LinkedIn launches Career Advice to connect you with a professional mentor

LinkedIn is expanding its efforts across the Economic Graph to help its more than 530 million members maximize their professional relationships. On Wednesday, the company announced Career Advice, a peer-to-peer mentorship program. At launch, it’s going to be available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and India, but there are plans to expand globally in the coming months.

While we all like to think we have a grasp on our professional careers, the truth is that many are looking for some sort of counsel in order to be a better marketer, salesperson, engineer, designer, chef, entrepreneur, business person, etc. But where exactly should we turn? LinkedIn thinks that perhaps we should look at the connections we’ve made within the professional social network — those relationships are there for a reason, but maybe we don’t know how to establish the mentor-mentee pairing.

Within LinkedIn’s dashboard, members can access the Career Advice hub. From there, they input their preferences about the advice they’d like to dispel or give, and LinkedIn will make recommendations based on what was specified, mutual interests, and what the service knows about you already. After a match is made, the conversations can take place within LinkedIn’s messaging service so it’s relatively seamless.

Markedly different from Facebook and other social networks, LinkedIn stands out as one of the top services to connect with in a professional setting — it’s all about networking. And while there have been many tools to facilitate that and grow as an individual, the next logical step in helping someone improve their economic standing is to pair them with a mentor to improve their lives. Sure, you can find a new job or career on LinkedIn, display your expertise and thought leadership, hone or develop new skills through LinkedIn Learning, but when it comes time to wanting to have a dedicated person willing to mentor you to be a better professional, that’s where LinkedIn falls short…until now.

Above: Selecting preferences within LinkedIn’s Career Advice feature.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

Here’s how the matching works, according to the company:

  • Select preferences such as whether the person is in your first or second degree network, in your region, or went to the same school. You can also elect not to specify any preferences. This can be changed anytime.
  • From there, select the type of experience you want to give or receive advice on, for example, Design, Research, Sales and more. You can also choose to include an industry sector if you like.
  • The final step is to select the topic that you are looking to give or receive advice on: Career Growth, Job Search, Job & industry expertise, Entrepreneurship. You will also have the option to add a more detailed note about what you’d like to discuss.
  • From there, LinkedIn will suggest potential matches based on the preferences and experience that you’ve both listed.

Finding a job is one thing, but finding something you’re passionate in to have as a career is another. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn of “thousands of 25-33 year olds,” 61 percent said they were anxious about finding the right job. 59 percent responded that they felt unsure about what to do next with their career. These are just some of the things a mentor can help out with.

Also mentioned in the same survey: more than a third of respondents have changed their career, pivoting to new industries and jobs entirely, while nearly 25 percent wind up taking a career break while they deal with the uncertainty of their professional lives.

There are certainly LinkedIn members who would benefit from having a mentor, while others would find satisfaction offering guidance and advice to others who they may already know or don’t and are inclined to pay it forward.

LinkedIn isn’t the only one to dabble in the mentorship or advice giving space, as Clarity, Quora, Everwise, Mogul, and others also operate in this space, albeit with somewhat of a different focus. But what LinkedIn said it can bring to the table is the scale, along with the knowledge of information the service knows about someone.

Career Advice is free to all members.

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