There are mentors, and then there are sponsors.
Both play critical roles in burgeoning careers, and yet a lot of people don't know the difference.
While mentors guide you and give you advice, sponsors will advocate on your behalf and actively try to advance your career.
But too often, women in particular will conflate the terms "mentor" and "sponsor" -- often to the detriment of their careers. The Harvard Business Review went so far as to say "women are over-mentored and under-sponsored."
Sylvia Ann Hewlett wrote the book on sponsorship ("Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor"). She says women make one huge mistake: they assume mentors and sponsors are interchangeable...
To read the full article by Julia Carpenter, visit CNN Money.