Cascading Leadership - The Show

The Power of Mentorship for Early Career Underrepresented Sales and Marketing Professionals

April 18, 2023 Jim Season 3 Episode 21
Cascading Leadership - The Show
The Power of Mentorship for Early Career Underrepresented Sales and Marketing Professionals
Show Notes Transcript

Mentorship and having a board of directors are crucial for underrepresented individuals looking to advance their careers in sales and marketing.

Mentors can offer advice and guidance based on shared experiences and perspectives, provide networking opportunities, and help accelerate careers. They can also offer the benefit of their experience in making better decisions and overcoming challenges.

To identify potential mentors, the first step is to understand one's professional goals and seek mentors from the same industry or similar backgrounds. Attend industry events, use LinkedIn, and join professional associations or affinity groups to build a mentorship community.

Finding mentors from similar backgrounds who can offer advice and guidance based on shared experiences and perspectives. This helps to ensure that the mentor understands the challenges and obstacles faced by the mentee and can offer effective advice.

Once potential mentors have been identified, reach out to potential mentors with thoughtful messaging, be open to feedback, and maintain sustained touchpoints. It is important to show that you are committed to the mentorship relationship and willing to put in the effort to make it work.

By actively building mentorship relationships, individuals can accelerate their career growth and help others achieve their full potential.



Accelerating Your Career as an Underrepresented Sales or Marketing Professional through Mentorship.


The Importance of Finding Mentors from Underrepresented Communities in Your Professional Career


Tips for Building and Maintaining Mentorship Relationships in the Professional World


The Importance of Cultivating Meaningful Mentorship Relationships in Sales and Marketing Careers

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The Power of Mentorship for Early Career Underrepresented Sales and Marketing Professionals 

[00:00:00] Dr. Jim: one of the biggest things that you can do to accelerate your career as a member of the underrepresented community in sales or marketing is to develop a board of directors and specifically a number of mentors around you. We're gonna cover four areas in this discussion. We're gonna cover the value of professional mentors. We're gonna cover how you actually identify mentors. We're gonna cover how you can cultivate those relationships with mentors. And then we will also cover why giving back by mentoring others can actually help you accelerate your careers.

[00:00:36] Dr. Jim: The Goal by the end of this short conversation is for you to have a bit of a framework that you can deploy as a member of the underrepresented sales and marketing community to be much more effective in terms of driving your career forward. So let's talk a little bit about the value of mentorship and why that's important.

[00:00:56] Dr. Jim: Some of this is gonna be pretty obvious. They've already been [00:01:00] there and done that. So they're gonna give you advice and guidance based off of their shared experiences and and perspectives. And the key part of this is that you need to find those mentors who come from similar backgrounds, from underrepresented communities, so that you have a frame of reference and you can view what success looks.

[00:01:21] Dr. Jim: From the perspective of somebody that has actually done that before they can certainly offer you networking opportunities, open doors and introduce you to key players in the industry. But the net net is that they're gonna help you in ways to. Accelerate your career and also give you the benefit of their experience in helping you make better overall decisions and overcome some of the challenges that you're facing.

[00:01:48] Dr. Jim: So how do you actually identify potential mentors? And this might not be surprising to you. It's a lot easier than you think it is. The first thing that you need to do [00:02:00] when you're considering bringing out a mentor is get a deep understanding of what your professional goals are at that particular time, because that's gonna inform the type of mentor that you're actually looking for.

[00:02:12] Dr. Jim: You're gonna want to do a bit of self reflection to identify. Do I want mentors from the same industry, similar backgrounds, challenges that they've specifically overcome that you're facing. All of those things factor into it, but when it comes down to the rubber hitting the road, It's a pretty clear cut way of how you can cultivate or at least identify potential mentors.

[00:02:35] Dr. Jim: One, you could attend industry events, conferences, and networking events. Those are great places to build a mentorship community. You can use. LinkedIn. That's number two. That's pretty straightforward. Certainly joining professional or associations or affinity groups that are specific to your underrepresented community, that can be huge.

[00:02:55] Dr. Jim: You certainly don't want to ignore the people that are currently in your [00:03:00] network. Colleagues, former supervisors, professors, those can all of those people can be mentors as well. So don't sleep on those as potential options. 

[00:03:09] Dr. Jim: Next, how do you cultivate that mentorship relationship? It's one thing to go ahead and identify it.

[00:03:16] Dr. Jim: Building from there and having that relationship be meaningful, that's gonna take some work. The first step in doing that though, is reaching out. You have to initiate contact. Nobody's a mind reader, so make sure that. Incorporating thoughtful messaging in your outreach and see if they're open to a conversation.

[00:03:35] Dr. Jim: You certainly want to be respectful of their time. When you have a meeting set up, make sure that you're flexible, and then when it's on the calendar, you wanna make sure you include an agenda so everybody has a clear idea of what the objectives are. Be prepared. It goes without saying. You want to frame out that agenda that's gonna get everybody centered on what the topic of the discussion is, and then ask your question.

[00:03:58] Dr. Jim: Listen, be open to [00:04:00] feedback. And this is a two-way street, so you need to be interested in the information that you're getting and build on that going forward. It's not a, it's not a fire. And forget relationship so you want to work towards that ongoing relationship with regular sustained touchpoints so that you can build on that initial connection and take it from there.

[00:04:22] Dr. Jim: The last thing that I want to cover is the value of mentoring others. So one of the things, and this is especially important for all of us from underrepresented communities, you have a responsibility if you've made it to a certain point in your life, to pay that forward and bring somebody up to where you are. And ideally your focus should be, how many people can I get to my same level as fast as possible? That's your responsibility and that's where becoming a mentor is gonna be useful as well. And you might be sitting there thinking I'm pretty early in my career.

[00:04:56] Dr. Jim: What do I have to offer that somebody else is gonna find [00:05:00] value in? Let's say for example, you're three years into the world of work I'm sure there's some college freshmen or high school seniors who are looking for some guidance on how they should navigate their education and early career decisions that has value.

[00:05:13] Dr. Jim: So you should be actively bringing those sort of profiles or those sort of folks at that stage into your ecosystem so that you can actually build that mentorship relationship as well. 

[00:05:25] Dr. Jim: You're in sales and marketing early to mid-career and you haven't built a network or a board of advisors or board of directors around, you haven't built a number of mentors get started. That can be a huge accelerator to how fast your career goes. Don't forget about being intentional about doing that because nobody's gonna go out of their way to tell you on how to do this.

[00:05:50] Dr. Jim: So the intent here is to give you a framework that's easy to operate and execute. And this should be a regular part of your professional growth. By [00:06:00] identifying and cultivating meaningful mentorship relationships, you're gonna open up a lot of opportunities. Overcome a lot of challenges and you're gonna be accelerating your ability to achieve your full potential.

[00:06:13] Dr. Jim: Get the word out and help everybody get to the next step and level up their careers.