by Carjamin Scott on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 8:42a EST
As a higher education executive, I am with students and emerging leaders. One night, someone asked me, “How do I find mentorship?” The question made me reflect on my journey. Not that long ago, as I was climbing the career ladder, I was looking for mentorship to reach my career plans. I reached out to leaders on LinkedIn. I sent them emails or asked a friend to introduce me. I was able to talk with most of them. I learned that they all had a career story, and they each created their path to success. However, while looking for a mentor, I realized that I would need much more than mentorship. I learned that I needed five different types of people to level up in my career.
Here are the 5 types of people needed to advance your career.
Mentors: A mentor is someone with more experience giving you their advice to advance you in your field. You need a mentor to help guide you on your career journey. Mentors are great because they can share their lessons. These lessons can help you excel faster and avoid any mistakes they made while climbing the career ladder.
Sponsors: A sponsor is someone with the money or power to influence decisions. You need a sponsor to help you find jobs or appoint you into a position. Sponsors are usually in high-ranked places and might not have the time to share all of their experiences with you. Therefore, be sure that you have prepared yourself for opportunities before you ask them for help. The worst thing you can do is tarnish your relationship with them because you performed poorly in the role they recommended for you.
Journeymen: A journeyman is a person who is considered your peer with similar aspirations. The journeyman is your accountability partner. They encourage you and keep you humble as you climb your career ladder. You know that you have a journeyman when you can freely share your career goals and feel supported when you partner with them. Journeymen are essential because you can assist each other with leveling up.
Fans: A fan is someone who is watching you. This person applauds you and holds you accountable for your choices because they live vicariously through you. You know that you are doing something great if you have fans. Fans can be the people who like your posts on social media and call you when they can tell you are having a rough day. They cheer you on and keep you motivated.
Haters: A hater is someone who always picks apart everything you are doing. This person finds something wrong with your choices and wants you to know that they do not like your success. Often, they work against you and find joy in watching you fail. One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 110:1, “The Lord will make your enemies your footstool.” As you become more successful, you will have more haters. I like this quote because it’s a reminder that looming haters help you level up. It is also a reminder not to hate others. As the haters work against you, you learn from them. Let the haters hate. Don’t go looking for haters and don’t feed into their energy; however, know that you are doing something right if you have them.
Thank you Jasmine Sweet for the photos. Follow Jasmine Sweet here.
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Carjamin Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie and instagram @carjiescott.