Mentors may also make you privy to otherwise private information, such as an upcoming job vacancy or new initiative where you can make a mark. And the higher your mentor is, the better. A 2010 study from Catalyst, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women advance in business, showed that men and women with senior-level mentors advanced further and earned more than those with less senior mentors.
Suzanne Garber first learned of a highly appealing job as chief operating officer for the Philadelphia-based Americas Region of International SOS Assistance, a provider of medical assistance and security services, from her longtime mentor. A senior vice president at the company where Garber worked as a manager, he heard about the position from an executive recruiter; it dovetailed with her passions for helping people and international travel. "My mentor received the fax for the job while I was sitting in his office, and he passed it over to me even though he knew it would mean my leaving the company," Garber says. He then provided a reference that helped seal the deal.