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If you are stuck in a rut, at a career crossroads, or just not moving forward as fast as you want to, Christy Johnson shares a blog from her website on the difference between a mentor and a champion and how each one can help you. 

‘Where are your champions?

You’ve probably heard the hackneyed advice for career advancement: “It’s who you know, not what you know.” But how do you know who you should get to know? Figuring out who you should cultivate relationships with when time and energy is limited isn’t always straightforward.

After interviewing over 200 professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries for Project Ascendance, we found one relationship trumped the others when it comes to ROI: the champion. The individuals we spoke with described the people who advocated for them in and out of their own workplace—their champions—as pivotal to  their career success.

What’s more, when we asked participants to reflect on their professional experiences and tell us what they wished they had done differently, the most frequent regret they shared was not seeking out champions sooner. While these champion/protégé relationships are rarer than mentor/mentee relationships, our participants showed us that they can be developed over time.

There are, however, fundamental differences between mentors and champions. In a mentor/mentee relationship, the mentee receives most of the benefits and the mentor expects little in return. In a champion/protégé relationship, both people make a greater commitment to each other and have more at stake. Championing is a deeper more reciprocal relationship that requires mutual trust. Below is a quick guide for distinguishing between your mentors and champions.’

 

Key points include:

  • Reciprocal relationships
  • Affinity and social proximity
  • Constructive champions

 

Read the full post, Do you have a champion or a mentor? on artemisconnection.com.