You Are Not Alone: Why Now Is an Even More Important Time to Give and Get Help From Your Community

March 18, 2020

We have seen so many inspiring comments and posts over the past week as everyone pulls together in this unprecedented and uncertain time. It's happening in our neighborhoods, in the local greater San Francisco area, in news stories around the world, and within our very own LinkedIn community. Scientists are offering to do free Q&As with kids stuck at home, CEOs are offering advice and guidance to struggling smaller businesses, and countless members are offering calming and inspirational words as we all collectively work from home, trying to figure out our new normal.

And as the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge us, we need to come together. And we’re seeing this in the give and get help nature of the community on LinkedIn.

Many people are sharing how they’re being impacted by the coronavirus—and how to help those being affected the most. The global editorial director at Nike encouraged marketers to creatively integrate musicians and artists into campaigns to help offset income losses due to shows and concerts getting canceled. Mark Cuban spent hours this weekend answering questions from small business owners who need help figuring out how to avoid layoffs and hourly reductions, spurring a conversation with more than 7,300 comments. 

Small business owners are sharing their concerns and fears but also their hopes. I was particularly inspired when I saw this post from a CEO: “As a small business owner, I’m definitely nervous about how this is going to affect us. It’s already affected us. But where there is concern, there is opportunity. Where there is fear, there is always bravery.

I’m writing this sitting at my kitchen table, which has been my new desk for the past couple weeks. It’s been years since I worked from home and it’s taking time to get used to it. Others are getting used to it too: last week we surveyed LinkedIn members and found that out of those growing number of people working from home nearly 30% plan to increase learning, if they’re able to find the time to do it. 

Working from home can feel isolating (which I guess is the point of social distancing, right?). However, we are not alone and can all take advantage of the tools to share thoughts, concerns, and solutions with a goal of helping others feeling the same things. For example, I’m seeing lots of posts on LinkedIn by working parents with kids at home now that many schools are closed. They’re sharing tips and tricks about how they’re managing. It’s spurring constructive conversations that end up helping more than just the original person who posted. 

LinkedIn Groups offer a way to connect with peers and feel supported, especially in the industries the most impacted. Retail workers are one of the groups struggling the most as many of them don’t have the option to work from home. This LinkedIn Group has been buzzing the past couple weeks - workers sharing their experiences with others who know exactly what they’re going through.

From an editorial perspective, our team continues to curate the ever-changing news, making sure to highlight trusted sources and original perspectives in our new ‘Special Report: Coronavirus’ section on the homepage. In addition to collecting the most trusted content, we’re identifying where there are stories to be told and telling those too. 

One of the most recent episodes of our podcast Hello Monday, host Jessi Hempel spoke with Milan, Italy resident Kate Burson about the strange and surreal quiet of living under quarantine. It provides an interesting peek into how Italians are coping with their current situation.

Support, advice, and insight from people you trust will always be invaluable because you took the time and effort to cultivate the right community for you. Your job and career may change directions or evolve while we’re in this time of uncertainty, but you and your network are on a professional journey together, and the stronger your network, the further everyone goes together.

Thank you for being a part of the LinkedIn community. Keep engaging, keep sharing. This is the time communities need to virtually come together to be--and stay--connected.