Having a mentor or coach is valuable for specific points in a person’s career as they help you navigate workplace challenges by imparting advice based on their own experiences. They are useful for specific challenges and are generally appropriate for a set period of time. Finding a good mentor or coach is the trick, as it is a very personal relationship that is built, so you have to have a connection with each other.
What is also important is giving back. There will come a point in time when successful women need to lift others behind them. The relationship is a two-way street, as mentors or coaches get a lot out of the discussion themselves.
Networking is good from the point of view of building brand and reputation. Most people don’t network well, as networking is not about trading business cards, but it’s about seeking a link or opportunity, and following up with people. It is about building social connection which is really important in the business world as that is how information is exchanged and opportunities are created.
In addition to mentors and networking, sponsorship is probably more important for career progression. Having someone that advocates for you in the workplace as they see your potential, have faith in your abilities, see and create opportunities for you is the best way for career advancement, especially if you deliver results every time.
Marion is a highly experienced and accomplished strategy, innovation and leadership professional with a focus on the enterprise and government sectors. She is a trusted advisor to CEOs and senior executives, providing practical and pragmatic solutions to the challenges they face. Marion is the Managing Director at Azolla Holdings Pty Ltd, a Board member, thought leader and member of an international entrepreneur association.