It seems there aren’t enough people out there willing to become sponsors. If sponsors are valuable enough for you to want one, why not be one? Take stock of those you work with and know professionally. Is there anyone you know that you can see with potential? Any individual or two that could benefit from your open advocacy? If so, proactively meet with them to better understand their goals and determine if there is anything you can do to help them achieve their aspirations. If there are things that you can do to help navigate the waters along the way, determine what the next best steps are and help make that happen in a vocal way with your contacts by being their advocate.
During your career, whether that be long or short, you have learned things..many things..along the way. With that knowledge comes responsibility, the responsibility to pass on your learnings. The more important your knowledge, the more important it is to share. So look around and identify those that could benefit from you and what you know..students just starting out, recent graduates new to the working world, colleagues breaking into a different industry or new job, peers from a different team or your regular working team. Then proactively reach out to share the insights from your experiences without expecting anything in return.
Reach out to others in the workplace that have potential. You don’t need to wait for someone to ask you to be their mentor. Share your experiences and knowledge with them. Give them advice when they ask for it and when they don’t. Don’t be afraid to tell them what others won’t. They look up to you and you owe it to them to be honest and straight forward with them. Be there for them not only when things are going well but when things are not going so well. I have gotten more out of my relationships with my mentees than I ever expected. So don’t be afraid to give, you will get back much in return.
Be open to helping others when they don’t ask for it, especially when you don’t have to. Character is what you do when no one is looking. This is not something you will include in your review or talk about to others, but it will help support others. And you never know when you will need help yourself. For sure you will, you just won’t know when and from whom. So why not be there for others? There are so many ways to lend a hand, an ear, your time etc. and if you do, it is much more likely that there will be colleagues ready to extend a helping hand to you when you need it.
It is always hard being the new kid on the block. Remember how awkward that felt? Remember feeling like you knew no one but wanting to? Well why not look around at who is the newest colleague in the group? Extend a hand, invite them for coffee, share some information about the team but most of all make them feel welcome. Not only does it make a big difference to the newcomer, but also it can help others see you as a welcoming leader and hopefully they will follow your lead.