Business

Facebook and LinkedIn want to find you a mentor

By Oliver Smith 12 September 2017
Image: Getty/RichVintage.
Summary

Don't be shy.

Two of the world’s biggest social networks are on a mission to find you a business mentor.

LinkedIn last month launched a matching service as part of the network’s career advice hub, letting anyone volunteer to mentor or flag themselves as a potential mentee.

Now Facebook is said to be working on a similar scheme, TechCrunch discovered Facebook is testing ways of matching mentors and mentees via factors like geographic location and profession.

Yes, both of these services are rolling out mentoring features as a way of attracting other money-making business, like recruitment.

But it’s excellent news anyway because for many entrepreneurs mentoring is often the secret to success.

Find your mentor

Learning from those with more experience sounds obvious, it’s what we do at school, university and with our families, but when it comes to work it seems to be a lesson we quickly forget.

In the UK just 22% of small and medium-sized businesses say they’ve had a business mentor, according to accountancy group Sage.

That’s despite 93% of them acknowledging that mentoring and the advice of a more seasoned business person could help them to succeed.

Especially outside of tech circles, it seems many people are either too proud to seek mentoring or assume that mentoring isn’t for them because their business is too small or because they aren’t the CEO or founder.

The reality is that mentoring is for everyone, whatever stage your career or your business is at, you can always learn from someone who’s been there before.

The Federation Of Small Businesses has even found that for entrepreneurs mentoring is even more crucial. 70% of small businesses with a mentor surviving for five years or more, double the rate compared with entrepreneurs without mentors.

Now with LinkedIn, and soon with Facebook, it’s never been easier to put your hand up and start searching.

Time to find your mentor.