When is the Right Time to End a Mentoring Relationship?

Mentoring relationships can be incredibly beneficial for both parties involved. Learn when is it time to end a mentoring relationship and how to do it in an effective way.

When is the Right Time to End a Mentoring Relationship?

Mentoring relationships can be incredibly beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee. It usually takes some time for an effective mentoring relationship to develop, and most business mentoring relationships need at least six months to reach a point where they can support the growth of the mentee. Formal mentoring programs typically last between 12 and 18 months, but there are also examples of successful business mentoring relationships that last for decades. At some point, it may make sense for both parties to come to an end, at least for now.

It's important to express appreciation and let the mentee know specifically what they have gained from the experience. If a mentor stops communicating with a mentee, the mentee may interpret this as a sign that they don't deserve the time and attention that are required from a mentor, when in reality the mentor may be withdrawing from professional mentoring due to unrelated factors. That's why it's important to discuss the length of the mentoring relationship at the beginning. The duration should be determined by the professional development objectives of the mentee, not by arbitrary factors.

Sometimes, business mentoring relationships can be transformed into other types of relationships, such as personal friendship. However, most of the time when mentoring relationships end, it's due to dissatisfaction on either side.


the mentor wasn't a good fit for the mentee, or perhaps the mentee's needs have changed since the relationship was established. Whatever the reason for the separation, it's important that both parties talk transparently about it.

If either party wants to continue a relationship, they should make their wishes known. If there is no natural end date for professional mentoring (such as the course of an internship or a formal mentoring program), it may be a good idea to set an approximate date at the beginning of the relationship. Or maybe the mentor has a change in his life that makes it impractical for them to continue supporting the mentee.

Miranda Khatak
Miranda Khatak

. Avid pizza scholar. General travel aficionado. Extreme social media aficionado. Professional travel expert. Devoted travel nerd.

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