If you think Tinder (and related apps) is the scourge of the earth, you may not like that LinkedIn is taking a page from its book.
The professional social network is launching a new service that matches potential mentors to people on its website who might be looking for advice or guidance in a specific area. It hopes to make connecting professionals with mentors easier, and help people considering difficult choices, such as career changes –where they may not have the opportunity to connect with someone outside their current field – with their decisions.
The free service will be available to users in San Francisco and Australia first, the company says.
LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, has already hand-selected an initial list of mentors who will appear in a Tinder-style list for people interested in being mentored. Mentors can choose who they would prefer to work with, whether it be someone from their first or second-degree networks, in their home region, or former school, etc. Over time, TechCrunch reports, the option to become a mentor will be open to everyone.
On the other side, once a mentee indicates they are interested in getting advice or feedback on a particular subject, LinkedIn will give them a list of potential mentors on their entire user base to choose from, with the ability to narrow down the search if they’d prefer someone specific like a mentor would (in their region, from their former school, etc.).
Once a mentor and mentee match, they can message each other, with each side having the power to end communication at any point.
LinkedIn’s mentorship service is not the only existing career coaching service available on the web today, but it’s aiming to be a little less formal than some of its counterparts. And with the platform’s wide network, it has the potential to reach as many jobs and industries as there are registered users.