A great mentor can do wonders for your career, but if you’ve reached the point where you’re no longer learning from him or the chemistry has fizzled, don’t prolong the relationship. In order to grow, it’s necessary to move on. Maybe your mentor’s skill doesn’t align with where your career is heading, or you just want a mentor who has more time to offer. Start the separation conversation by sharing your appreciation for all of his time and effort. Detail everything you’ve learned from him and explain how those skills will continue to help you. Be honest and transparent about why your future plans necessitate a shift, and frame it considerately: “Given my change in focus, I wonder if getting together regularly is the best use of your time.” Leave the door open for possible future collaborations, and offer any assistance to return the kindness and help he’s given you.
Adapted from “How to Break Up with Your Mentor” by Carolyn O’Hara.