Writing the Perfect Mentor Thank You Note
Years later you’re still feeling eternally grateful for the mentor(s) in your life. Your mentor was your sounding board, your guide, your inspiration! Whether they were a formal mentor through a community or school program such as Scouts or Boys and Girls Clubs, or someone senior in your workplace or in your neighborhood, they stepped up and took an interest in your growth -- National Mentoring Month (January) is the perfect time to take a moment and thank them. A thank you note sent to a mentor at their home or workplace is a great way to reflect on your journey, celebrate your relationship, and express gratitude to someone who made an impact in your life. Here are six tips for writing a personal thank you note to your mentor.
6 Tips for Writing the Perfect Mentor Thank You Note
1) Track down your mentor.
It may have been a few years since you had a formal relationship with your mentor. Sites like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook make it fairly easy to find people. You can also try their workplace directory, or if the mentorship was arranged through a formal organization in your community, contact the executive director and ask him or her to pass on the thank you note for you.
2) Write the note by hand, if possible.
If you have a way to get a physical note to your mentor, write the note by hand. A handwritten thank you note is the gold standard and shows your mentor you took the time to actually find paper, and a stamp when sharing your message of gratitude! If that’s not possible, a message sent via social media or email will be absolutely welcome and will be prized. You can even get creative sharing a video clip or photo with your message.
3) Reflect on your relationship and the circumstances of the mentorship.
When you’re thanking your mentor, try to think back to where and when they were supporting your journey. Were they helping you with math at school, with a robotics project after school, spending time with you on weekend hikes, encouraging you to express yourself through stories, film or art, or helping you navigate your new workplace?
4) Talk about how the mentor’s time affected you personally
How did the mentor’s time, expertise and attention help you in your journey to adulthood? Did they teach you something specific, encourage you to try new things, build your confidence, help instill a new goal, intention or purpose?
5) Share an update about your life.
If you and your mentor spent quite a bit of time together, they will be very interested in hearing your news. Perhaps share a few highlights about your life to let your mentor know a thing or two about who you have become as an adult. What are studying in college? What are your career and family goals? What are your adult passions and interests?
6) Keep it simple.
Your thank you note doesn’t have to be a long and involved message – it can be three or four lines, simply written that come from the heart.
Looking for other ways to make an impact in your community? See SignUp's Community Action & Activism Resource Center.
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