6/8/2016: Driving Your Career Forward – Mentors, Sponsors, Coaches

An interview with the workshop presenters, Ellen Keiley & Carol Salloway.


Why did you choose to focus on mentors, sponsors, coaching, and career support for your upcoming WEST workshop? 

The work rules have changed. It is no longer how quickly you can move up the ladder or that by doing good work, you will be noticed and promoted.  You are the CEO of your career, and mentors, sponsors, and coaches (a/k/a your “Board of Advisors”) provide a very necessary support system that can help you advance in your career through advice, access to assignments, feedback, and accountability support to develop in your career. 

No one is ever taught about the rules for advancement or how to find and use the support of others to grow their careers.  We want to create a conversation about what it takes to be in charge of your career and how you can be strategic and purposeful in the choices you make.


What tips would you give our readers who are struggling with finding support for their careers?

Think about what kind of support would help you most and then do your research.   Find the right support systems based on your specific goals.  You can benefit from having several different people in your support circle.        

You can start by looking at your network, and seeking out people who you trust, who you admire, and who are willing to share honest feedback.  Start by getting to know them, developing a relationship with them over a period of time, and by asking for advice about a particular issue.  You can develop coaching relationships with colleagues or professional coaches.  If it is the latter, ask people in your network for recommendations and interview some coaches before choosing one to make sure they are the right fit. 


What's the best piece of career advice anyone ever gave you?

You need to be your own advocate and proactive in moving your career forward. (Ellen)

Be bold and go after what you want and have lots of people cheering you on.  (Carol)


What advice do you have for those entering into a mentor/sponsor/coaching relationship?

  • Go into the relationship with an open mind.   Treat it as a special opportunity to learn.

  • In a formal relationship, clearly articulate goals for the relationship.

  • Keep seeing if the relationship is working for you (and them) and ask for what you need.

  • Enlist people for different reasons and what they have to offer.  Look both within your field and outside of your expertise.

  • Show appreciation for your supporters’ generosity and be generous in return to them or others.


What is the difference between mentors, sponsors, and coaches?

A mentor acts as a role model, sounding board, and advisor.  They provide wisdom, challenge you, and support you.

A sponsor is someone with power and influence who will go behind the scenes and advocate for you.

A coach helps you identify and set goals and develop a plan to achieve those goals. They provide the support and the accountability necessary to help you achieve your goals.  A coach will also challenge you and provide feedback. 



About the Presenters

Ellen Keiley

Ellen Keiley is President of EMK Consulting Group, LLC, a firm specializing in business development coaching, marketing, training programs, and public relations. Ellen is a Certified Professional Coach and has over 20 years’ experience in the professional services industry, serving in business development, marketing, and PR roles for both Boston-based and international firms and companies. Ellen is Immediate Past President of the National Association of Women MBAs Boston Professional Chapter, serves on the United Way Women’s Leadership Council Executive Committee, serves on the Greater Boston Chamber Women’s Advisory Board, serves on the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Executive Committee, is a Vice Chair of the City Year Women’s Leadership Initiative, and is an active member of several other professional associations and non-profits. She is a frequent speaker and writer and has appeared on radio programs.

Carol Salloway

As an Executive Coach and Leadership Development Consultant for nearly 25 years, Carol serves clients in the technology, life sciences, health care, professional services, financial services, higher education as well as other not for profit organizations. Her credentials include an MBA with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from Boston University as well as certification as an Executive Coach. Carol’s is certified to use the best-in-class leadership development instruments including several Emotional Intelligence, Personality and 360 Feedback instruments. Earlier in her career, she managed the organizational effectiveness practice at a boutique-consulting firm in the banking industry and she also launched and ran the student service organization for a Boston area graduate school. Carol serves as a Supervisor Coach for the Executive Coaching Graduate Program at William James College and for the Social Innovation Forum Executive Coaching program. She also serves as an Executive Coach in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program.


Learn more about this workshop here.