Welcome to Israel, the Startup Nation, a modern marvel of the world, a land of startups and unicorns, where fax machines still thrive, and checkbooks hold power.
If we look at Israeli business culture closer we will see how informal it is compared to that in the US and Europe. Geographically speaking, Israel is a small country, where many people know each other through mutual connections. For this reason, making authentic relationships with people is just as important as being professional. That’s why in our startup nation networking is a superpower.
So what is networking and how do we do it? I like to view networking from two perspectives: as both a skill and an action.
From a career perspective networking is a process of building relationships with people who share a profession, industry, or interests. To pursue this process, you need special networking skills, like communication, active listening, empathy. But to network in Israel effectively it will not be enough, you have to understand the mentality and national specificity of Israelis.
What You Need to Know About Israeli Business Culture While Networking:
Direct Communication: Israelis are known for their straightforward and direct communication style. They appreciate honesty, so be clear about your intentions and objectives when networking. Don’t beat around the bush; express your needs and expectations openly.
Chutzpah: Israelis value audacity, the ability to go beyond imaginary boundaries. Don’t hesitate to be proactive and ask for help or advice confidently.
Patience (Savlanut): In Israel you should be patient, not every process runs fast. We have holidays, bureaucracy, big families, and the human factor. So calm down and breathe!
Follow up: While practicing patience, don’t shy away from following up when necessary. Proactivity is key to getting things done.
Personal Connections: Building and maintaining personal relationships are deeply ingrained in Israeli culture. If you seek a mentor, want to connect with an industry figure, or simply want to strengthen relationships, meet offline for coffee or lunch.
Multicultural Environment: Israel is culturally diverse. Be respectful and sensitive to cultural differences when networking, such as considering dress codes based on the person’s religious background.
Collaborative Spirit: Israelis often have a collaborative mindset and are open to partnerships and teamwork. Join various communities, attend hackathons, meetups, and group projects to leverage the power of the community. Its variety is endless: university alumni community, former army colleagues, Jewish organizations, new repatriates communities (in different languages), hi tech community, and so on and on.
The next question that pops up is: where do we network?
I love to answer: EVERYWHERE. Whether you’re at a coffee shop, in an elevator, or in line at the grocery store, you can find a networking opportunity. Aim to discover something new and be open to connecting with new people no matter where you are.
To be more concrete I’m glad to share some of my favorite sources for network opportunities:
- LinkedIn communities per professions;
- Meetups, workshops, lectures and online webinars. I prefer Eventbrite and Meetup sources.
- Hi tech companies looove to organize breakfasts/brunches/beer&pizza meetings to present a new product, share a new idea, host interesting speakers. Follow companies you’re interested in in their social media and you’ll get thre first news first.
- Olims communities and groups on social media.
Now it’s also relevant to share with you where I work 🙂 My current occupation is Career Program Manager in online bootcamp for hi tech professions TripleTen. And we, as I mentioned above, like many tech companies believe in the power of community and always explore new ways to contribute into it. This autumn we organize a series of special webinars and events aimed to navigate the Israeli tech scene. The nearest webinar will take place on the 8th of October, you can register by this link and join us in a very interesting discussion of myths in hi tech!
And to make this article as useful as it could be I end it up with my life hacks for good networking.
5 tips to nail your networking:
- Take a friend for offline events. It will help you not to feel lonely and be more confident.
- On offline events connect in social a person you’re talking to immediately. It will help you not to forget his name and contact later.
- Make a post after the event you attended and tag all the companies, speakers, people you met there. It will increase your online presence and will help to remind your new contacts about yourself.
- Entering any online community, present yourself by sharing how you can be useful. Sharing is caring – think what knowledge, data, and advice you can share with others.
- Be prepared with your pitch and give it some human touch.