Working Mom 101: How to find mentors and sponsors

career mentor

I’m sure we can all agree that women play a vital role in our lives.

For most of us, we look to other women as an example of who and how we should be. From very young ages, we’re playing in our mother’s closets or joining them on their morning runs or imitating their motherly role as we played with our dolls.

We repeat their words, we enact their behaviours and we shape our dreams on what they show us to be possible.

I was one of the lucky ones to have incredibly strong and amazing women to look up to. With a family overcrowded with testosterone, there weren’t many women to look up to. But, let me tell you with my grandmother and mother – two incredibly powerful figures – I really didn’t need many others.

I owe so much of who I am to my grandmother and her example.

We lost Nonna Elda earlier this year. Saying good-bye literally brought me to my knees, but her lessons will never be forgotten.

She proved to me that you can be two opposite things at the very same time – independent, yet loyal; firm, yet soft; unforgiving, yet encouraging; strong, yet so loving.

Add to this a mother who has the aura (and, somewhat frustratingly, the record to prove it) that she can do absolutely anything, there was no way I would become a wilting flower.

I’m told repeatedly that I’m like my mother who is repeatedly told that she is like her mother, and while everyone has good and not-so-great traits, I humbly say thank you every time.

But, when I began pursuing my career, I quickly realized I needed to bring different women models into my life.

Everyone was talking about mentors, so I went looking for one. But, when I found a few potential candidates, I couldn’t muster up the courage to ask, “Can you be my mentor?”.

Not only did the idea of popping that question make my palms sweaty, it never felt right to me. How could one person encourage all the different sides of me?

I needed more than one mentor. I also needed people who weren’t just mentors.

I needed influencers, I needed models, I needed champions and sponsors, and I needed friends and peers who would support me when things weren’t going my way. Some of these were fulfilled by the people in my life. Others by books and social media – I’m a huge proponent that books and virtual “friends” can serve as the inspiration you may need to get over a hump or broaden your mind to a new way of thinking.

Yet, the talk about mentors seems to rage on and on.

Women are repeatedly told to find a mentor. I just don’t think that’s always the right answer. And, for working moms, finding a mentor who is a working mom herself is near impossible.

That’s why I was so excited to tackle today’s topic on The Crazy Good Life.

I share some alternative ways you can find a mentor without having to ever ask that dreaded five-word question. I also share two other types of people you need in your life that will encourage you to reach your full potential in your career and as a working mom.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch the video, share some of your personal do and don’ts in finding your mentors in the comments below.



P.S. I’m working on a new block of videos and I could use your help in shaping the content. Are there any questions or topics you’d like me to explore? Send me an email or hit me on Twitter or Facebook.


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