Sometimes ending a mentorship can be confusing because the relationship may or may not have been a positive one. Every situation is unique, but we’ve shared a couple recommended actions based on past mentor and mentee experiences. We encourage our mentors and mentees not to ghost each other, but be honest and up-front with one another if your situations have changed. It takes work to make a mentorship work, but if you don’t find it to be a fit, it is appropriate to end a mentorship before the year commitment is up. Take a look at the scenarios below to determine how to move forward and end your mentorship correctly.
Action: Keep connecting with your mentor/mentee. Try new projects together and take an opportunity to set up a wrap-up meeting to share your lessons learned and close out your year right. Mentees, consider giving a gift or card of thanks to your mentor. Nothing expensive is necessary, but something thoughtful will make a big impact on your mentor. Mentors, consider sharing some of the things you’ve learned from your mentee. How have you grown and what are you most proud of about your mentee? Perhaps think of someone that you can connect them with to keep their professional development going.
Action: You don’t need to stop one mentor to take on a new mentorship. If you are able to balance multiple mentorships, you can take on more than one mentor. If you feel you can’t keep up the level of engagement with the one you’ve had, and need to decrease the amount of time you meet, just let your mentor know what you are thinking. Take an opportunity to share the milestones you have reached together, and that you’d like to connect with someone that can help you grow in a different way. Just communicate your desire to grow in this way and your mentor may even have some possible connections.
Action: You have to get over your embarrassment and just send a quick note. Your mentor is waiting for you to take the lead, and they will be thrilled to hear from you. Don’t overthink it and just reach out. If you need some words to use, send the following note:
First and foremost, my apologies for dropping the ball. This quarter was an intense one, but I got through it! I would love to share with you some of the lessons I learned with you and could use your insights on tackling my next quarter. Do you have some time to meet in the coming weeks?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Action: Send the following short note to your mentor. After you do, cancel your mentorship on UCLA ONE and send a new request to another mentor.
Thank you for accepting my mentorship request; however, after __ attempts to reach you, I realize that it may not be a good time for you to take on a mentee. I will go ahead and cancel our mentorship in UCLA ONE.
Action: Sometimes a mentee is overwhelmed with their plate, and doesn’t quite know how to end a mentorship that they aren’t prepared for. If the mentee has made you wait long enough, we encourage you to send an email like the one below and then “Decline” their request in UCLA ONE.
I’ve sent ___ emails to you, but I haven’t heard back from you. It seems like you are not able to keep the mentorship going. I will stop our mentorship now. I encourage you to not be afraid to communicate with future alumni. I know this year has been a lot, so hope you are well.
Action: As a mentor, your time is valued, and if the mentee is not being respectful, we recommend you send an email like the following:
It was nice connecting with you last week, but I wanted to share a quick bit of feedback. I have felt like you aren’t invested in the mentorship, and wanted to check in to see if you are still interested in keeping this going. From my impressions, I think it will be most beneficial if we cancel our mentorship. If you feel like you’d like to take on a mentorship, I hope that you would consider doing it during a time when you are more available. I’ll go ahead and cancel our mentorship on UCLA ONE to remove the commitment from your plate.
Action: Set some time to do a wrap-up meeting with your mentee. During the meeting, share some milestones and lessons you’ve learned. Let your mentee know that you have valued this year, and that they’ve inspired you to continue being a mentor. Let your mentee know that you’ll be taking on new mentees at the next mentorship period and that they can stay in communication with you throughout the year and set up times to meet.