No man is an island, and neither is any successful career. Whether you’re just starting or have been in your field for years, it’s crucial to have a supportive network to help you grow and develop professionally. But with so many types of support available, how do you choose the right team to help you meet your goals?
Here are a few key players to consider when putting together your professional development support team:
Did you ever have a teacher or coach who believed in you and pushed you to be your best? A mentor can play a similar role in your professional life, offering guidance, advice, and support as you navigate your career.
According to Forbes, most people believe mentors are vital, and about 37% of professionals have one. When you have a mentor, you have someone to look up to in your field, learn from their experience, and get an objective perspective on your career. A mentor can also help you identify your weaknesses and work on developing a plan to improve them.
There are many ways to find a mentor. You can ask someone you admire if they’d be willing to take you under their wing or join a professional organization to network with more experienced professionals. But whichever you choose, remember that although having a mentor is incredibly beneficial, they are not responsible for your success—that’s entirely up to you.
A sponsor is different from a mentor in that they can help further your career by using their influence to open doors for you. They may be able to provide opportunities for you to showcase your work, help you get a seat at the table in important meetings, or introduce you to people who can further your career.
A sponsor often occupies a higher position than you in an organization and therefore has more influence. But that doesn’t mean they’re out of reach—according to Charter, in partnership with Time, the best way to find a sponsor is to start by identifying someone who influences the area where you’d like to grow. You can then begin building a relationship with them by offering to help with their work or inviting them to coffee.
However, it’s important to remember that a sponsor is not a magic ticket to success—you still need to do the hard work. And while you should take advantage of their willingness to help, ensure you don’t abuse their generosity or overstep your bounds. So, don’t put your entire career in their hands—use them as one part of your professional development support team.
At some point in your career, you’ll need financial advice. And while you could ask a family member or friend for money tips, it’s usually best to seek professional help. That’s where a reliable CPA comes in.
A certified public accountant (CPA) can help you with tax planning, retirement savings, and making sound investments. These are all important for financial stability and career growth. They can also offer valuable insights into reducing expenses and increasing income.
When looking for an accountant, finding someone qualified and experienced is crucial. You can ask for recommendations from friends, family, or other professionals in your network. Once you have a few names, meeting with each candidate to get a feel for their personality and expertise is the best way to decide which one is right for you.
When it comes to financial advice, don’t try to go it alone—include a CPA on your team. You’ll be on your way to making smart money decisions that will benefit your career in the long run.
As you progress in your career, you’ll likely find yourself with more responsibilities—and less time to do them all. That’s where an executive assistant comes in.
An executive assistant can help you manage your schedule, plan and execute events, draft and edit correspondence, and handle various other tasks essential to running your business smoothly. In short, they’re a crucial part of any professional’s support team.
Hiring an executive assistant is a big decision, and finding someone you can trust with your time and schedule is essential. You can thoroughly vet each candidate by checking references and conducting interviews. This way, you can be sure you’re hiring someone competent, reliable, and a good fit for your personality and working style.
No one can achieve professional success without a good support team. This in-depth article has outlined the different professionals you should consider working with to help further your career. Each individual can offer valuable advice and insights, so don’t be afraid to seek help. By assembling a team of qualified experts, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals.