Summary: The transition after advancement from being the one that was mentored to the one providing the support can be smooth when expectations from both parties are clear.
Imagine that you just started working at a new company and were fortunate enough to be assigned a mentor. How lucky you must be! Mentors are great resources to learn the ways of the company and the industry. Now after a few years of working hard and being given the opportunity to advance within the company, turning your mentor-mentee relationship around the other way doesn’t have to be awkward.
Set expectations immediately:
- Inform your former mentor that is now reporting to you that you have high expectations for them and will hold them to the same standard as others. A friendship should never be used to take advantage of a situation.
- You will support them and still regard them as a friend. Talking about personal things during private time is still perfectly acceptable.
- During public time, our conversations can be friendly but still professional.
Be open and clear with each other from the beginning about what your professional goals are. It may be that your mentor never intended to advance within the company and was happy with their current position. If this is the case, then there is no need to feel awkward about surpassing them to be their manager.
The relationship you have with your former mentor can continue to be a beneficial one. You can use them to seek feedback and ideas on how to improve. It is important that you show you still value their opinion and respect.
You never know when your former mentor may change their mind and want to pursue advancement within the company, allowing you to help them.
Photo: hellenicprofessionalwomen.orgHow to Go from Mentee to Mentor by Amanda Griffin