How to approach the end of your mentoring relationship

Sarah Bailey, former head of membership and communications at Social Value International, worked with her mentor for nine months.

Now a communications and events officer at RNIB, Sarah shares her experience of ending the mentoring relationship that supported her through a merger and rebrand.

“As the only communications professional in a small membership organisation, having support from a mentor was invaluable.

We had lots of opinions to take into account during our merger and rebrand, as well as lots of different audiences to communicate with. It was quite a political situation. I felt slightly out of my depth, so I contacted CharityComms.

They found me the perfect match. As head of membership and communications, my mentor had management, membership and brand experience and she’d gone through a rebrand in a previous job.

Setting an end date

We knew when my project was going to launch, so set a date for the mentoring to end as soon as we got started, which I think is really important. Although we talked about other aspects and challenges of my job, we had a very definite project to work on together, which made this easy.

We had around nine months together, which felt like a good amount of time. Before each meeting, my mentor would say ‘You know, we have X months left – let’s look at how we can make the most of it’. We thought about this all the way through our relationship, rather than just thinking ‘Right, it’s finishing now’.

The last meeting

My mentor and I were both on the same page from the start. I think it was quite obvious that we had helped each other as much as we could by the end.

By the time out last meeting came, my organisation’s rebranding document was finished and our website was live, so I could show these to my mentor. We talked about how far we’d come and how it had been working together. She asked me questions about how useful I’d found it, gave me her contact details and said we could stay in touch.

Having flexibility is important. It was great to know that, even if we didn’t have another meeting, I could contact my mentor if I had any questions.”

Read more top tips and guidance about being a mentee in our mentee resources section.