One of the most common mentoring experiences is the handover - a short period of time where you're either leaving temporarily or for good, and you need to mentor and look after your replacement and teach them the rudiments of your job. Handing over all your responsibilities and teaching a role to a complete newbie can be a little daunting at first, but here are some tips for a successful and pain-free handover.

1. Give yourself enough time

If the new starter comes in for a day before you're due to leave and they are due to start, that's not allowing enough time - not even for the most simple of jobs - to cover everything. They will have barely done their formal induction when it's time to go home again, and for you to leave the role. Try to negotiate a week at least. Some companies are reluctant to do this because technically, they are paying two people for the same job for a week, but it will save them money in training costs later. The worst case scenario is that you'll be the only person who knows the answer to a particularly detailed question about the role, and you don't want your company or your replacement calling you after you've left. This is extremely bad form, and shows that enough time wasn't given in the first place.

2. Don't omit the little things

When you've been doing a job for so long, it's easy to forget the most basic of questions that you, too, had to learn and were mentored in at the start. Whether it's where the coffee machine is to which buttons make a fax machine crash, all these little cliquey parts of the office won't be known to anyone unless you tell them. Sure, they can find out later but you'll be saving them time and focusing more on mentoring them on the job in hand. Don't leave out the finer details and make presumptions that the person must know what you're talking about because they've successfully been hired- all the creases and quirks of the job need to be passed on.

3. Put aside personal differences

If you've been made redundant or another scenario where you're not voluntarily leaving the job, it's very painful to have to mentor someone to do what you've been doing for years, and you'll likely feel angry, bitter and resentful. Try not to take it out on the new person because they have nothing to do with the rift between you and your employer. Don't deliberately teach them badly in the hope that you'll be asked back - this is unfair and usually won't yield positive results. Also, don't overload the new person with your own personal opinions on colleagues and how the department works - they will be tainted by your subjectivity and they will be best left to make their own decisions.

Mentoring a new member of staff who is enthusiastic and willing to learn can be a lot of fun, and mark the end of a happy time at work for most people. If issues do arise, remember that you both still have a line manager to act as a mediator between you. However, with enough time, and enough detail, most handovers go smoothly and you can leave the organisation proud that the last job you did there - being a mentor - was a good one.