Three Ways You Can Take the Plus One Pledge and Help Close the Network Gap

October 14, 2019

Plus One Pledge

Last month at Talent Connect, our CEO Jeff Weiner introduced the network gap -- the advantage some people have to access opportunities based on where they grew up, where they went to school, or where they work and called on people to come together to help close it by taking the Plus One Pledge.

We’re inspired by the stories many of you have shared about the “Plus One” mindset you already have. And we’re encouraged to hear that so many of you want to help people who don’t have access to the opportunities they want to pursue. 

But the biggest question we’ve heard, is how do I find a plus one? 

Taking the Plus One Pledge doesn’t mean you should start accepting or sending out connection requests to people you don’t know. You should still only connect with people on LinkedIn that you know and trust

Instead, the Plus One Pledge is about engaging thoughtfully with people outside your existing professional network who don’t have access to the same resources you do. You can do this by sharing your time, experience, and connections -- online, at work, or in your personal life. Here’s how:  

Online -- Have you ever seen a post asking for help on LinkedIn or received a message from someone you don’t know asking for advice? Say yes! Or, start the conversation yourself by sharing your intent to help others on LinkedIn.

Consider replying to a post or respond to a message from someone that is looking for an opportunity where you could help. Share your personal career experience, best practices you’ve learned along the way, or offer to introduce them to someone within your network who might be able to provide more guidance. When posting on LinkedIn, consider sharing your post beyond your network, or using common hashtags like #CareerAdvice or #CareerPivot. That way, more people will be likely to see the post and can ask questions via comments. 

At Work -- In our professional lives, many of us get to go to events where we meet others inside or outside our industry. Use these offline opportunities not just to build your own network, but also engage with others to see if you can help them build theirs. 

Outside of Work -- We interact with dozens of people during the course of an ordinary day -- while volunteering at a local church or non-profit, or even taking a bus or rideshare. Use these opportunities to strike up a conversation with a stranger, learn more about their career goals, and think about people in your network you can introduce them to. 

If you’re looking to build a new mentoring relationship, start by finding a program in your area that work with job seekers who are outside of your network and are facing unique barriers. At LinkedIn, we’ve partnered with organizations that serve first-generation college students, refugees, formerly incarcerated professionals, and mothers re-entering the workforce, among many other groups. Check out the thousands of volunteer opportunities on LinkedIn and find a mentoring program that you’re passionate about. 

The LinkedIn community comprises more than 645 million members. Imagine what we could achieve if just 10% of our members committed to helping one person outside their network. Together we could impact more than 65 million people globally.