Ending a Formal Relationship

Once your Partnership Policy comes to a close you will want to discuss with your mentoring partner if you should continue your formal relationship or seek another mentoring relationship with new goals. Here are some tips on the best way to provide closure to your partner.


You are building your reputation in the profession with every contact you make. Your mentor could be a valuable connection and reference. Once you have accomplished your goal communicate with your mentor that you are ready to end the relationship in a professional and courteous manner. It is in your best interest to maintain informal contact with your mentor as you build your contacts throughout your career. Here’s how:

  • Express gratitude to the mentor for his or her time and contribution to your progress. Example: “You have taught me X,Y,Z. I am grateful for your guidance and support.”
  • Tell your mentor what goals you have accomplished with their help.

Example: “Thanks to you, I feel more confident with presenting to a group. I really appreciate your insights and support.”

  • Suggest maintaining contact on an informal level.

Example: Would you be willing to hear from me occasionally in the future?”

  • Offer your support to the mentor.

Example: “I would love to support you in some way in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.”

  • Suggest a focus for the final session. You might like to celebrate all that has been accomplished and have a more informal session. You could also ask for suggestions for future goals.
  • Write a personal thank you note and mail it to your mentor within two days after your last session.

“Ghosting” has the potential to negatively impact future career prospects and will result in your removal of ASCE Mentor Match.


Once your mentee achieves their goal you will need to decide to continue your relationship or close this chapter of your relationship. It is important to recognize and praise your mentee’s improvement.  Your encouragement will motivate more growth and action throughout the mentee’s career. Acknowledge challenges and obstacles that the mentee faced during your time together. Your recognition of the mentee’s efforts will help the mentee to see his or her efficacy and capability in a new light. You will want to end the mentoring relationship with a sense of purpose and direction for the future. We encourage you to use the last session to focus on future goals and life-long learning.

  • Set expectations of your relationship moving forward.
  • Acknowledge progress and growth in the mentee.
  • Recognize the challenges your mentee has faced or overcame.
  • Help your mentee set goals for the future.
  • Ask your mentee to identify how he will accomplish his future goals.
  • Encourage your mentee to be a life-long learner.