As identified in a previous blog Creating Meaningful Mentorships, we know that mentorship is a fantastic way for a mentee to network, garner guidance, harness advice from people who have business experience, and to learn and grow. And as a mentor, you have the privilege of shepherding a new start-up, giving insight that is valued and respected, and collaborating with those seeking your business acumen.

Nothing is more complimentary than being asked to help guide someone to their goals. No matter where you are in your professional career, whether that be as a recent grad starting your first gig, a dedicated employee who has been working at the same job for years, or you’re beginning a new chapter in your life as an entrepreneur; a mentor can make a valuable imprint on your career. It can open networks and opportunities beyond your immediate reach and can give you the tools and confidence to promote yourself and develop professionally.

The overall value to all involved is huge. Often tough, honest, exhausting yet rewarding when outcomes are realized. So, you may ask yourself “ why would I want to think about ending such a favourable and constructive relationship?”

As Jodi Glickman, author of Great on the Job. says “A good mentoring relationship is as long as it should be and no longer,”. Of course, it can be difficult to put an end to such a beneficial relationship, so the question remains, how does one “breakup” with their mentor? And how do you know when it’s time to move on?
When do you know when the time has come to say goodbye to your business mentor?

When to Break It Off?

Some mentorships come with an end date. This can be seen in mentorship programs where the mentor and mentee have agreed to a term, and everyone involved knows that there is an endpoint. This can help participants structure goals around a timeline. For those who are contemplating a mentorship outside of a program, the practice of an end date might be worth considering and discussing with your potential mentor.

If you’re already in the thick of a mentor relationship with no end date in sight, you might wonder how you’ll know when it’s time to move on? Ultimately, the answer is simple – whenever you want to. Nonetheless, there are a few things to consider throughout your mentor/mentee relationship that can help determine the best time for you.

“ For a mentorship relationship to work, it’s important for the mentor and mentee to have a common understanding of what they would like to achieve together, and defining that upfront will be key. Once these goals are established, intentionally checking in on those goals and progress is ultimately what is going to determine when a mentorship arrangement should come to an end.” 

– Chantal Milloy, Co-Founder & COO of Levvel Inc.

Evaluate Your Needs.

From time to time, it is important to ask yourself if you are receiving the insight and guidance you need from your mentor. Is their vision still in line with yours? Are their skills enabling you to achieve your goals? Do you need more support from your mentor? Asking yourself these questions can help you re-evaluate where the relationship currently stands. It also will clearly convey what you expect from your mentor. If you believe that there is more your mentor has to offer, or you want to express new goals that you believe they can assist with, then be sure to mention it and see where else it leads.

Address Identifiers.

At times there are some clear signs that the cycle of mentorship is over. When this happens, it is important to address them and not insist on maintaining the relationship out of obligation. Some of these identifiers may be missed meetings, late arrivals, unplanned agendas. When something is a priority for someone these simply do not occur. Another sign would be no follow-through on any action items agreed to in the mentoring sessions. Mentors provide a sounding board for mentee ideas and use their experience to suggest strategies, actions, alternatives, research, etc. for the mentee to choose from and execute. When there is no execution on agreed to items it is usually good indication things should wind down. Time is valuable to both of you.

Align Ideals.

To get the most out of these relationships both parties should have similar core values. Different outlooks and opinions are great and provide a diverse perspective, but the foundation and trust need to be based on similar core values.

“When you feel you are no longer providing value to your mentee and/or your mentees objectives have been met, it’s time to move on.
As organizations grow, they need different types of talent at different points in their lifecycle to continue to evolve and grow…same can be said for a mentoring relationship.” 

– Brian Milloy, Co-Founder & CEO of Levvel Inc.

We Need to Break Up

Should the time come when you believe your mentorship relationship has run its course it is important to act. Time is precious and relationships are only worth the time and effort if both parties are receiving some type of value from it. As a mentee, if you are no longer learning and growing from this relationship or you have changed directions, it’s time to seek other help to continue your growth. As a mentor, a non-productive relationship is taking time away from another mentee who may benefit.

It’s Nothing Personal.

Remember it’s called business mentoring for a reason. The relationship began with honesty and trust and should end with such. Focus on the gained knowledge, business expertise shared, and positive growth. Recognize the time and energy that your mentor has invested in you. Reflecting on this can help you move forward with appreciation and avoid burning any bridges you might later regret.

“Now, it doesn’t mean that some of these relationships won’t continue on and take a different form, but from the perspective of a more formal mentorship arrangement, there will likely be a beginning and end.“ 

– Chantal Milloy, Co-Founder & COO of Levvel Inc.
A pivotal point of mentorship is knowing when it’s time to go. Remaining honest and open throughout your mentorship can make it easier for both participants to acknowledge and accept the natural end of this relationship while also leaving the door open for potential new ones!

At Levvel, you could say mentorship is in our Co-founders’ DNA. Connecting people, exploring varying ideas, learning about new business innovations, and offering unique experienced perspectives are what Brian Milloy loves about mentoring. For the past 15 years Brian has been involved with Futurpreneur Canada. And he admits he often learns just as much as new business owners.

~Cherene Kambeitz, Marketing & Communications Director – Levvel inc. Reach out to
Learn how we keep Business in Balance every day.

Subscribe now for Levvel insights and info.

Are you ready to take things to the next level?