You don't need a mentor, you need a champion

Published on: 27th September, 2022

Hello and welcome to the travelling introvert. Today I'm going to talk about the fact that you don't need a mentor, you need a champion. And there is a huge difference. Mentors and champions are two important figures in the professional world. Both offer guidance and support, but there are key differences between the two.


And so many times I hear people saying they need a mentor and expecting that to come for free, which is a whole other conversation. Mentors are typically more experienced professionals who take on a protégé to help them develop their skills and knowledge. That mentor protégé relationship is built on trust and mutual respect and the mentor provides advice and feedback to help their protégé grow. Champions, on the other hand, are advocates for someone or something within an organization. They use their influence to promote their protégé or project within the company.


And they work to ensure that that person has the resources they need to be successful. They already know that you can do the job and so they promote for you and fight for you. While both mentors and champions can be helpful in professional development, it's really important to know which one is right for your needs. So as I mentioned, a champion is someone who can help you accomplish your goals. So usually people have been successful in their field and are willing to share their knowledge with others.


But they tend to be people who go and be above and beyond the call of duty to help you succeed. They're the people at work who will always have your back. They're the ones who fight for you when you need it the most. Champions are the ones who make sure you get the credit you deserve and they're also the ones who help promote you within the company. So that's the difference between a mentor and a champion.


And we all need a champion in our lives in some way, shape or form. So how do you even go about finding a champion at your workplace or even outside of your workplace? Look for people who are always willing to help you'll find that a champion is someone who is always willing to sort of lend a helping hand, whether it's the project or just offering advice. Look for someone who is a strong advocate for others who are in your position. A champion is someone who will speak up for you when management isn't around.


And they'll also be your biggest cheerleader during reviews or promotions. Think about attending events like conferences, meetups or anything sort of work related or not work related, but events related to your field of interest. And start networking with people there. You may be able to find a champion among those attendees. Now, in today's working world, it's more important than ever to have a champion.


Maybe also a mentor, but a champion in your corner. A champion is someone who believes in your potential already and is willing to fight for you, whether that means helping you get a promotion or being a standing board for your ideas. Yes, they might think you need improving or in your skills, but the whole point is they already know how awesome you are. They already can see how good you are at your job or how good you might be for a different role or project or promotion. They already have that faith in you, rather than a mentor who sees your potential and is going to help you work towards X, Y and Z.


They are both useful in their own distinct and different ways. So I'd love for you to take a moment and think, who is a champion for you right now? Do you have one? If you don't have one, how can you go about finding one and how much of a difference that can make to you and your professional career?


While it's great to have a champion at work, I get it. It's not always easy to find one. But if you are lucky enough to have a champion in your life, especially at your work, cherish them and let them know how much you appreciate their support. And why not look into being a champion for somebody else, someone who needs lifting up. Having a champion in your corner at work can lower stress, help you when you're down, and give you insight into very different areas of your workplace and get you on projects you never would have dreamed of.


Thank you for listening. This is janice@thecareerintrovert.com, helping you build your brand and get hired. Have a great rest of your week.

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About the Podcast

The Traveling Introvert
A bite-sized podcast about traveling while running a business and being an introvert.
Not knowing what introversion was until my 30s, I feel that I wasted some of my early years by not really understanding myself. An inspiration for my business is that I want to help others understand themselves better, earlier on in their careers and their lives. Introversion is a very misunderstood area – introverts can suffer mentally and physically because people typecast them or act negatively towards them. It’s not nice to be trapped in a little box. When you label somebody, they tend to act like that label, which stops people from achieving their true potential. I don’t let being an introvert define me, I let it guide me.
If you are looking for some career coaching or just want to reach out
contact me at janice@thecareerintrovert.com