Caroline Hauser Slapak
Try | Make Mistakes | Learn | Succeed

Meetups – a Valuable Tool to Find a Job and How to Make the Best Out of Them

Today I want to talk about Meetups / Talks / Conferences (I will use only the word ‘Meetup’ until the end of this post) and the importance of attending them, especially if you’re an Oleh Chadash/Newcomer looking for a job in Israel. When I was looking for a job, I attended 3 to 4 Meetups every week. Now, that my time is more limited because of my job, I have a personal goal to attend, of at least once a month. If I could, I would continue to attend these Meetups. Why? Usually, it’s free, some events have food and beer available, it’s a great place to do networking and meet new people… this you probably read in other blogs. To understand the way I see these events and how I’ll prepare for my next Meetup, you’ll have to read this post until the end.

Snapshot from Interview Skills Workshop by Olim in Tel Aviv Yafo with Dolly Chotam

Every Meetup I attended last year I tried to share in advance with the Brazilian community. Every next Meetup I would think: “this time I’ll see more Brazilians attending this Meetup” – to my surprise, I didn’t note any increases in the number of Brazilians attending them, only the same 2 or 3 “Meetups friends”. I can understand that going to a Meetup, at night, is complicated especially for those with kids. So, I attended a day Meetup. Again, only me and a couple of “same faces” attended.

During those Meetups, I always thought: “I need to share this knowledge” or “This subject would help so many other Olim, if only the organizers had space for everyone or shared the event live or recorded and shared it”. I know the importance of thinking about the community, but I was too busy putting all my energy into my own ‘Biz-Deving/Looking for a job’ project. So, I left this thought aside and tried to help my closest friends with some of the knowledge I gained during these Meetups (I take pictures of the best slides and either look up more information afterwards or save it for a future opportunity). In this post, you’ll be able to see my selection of the best slides taken during Meetups I attended from February until November, last year.

Snapshot from Creating a LinkedIn Profile to Create Career Opportunities by Olim in Tel Aviv Yafo with Idit Karni

Last week, Tsuf Eden did what I wanted to do: she shared her main takeaways of the 9 Meetups she attended only during January and February! Way to go, girl! I read her post and learned! There were a couple of Meetups that she went to that I didn’t know that existed! So, I updated my shared Google Sheet, so you may get acquainted of those opportunities as well.

I keep sharing the Meetups with my fellow Brazilian Olim and they keep asking for my advice on how to make the best out of a Meetup. With this, I realized that the real importance of going to Meetups is misunderstood by people from all nationalities! So, I decided to write this post in English.

Snapshot from Working in Israel’s Top Startups – Entrance Barriers, Cultural Differences and Growth Opportunities by Together in Israel with Hagit Tenne-Pereg

As I see it, the goal of Meetups isn’t to motivate you, an Oleh Chadash without a job, so you won’t pack up everything and go back to your home country. Most of the Meetups for Olim are under a “motivational” theme (a good example is Olim Success Story’s Meetup “Inspiring Stories and How to Land a Job in Tech” – I’ll be happy to meet you there! At the end of this post, I list some interesting Meetups that will take place in March, that I know of).

I categorize lecturers into 3 groups:

  • People that “have been there, done that” – what did he/she do to stand out from the crowd?
  • Professional people, such as:
    1. HR people who will share “the other side” of recruiting;
    2. Accountants who will share their knowledge on organizing your pension or how to read your payslip and what your rights as an Israeli worker are;
    3. People working in a position that you crave for will share the main hard and soft skills you need to have in order to succeed in a specific industry; and so on…
  • People who advertise the company and its product. I love to hear about new things, they always give me new ideas…
Snapshot from Hi-Tech Career Tour for Olim and Internationals by Olim in Tel Aviv Yafo with Omry Sitner

My tips to get prepared for a Meetup:

  • Read the lecturer and organizer profiles before you go to the Meetup. Who are they? Where do they work? What drives them? What is their story? Do you connect with anything regarding their story? How do they look like? Is there any open position that matches with your skills at the company they’re working for or they once worked for? Understand how these connections can be valuable to your job search.
  • Arrive early. Lecturers and organizers arrive earlier so they can prepare the room for the Meetup. Help them, offer your help not only for that night – I have offered my freelancing services for free so they could see the quality of my work and spread the word. Introduce yourself and introduce them to your elevator pitch. Usually, these people are working for a company, maybe they’re looking for someone with your profile! They have connections, so if they think they can help you somehow, they will! This is the Israeli character trait that I love the most!
  • Listen to what the lecturer has to say. Write down the main takeaways for your needs! Review what you wrote right after the Meetup (sometimes I write things that even I can’t understand – if I review it while the content is still fresh in my mind, I can rewrite it so I can use this note later on).
  • Have your business card ready and in hands! You’ll give out a lot of them at these Meetups!
  • Ask real questions. Don’t be afraid to expose your story, but do it on a positive note! Ask for their opinion or advice. Eventually, other people in the audience can also help – happened to me several times!
Snapshot from Succeeding in the Israeli Workplace Culture by Olim in Tel Aviv Yafo with Osnat Lautman

Here’s a list of Meetups for the next couple of weeks. Start following the organizers to obtain info on future ones:

Snapshot from How to Become a Successful Contract Negotiator by GV Plus Event (only for Gvahim Alumni) with Giora Gil-Ad

Didn’t I mention your Meetup? Comment below or send me a private message! I’ll be happy to add it here!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I’m looking forward to seeing you at the next Meetup I’ll be joining, on March 26th.

About the Author
Caroline made Aliyah from Brazil in 2015. She has a BA in Business and MBA in Finance. Most of her experience in Brazil was working for business consulting firms (locals and globals). After she made Aliyah, she was "lucky" to find her first job very quickly. The second time she was looking for a job, she had encountered some differences in the hiring process. In an attempt to expand her network, she was constantly meeting new people and exchanging experiences. From these discussions, she understood that the differences are not only specific to the Brazilian job market, but they are very peculiar to Israel. As everybody else, she had to make mistakes and learn with her own failures; some important information she had to dig deep to find them. As a business consultant, she have learned a lot about organization & methods and this is how she's able to summarize them as "lessons learned". In this blog, she'll share her knowledge and practical tools to help all the other job seekers. "Happy is that one who transfers what he knows and learns what he teaches." - Cora Coralina (Brazilian writer)
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