Always something to learn
Career mentoring has a supply problem. It works out when you happen to meet someone in the same field as you are.
However, that level of network access is far from a given, and it can be even more difficult if you’re looking for advice for a change in role or field of work.
LinkedIn is looking to fix that. The company is reportedly creating a new service that identifies potential mentors and potential mentees in a specific subject, and then helps match them to each other. The service is rolling out in the San Francisco and Australia market for testing.
The service serves you a “Tinder-style” list of mentors.
After you indicate that you are interested in getting some advice or feedback on a particular topic, mentees can narrow down the list based on geographic proximity and education. You could, theoretically, have the entire mentor user base on that list, if you wish.
Mentors can also narrow their match requirements by location and education. Additionally, they can also decide if they will only accept requests from primary connections, secondary connections or tertiary connections.
The best part?
As of now, the service is completely free to users! Many other career coaching services will cost people money. That being said, LinkedIn does find that career coaches are a highly requested service in ProFinder, its freelancer’s marketplace.
This free service could likely drive more leads to traditional career coaching, make that marketplace a more lucrative places for professionals to advertise their services.
In addition to driving business, LinkedIn is likely banking on the mentor network driving a more productive engagement on its site.
This has been a focus on LinkedIn since the beginning of this year, when the service tweaked their algorithm to focus on social signals. In this author’s opinion, that change made engagement on the app less desirable; as more users focused on click-bait content and plagiarized content to reach a wider audience, the quality of the content that users saw becomes repetitive and of lower quality.
Help others help others
That’s why it’s so important for us all to do our part to help this new service succeed. Initially, LinkedIn id hand-selecting potential mentors; eventually, they will open the opportunity to everyone. We’re big believers in the idea of paying your success forward, and this is a great place to start doing just that.
If you’ve ever wanted a mentor, now is the right time to go after it. Utilize the service and continue to create demand for its existence. With your help, LinkedIn’s vision could create a more productive professional network for us all.