Mentorships vary in scope and duration from industry to industry, but something to understand about all mentorships is that they never truly end. The lessons learned and knowledge gained can last a lifetime, and the relationship forged between mentor and mentee remains strong long after the mentorship has run its course.
By its simplest definition, a mentor is a guide. A mentor’s contributions guide his or her mentees towards achieving not only their professional goals, but also their life goals. Key benefits gained from mentorships, like trusted advice, best practices, and shared networks, continue to resonate and pay forward long into the future.
In addition, being part of a mentorship teaches mentees many valuable life skills, such as the ability to be a team player, the willingness to take on leadership and responsibility, and self-analysis. But chances are that once your mentorship has ended, you’ll no longer be meeting on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean the benefits have to end.
It takes continued effort and guidance to solidify and strengthen these habits over time. So how do you get the most of your mentorship even after it has run its course? After passing these lessons on during the mentorship, the mentor’s role is to help his/her mentee stay focused and encourage ongoing development.
Time pressures and other responsibilities can pose a challenge to maintaining mentor/mentee relationships over time. Everyone gets busy, especially the further they advance in their careers and the more responsibility they take on. Scheduling time to meet with or talk to your mentor/mentee has to become a priority, even if it’s every other month or once every quarter. The need to meet often is not as pertinent as it was when the mentorship program was in full swing, but continuing to meet at least every once in a while will keep the lessons of the mentorship fresh and allow both the mentor and mentee to apply those lessons to recent experiences.
Concerned about losing those relationships? MentorCloud is especially suited for facilitating mentorships over the long term. Its functionality allows mentors and mentees to return to completed mentorships to review notes and messages exchanged. The Messages tab allows users to continue conversing even after a mentorship has ended, and the Dashboard allows mentors and mentees alike to continue to share insights and valuable content.
No matter how you decide to go about it, make a point to maintain your mentorships in the long run. The valuable knowledge exchanged and lessons imparted shouldn’t go to waste; rather, their benefits should extend throughout a mentee's professional career and aid them in making valuable choices and facing daunting challenges. With very little effort and just the right amount of time, a mentorship can serve as a gift that never stops giving.
If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.