Career Success: What Women (And Men) Need To Know

Published on February 8, 2011 by

Harvard Business Review Research Report recently highlighted what is called "The Sponsor Effect" and it reveals why many women are finding it hard to climb the corporate ladder.

For instance, one key finding states women underestimate the need and value of having a "sponsor" at work for obtaining promotions, key assignments and tapping into the "unwritten rules" in the workplace.

Another key finding states: Most women believe that hard work alone will get them noticed and propel them upward. Fully 77 percent insist that hard work and long hours, not connections, account for their advancement. Something is wrong with that picture.

You've heard the saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know," and that's partially true. The other side of the coin that you need to cash in on is "It's not who you know, it's who knows you."

If you want to rise to significant levels in your organization, it's time to rethink your strategy and tap into the power structure at the top echelons. Otherwise, you can work yourself to the point of exhaustion with too little to show for it career-wise.

It's time to make yourself more visible and known to those who can take you with them as they ascend the corporate ladder. It's time to connect and ask for and obtain the sponsor that will open the doors to greater opportunity, responsibilities and rewards.

Think relationships. Think connections. The right connections will take you higher and further in your career. Why put in the hard work and long hours only to find yourself standing outside the inner circle?

You deserve more, but you won't get more until you build connections with the right people at the right level. Someone wants to "sponsor" you; it's your job to find them and let them.

Care to weigh in? Leave a quick (or long!) comment.


  1. Stacie

    Thank you, it explains a lot about my current situation.

    • Alan Allard

      Stacie, thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

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