How to Tactfully Ditch Your Current Mentor & Ask For a New One

Picture it. You’re assigned a shiny, new mentor. They’re older, wiser and look at that! An executive as well.

The only issue? He or she is into gossip, seems political and simply doesn’t share the same point of view that you do. What should you do?

According to The New York Post, keep in mind the essence of a successful relationship. For a mentoring relationship to be effective for both the mentor and mentee, there “needs to be trust, rapport and respect.” If you don’t get a good vibe or even if their busy schedule makes them completely inaccessible, it may be time to cut your losses and move on.

As for how to tactfully handling switching mentors and asking for a new one, Gregory Giangrande, HR executive in the media industry, writes in his column:

“If the program doesn’t allow you to change mentors without fear of damaging a relationship — and unless we’re talking about a long-term commitment or the relationship is so bad that it’s truly a distraction you cannot endure — I’d suck it up and learn as much as you can.”

Weigh all your options though; it may not be the worst thing to have a mentor who has a different viewpoint. That could be a win-win to propel your career upward by thinking outside the box. If you’re still not won over though, weigh the pros and cons and reach out to human resources.

Giangrande adds, “I’d also confide in your HR rep so your concerns and experiences are made known. If the duration is a lengthy one — more than a few months or more than you can endure — then ask how you can change mentors.”