Career partnerships – mentor, coach, sponsor

11 June 2021 | Columns

Chaze Nalisa

A few weeks ago, I shared an article titled ‘Network is a Currency’. In today’s piece, I would like to draw attention to network partners who aid in catapulting careers. A successful career requires three vital partners: A mentor, a coach and a sponsor. Someone said “know the difference and have all three”.

In a nutshell, a mentor is an advisor, a coach is a listener and a sponsor is an advocate.

Mentorship can either be a formal or informal partnership. When one is in need of advice, support and encouragement, due to some experiences, they seek the partnership of a mentor. The mentee identifies areas of learning and development, while the mentor sources the knowledge, proposes the growth initiatives and unlocks the potential in the mentee. The partnership does not require the mentor and mentee to have the same or similar career paths, be from the same organisation or even from the same industry. The objective is for the mentee to gain insights and experience from the mentor or from the mentor’s network. The partnership is initiated by the mentee, who reaches out to a mentor that he or she identifies as fitting for the purpose, based on their developmental needs.

The meetings and interactions are ad hoc and are generally initiated by the mentee.

A coach is required when one has very specific tasks to achieve. These tasks may require horning new skills. The coachee may also simply have a specific professional problem that they need to overcome with the help of an expert in the field. As a result, the coach-coachee partnership is time-bound and goal-focused, with defined results, and is therefore performance-driven. In addition, each coaching partnership is unique, therefore the framework is determined by the coach and coachee.

Both the coach and coachee drive the relationship. Either one of the parties can initiate such a relationship. In a coach-coachee relationship, it is ideal that the coach has the same or similar career paths or skills background in order for the partnership to be impactful. The meetings are usually set in intervals, with the mandate of discussing tactics and results for the set goals.

A sponsor is someone that ensures that the mentee takes the next step on their career ladder. I call this a network-orientated ‘mentorship’. While a mentor supports generic learning and development, and a coach facilitates very specific skills enhancement; a sponsor opens the doors to opportunities where the mentee can now apply their gained experience, knowledge and skills. A sponsor is more personally involved in the mentee’s career progression. The sponsor believes in the strengths and potential of the mentee and, in turn, understands the mentee’s limitations, and is thus able to advocate for them. He or she advocates for the mentee in public and private, wherever opportunities arise. A sponsor only advocates for capable, integral and professional mentees. A sponsor is usually someone with a network larger and more impactful than that of the mentee. They have influence and decision-making power within the industry the mentee desires to grow.

It is not necessary to have all three partnerships simultaneously. I would say a sponsor is a vital one to have at all times. At different stages of one’s career, there may be need for either a mentor or a coach, and not necessarily both. Nevertheless, coaching can be an initiative embedded within a mentorship process. One can find a sponsor by enhancing their personal brand and visibility, or through the networks of their mentor or coach. It is possible to have one partnership that fulfills all three roles, but it is worth understanding the role that each career partner serves in order to ensure that the partnerships are strategically established.

Similar News

 

Setting up a retirement fund for your company

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Columns

Paul-Gordon For most Namibians pension savings is the largest, if not the only, investment at retirement. To encourage us to save towards retirement, the government...

Covid-19 and its effects in the workplace from an...

1 month - 17 December 2021 | Columns

Madri Speelman – Namibia Media Holdings HR Officer During the last two years since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen multiple changes...

Scare yourself for success

2 months ago - 19 November 2021 | Columns

Brandt Von WestGenerally speaking, we have two options available to us when it comes to self-motivation. We can go positive or negative in our self-motivation....

Digital records are a must

2 months ago - 05 November 2021 | Columns

Delano January Recently, some articles in the newspapers made my mouth drop open in amazement. It is said that the organisation tasked with handing out...

Learning to negotiate

3 months ago - 22 October 2021 | Columns

Brandt von West I’m going to quickly boil something as complex as negotiations down into its most simplistic form. There are typically two reasons why...

Culture Lead: Understanding organisational culture

4 months ago - 10 September 2021 | Columns

Lorelle ViljoenOrganisational culture is the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values, and ways of interacting that contribute to an organisation’s unique social and psychological environment. Basically, organisational...

Record management practices

4 months ago - 03 September 2021 | Columns

Sarah NegumboImplementation of the retention and disposal guidelines to create space in registriesGood record-keeping is attributed to the establishment of a tool called filing system/plan....

The Olympic achievements of our star athletes have made...

5 months ago - 13 August 2021 | Columns

Emilia NzuziWhere were you when our girls walked out onto the track in Tokyo for the 200 metres final? Glued to your radio, laptop, TV...

Is the pandemic increasing the usage of digital money?

5 months ago - 06 August 2021 | Columns

Kehad SnydelwelThe pandemic has overwhelmed the globe and Namibia has not been spared. The acceleration of certain developments and the innovations have also occurred because...

Bridging the healthcare divide saves lives

6 months ago - 23 July 2021 | Columns

Celia Sofia StephanusIn December 2019, Covid-19 became something for the world to worry about. It was no longer something that was just happening in Asia....

Latest News

N$8.8 billion gained in export...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUNamibia gained about N$8.8 billion in exports earnings in November 2021, an increase of 1.3% when compared to N$8.7 billion recorded in October 2021....

NISS records settlement value...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUDue to high volumes of the new domestic electronic funds transfer (EFT) system streams, utilisation of the lending facilities, the purchase and resell of...

In the jaws of justice

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT, JANA-MARI SMITH, MATHIAS HAUFIKU AND OGONE TLHAGE · Esau spent N$900k from undeclared account while...

Working with high standards of...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | People

Wetumwene Shikage Not expecting to find a smooth and easy way of work, Romario Arnat describes his working experience as an eye-opener as to how...

Taking steady growing curves

1 day - 21 January 2022 | People

Wetumwene Shikage Timothy Olivier’s passion and dedication has been a key driver in his success not only within Old Mutual, but throughout his...

US sanctions strangling Zim economy...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Economics

FANUEL JONGWECallisto Jokonya stands in the cavernous factory of Imperial Refrigeration and recalls the halcyon days. In the 1990s, his factory, located in the Zimbabwean...

UK inflation pushes cost of...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Economics

ROLAND JACKSONThe annual rate of inflation in Britain rose to a near 30-year high in December, official data showed Wednesday, stoking fears about a cost-of-living...

Malpass urges Microsoft to help...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Economics

After Microsoft announced it would spend tens of billions of dollars to buy a video game company, World Bank President David Malpass on Wednesday drew...

I’m not politicking with housing...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Politics

NAMPA WINDHOEKThe housing crisis in Namibia is beyond politics and could lead to a civil war if not addressed in an...

Load More