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Aligning With Your Career Catalysts


Did you know:

  • 48% of men say they have received detailed information on career paths to P&L jobs in the past 24 months, just 15% of women report the same.
  • 54% of men had a career discussion with a mentor or sponsor in the past 24 months, while only 39% of women had the same representation.
  • 71% of executives have protégés whose gender and race match their own.

Source: How men can help being mentors/sponsors to Women with research from Working Mother Research Institute and Center for Talent Innovation

With this insight, it is no surprise that having access to one or many career catalysts can often streamlining the steps necessary, such as assess, step-stone projects, and executive visibility, which all seem instrumental to achieving your goals!

Who Are My Career Catalysts?

Many women ask, “Who are my career catalysts?” That depends on what you are looking to accomplish next. Different people will bring different levels of advice, connections, and recommendations forward. So before you start asking, “Will you be my coach, mentor or sponsor?” it is crucial to understand what you have already achieved and what you plan to impact next so you can align to people that can help facilitate your desired next steps.

The first step requires you to take time to think carefully about your goals and what you will need to reach them. If you’re not sure, then, by all means, ask a coach or mentor to help you develop or refine your goals. I can assure you that you do not want to waste an opportunity with a potential sponsor, so getting your professional goals in order in a critical step to seize meaningful opportunities later.  Keep an eye out for the masterclass “Finding and Aligning with Your Career Catalysts – Step By Step Actions to Accelerate Your Career Goals with the help of mentors and sponsors in early 2021!


Types of Career Catalysts

There are many types of career catalysts to seek that can help you achieve your career goals, but I often focus on these three with the goal of creating an advisory board:

A coach is a person you hire to dig through your thoughts, experiences, and goals to effectively articulate your next desired steps. This is incredibly helpful as it is often the piece women skip and when asked by a career catalyst where they could use some help, they often gloss over their desires leaving a potential catalyst with little to work with to make the path easier.

A mentor often gives you advice on how to move from here to there or maneuver a situation. When the conversation is done both parties often move along on their independent paths.

A sponsor is a person who talks to you about your goals, guides you in the right direction, and endorses you to others when you are not around and could help facilitate your desired next steps. These sponsors are often critical to your promotions or next position or initiative because they are often highlighting your skills and contributions to the “right” people.

An Advisory Board is a group of people you assemble within your inner circle upon whom you call for advice, guidance, and elevation. This is often my approach to career catalyst as most professionals need different people for different things and have a group to pick from is extremely helpful.  Note, your board changes over time. Be grateful for the ones that take time to help you facilitate your next desired path.

Companies that create initiatives to support, mentor, and sponsor diversity often align with their goals as it take effort, attention and time to empower others! With this, I am a huge champion of sponsors as they create opportunities for people to reach beyond their current sphere of impact to engage with people in new ways. These additional connections create opportunities to gain new experiences, develop new professional relationships and acquire knowledge. This is why sponsorship can catapult your career or business to new heights.

If you don’t have a sponsor today, no worries this is something you can cultivate over the next few months.  If you need help, be sure to keep an eye out for JJ’s 2021 course “Finding and Aligning with Your Career Catalysts – Step By Step Actions to Accelerate Your Career Goals with the help of mentors and sponsors!

Additional Articles on Mentors, Sponsors and Career Catalysts Check out these articles:  https://techsavvywomen.net/category/mentors-sponsors/ 

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JJ DiGeronimo

JJ DiGeronimo

Speaker, Author & Thought Leader for Women in Tech & Girls in STEM.

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