By Michelle Coutu
I’ve been meeting with my mentor for almost three years now, and we have now reached a point where we need to once again decide if we should continue our mentoring relationship or part ways. In the past it was always an easy decision–there were resumes to write, CIH preparations to tackle and professional relationships to navigate. This year is different, the decision doesn’t seem as clear cut. With the help and guidance of my mentor I’ve been able to accomplish all my goals and feel more confident in navigating problems when they arise.
Does this mean that I am done with being a mentee?
No, throughout my academic and early career I can name multiple people that I have turned to for guidance and I’m sure that there will be even more along the way. I am looking forward to more formal and informal opportunities to learn from others.
Does this mean that I am ready to be a mentor to someone else?
Maybe, everyone is at different stages in their career and we all have support and guidance to give no matter where we are. The hardest part will be determining if you have the self-assurance to share what you have learned (which may come with time).
Every Mentee-Mentor relationship is different and each relationship will run its course in due time but that doesn’t mean the friendship or learning is over. It can be an opportunity for personal growth, exploring other interests, or finding another mentor. Mentoring is a continuous process that is designed to help people grow and foster new skills. Only you will know when that transition to the next step will occur but don’t be afraid of it when it does.