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Importance of Having a Mentor or Sponsor

Amid coronavirus concerns, the message relayed to those around the world is essentially, “we are all in this together.” We are not alone. Everyone is doing the best they can to carry-on and continue striving for excellence. This is a very powerful message – we are all in this together. Even in the worst of times, people must and do care for one another and continue to help in as many ways that they can.

Fortunately, even in the best of times, there are individuals who help others reach success and get back on their feet if they stumble. Among teachers, parents, neighbors, friends and public servants, there are mentors and sponsors. For those considering a career in accounting, or who have recently entered the profession, a mentor is vital to your ultimate success. Most often, a mentor is someone who has been in your profession for quite some time and has found success. By working closely with a mentor, and someone whom you admire, you will be able to tap into a wealth of knowledge. Having a mentor can help you define your strengths, place you on a clearer career path or assist you in avoiding mistakes or errors you might otherwise make. Additionally, they can guide you through any questions or concerns you may have or come across. This type of support will help keep you focused on your goals and on track.

If you are currently a CPA in the early years of your career, you will want to prioritize finding the right sponsor, rather than a mentor. According to Forbes, sponsors act as spotlights, highlighting (oftentimes junior) employees for opportunities or recognition within. That’s why sponsors tend to be internal, maintaining a singularly focused relationship with a high-potential employee. CIO online explains that almost anyone can be a mentor, but only those with access to positions of power and leadership, and the ability to improve the visibility of those they sponsor, can serve as sponsors. If you work hard, dedicate yourself to your craft and are determined to continue learning all that you can, a sponsor may prove to be a great addition to your professional network.

So, whether in the early stages of your career or when you are beginning to gain confidence in your position, it is resourceful to build rapport and implore the help of others. As we all navigate the “new normal” of the workplace, we must remember the message of the day – we are all in this together. Truer words may have never been spoken.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist