Building Champions: Unlocking Success in Your Career

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Building Champions: Unlocking Success in Your Career

In your career, certain people within your networks are champions. They are individuals who are pivotal to your success, helping you in your current role and when you are looking for new opportunities.

These bold champions are willing to take risks and use their influence to help you. Understanding and nurturing these relationships can open doors and propel your career in ways you might not have imagined.

Who Are Champions?

Champions are more than just fans or mentors; they are the people in your network who take action, often without prompting, for your benefit. They are the ones who will:

  • Pick up the phone to make a call on your behalf.
  • Open doors to opportunities you didn’t know existed.
  • Tirelessly promote you and the value you bring.

These actions are not one-offs; true champions do this consistently and continuously throughout your career. They are truly special people, and if you are fortunate to have a couple champions in your network, you should consider yourself lucky.

Recognizing & Valuing Your Champions

Sometimes, you have champions in your life without recognizing them as such. You might take their support for granted, not realizing the significant role they play until you need career help or support. It is essential to look back at your mentors and ask yourself if they were champions. Should you rekindle those relationships?

The role of a champion can transcend the arc of your career. It’s important to take stock of who these champions are and stay in touch with them. This is not just a transactional relationship; it’s a partnership built on mutual trust and respect. By keeping them appraised of your career status and aspirations, they can determine how they can help or support you.

Nurturing Champion Relationships

To maintain and nurture these relationships, consider the following:

  • Stay connected: Regularly update your champions on your career progress and significant milestones. Keep them apprised of your journey, sharing both highs and lows, and what you are thinking about.
  • Express gratitude: Show appreciation for their support and efforts. A simple thank-you can go a long way.
  • Be transparent: Share your career goals and challenges. Honesty, openness, and continued communication build trust.

The Selfless Nature of Champions

Champions act selflessly with the only agenda being your success. They want to see others succeed and will do anything in their power to facilitate that. This raises some important questions: Are you a good champion? Whose champion are you?

Becoming a Champion

If you cannot answer this question, it might be worth considering if this is something you want to achieve or be. Becoming a champion for others can be a way to give back or pay it forward. Here are some ways to become a champion for others:

  • Offer genuine support: Be proactive in helping others without prompting.
  • Take action: Don’t just offer advice; be willing to take concrete steps to help others.
  • Build trust: Be someone others can rely on to keep their best interests at heart.
  • Stay committed: Be consistent and continuous in your support, just as you would expect from your champions.

Building and nurturing relationships with champions is crucial for career success. Recognize these special individuals in your network, value their support, and strive to become a champion for others.

In doing so, you not only enhance your career but also contribute to the success of those around you. Remember, the journey of a champion is ongoing and transcends the arc of a single career, creating a legacy of mutual support and success.


About the Author:

Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 13 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. Karen couples seasoned counseling skills with a solid business acumen. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reaching that next point in their career.

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