you have in your role. In some cases, a mentor might even help you to pinpoint your future career goals. Mentors are most helpful for people who are just getting started in their career. They offer advice for helping you take the next step in your professional life, and steer you around any potential hurdles you might face.

A sponsor, on the other hand, is someone who generally works in an influential role within your organisation. This is a person who’s happy to advocate for you, and sing your praises where necessary to give you access to brand-new opportunities. Sponsors can help you to connect to new career opportunities, by recommending you for crucial assignments and helping you to establish relationships with other influential people.

What are the Benefits of Having a Mentor?

Mentors are a fantastic source of knowledge for the budding professional. These people fully understand the culture of the company that you work for, and can provide you with plenty of valuable knowledge. However, you’ll need to choose your mentor with care, the traditional choice is a leader in your business with a great track record, and a clear vision for the future.

Mentors benefit their mentees by:

  • Providing you with limitless confidence because they see your potential, and help you to harness it.
  • Guiding you towards success and helping you to avoid the mistakes they might have encountered at the beginning of their career.
  • Giving you a reality check and asking you to answer difficult questions in the pursuit of your professional goals


What are the Benefits of Having a Sponsor?

mentorsAccording to a study by the Centre for Talent Innovation, people with sponsors have a 23% greater chance of excelling in their careers, compared to people without sponsors. Sponsorship isn’t as well-known as mentoring, but it can be just as important. After all, a sponsor can put you forward for new positions, and act as your advocate as you move towards new things.

Sponsors benefit their protegees by:

  • Helping you to pinpoint your goals, and then opening the doors to those goals with recommendations, advocacy and more.
  • Ensuring you connect with the right people by connecting you with a wide network of influential professionals in your industry.
  • Showcasing you to the world and helping you to discover new opportunities you may be unable to access alone.

Do You Need Both a Mentor and a Sponsor?

For most people, mentors and sponsors will both represent key elements of workplace advancement, but these professionals rarely come in a single person. As the job market becomes increasingly more competitive, people who can develop sponsor and mentor relationships will be best prepared to perform exceptionally in their roles.

Both sponsors and mentors can be crucial to maximising career growth, and they may represent some of the most important relationships in your career. When introduced to each other, your mentor and your sponsor can create a formidable team that are devoted to helping you reach your maximum potential.

How can You Find your Sponsor?

mentorsFinding a mentor is easy enough, as you simply need to approach someone you admire within your industry. However, finding a sponsor is not quite as simple.

The important thing to remember about sponsorship, is that it’s a two-way street. While your sponsor will make you look good by accentuating your strengths, and giving you new opportunities to shine, you’ll have to make your sponsor look good by excelling in everything you do. Perhaps the easiest way to begin looking for a sponsor is to start networking in your industry, but you should also focus on being incredibly high-performing in your role.

Tackle significant challenges in your industry head-on, and make sure that people in senior positions throughout your company are well-positioned to recognise your achievements. Standing out from your peers with exceptional work will make sure that your sponsor comes to you. Remember to take on projects that go beyond your role, and ensure that people know about your accomplishments when you make them.

The more you accomplish the challenges you set for yourself in the workplace, the more you’ll attract sponsors. At the same time, however, you’ll also benefit from a greater chance of promotion, more self-confidence, and a stronger position in your workforce.

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company. We assist the world’s leading organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill roles that span across digital marketing, marketing automation, Human Capital Management, CRM system management and, Salesforce developer, Salesforce consultant and Salesforce admin jobs.


The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 or rod@resourceondemand.com.

2022-08-18T14:54:29+00:00 Career, Careers|