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Success Out of Failure

I was super excited to join FuckUp Nights Tel Aviv to talk about my failure.
We are humans, we make mistakes, we fail…
The beauty of failure is to learn from our mistakes, stand up and continue…
This is how we grow!
Thank you FuckUp Nights Tel AvivGvahim, Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality for giving me the opportunity to share my failure. I hope it will be a learning opportunity for others too.

“Fuckup Nights is a global movement and event series that shares stories of professional failure.”

Here is my FuckUp Story:

Let’s go back to 13 years ago…

I am a new olah, and I am super excited for my new adventure, beginning in Israel.

I have a computer engineering degree, so it shouldn`t be a problem to find a job in Israel.

I speak English, everyone speaks English in Israel.

Culture, mentality, new friends…No doubt, I’ll manage to adapt.

At the end of 2008, there is a worldwide financial crisis, and it’s tough to find a job anywhere.

It’s so difficult to find a job, I have no idea how to search for a job here, I’m not familiar with the hiring process in Israel, and I have no real connections to refer me for a job.

But I had no choice, so I started applying. And then… Yes! I am hired! I got a job at an antivirus company as a tech support person.

I couldn’t speak an entire sentence in Hebrew, and I found out that the role is in Hebrew. But I took the challenge anyway.

After taking Acamol for 2 weeks because all I hear all day during my job training is a language that I don’t understand, I was asked to take my first call and start to work!

How?! The phone is still ringing, I don’t know what to say!

After 2 weeks being in the job, trying to learn things, the only sentence I learned was,“Eh Ani Yehola Laazor”,“Titititiitititiiti” “Eh Ani Yehola Laazor…” “Titititiitititiiti”, which means “How can I help you?” Since I don’t understand the response, I really can’t help.

Then I started to say to my customers, “Ani Ola Hadasha, Ani MiTurkiya.” (I am a new immigrant, I am from Turkey) Since many Israelis have been in Turkey, they start to respond to me by saying, “Hayiti be Anatalya, be Bodrum…” (I was in Antalya, Bodrum).

After a small talk with the customer, I ask them to slowly explain the issue to me, and then my workplace becomes an ulpan for me as well.

It’s a great experience and working with Israelis helps me adapt to Israeli culture and mentality, as well as learn and practice the language, so that I start from somewhere. I work for one and a half years there and get great feedback from my managers, and I am happy.

Then I get an offer from a big, global high-tech company that is planning to sign a 2 year contract with Vodafone Turkey. It’s a great opportunity for me to work with a company based in my home country in a business development role. After 2 interviews, they update me that they want me to start work there in one month!

Super exciting news! I’ll have a higher salary, the role includes travel, and I’ll for sure go to Turkey to freely visit my family and friends. And it will be a great career move.

What else I can ask for? I can’t wait to start!

I was told when my start date is, and that on that same day, I’ll sign the contract with them. I left my current company and arrived at my new job’s offices on that date. As I’m entering the office, super excited and nervous, I open the door and suddenly it hits me: no one is there! I couldn’t find many people. Apparently, most of the company was at an annual mobile expo in Spain. BUT THEY FORGOT TO TELL ME!! And worst of all, nobody knew that I was arriving. “Never mind,” I thought. “This kind of thing happens. I’ll contact them and just reschedule my starting day.” I tried to reach out to my contacts from the interview process, but amazingly, I didn’t get a response. I sat outside of the building. I didn’t understand what happened.

“What is going on here?” I thought to myself. I cried. I felt cheated and lonely, I tried to calm myself down, but it didn’t work. What will I do now? I don’t understand what’s happening.

As the days went by, I kept contacting them. Finally, a week or two later, I got a response that the project with Vodafone Turkey is on hold, so they have nothing to offer me at the moment.

I found myself jobless, a “Freier”, useless. I felt stupid that I left my job without having a guaranteed new job.

That was a horrible experience, but today I can say: I failed, but I learned something really important: never leave a job without really securing another job.

I should see the contract before, review the conditions, consult with someone experienced – maybe even a lawyer – negotiate the conditions if needed and sign before a contract before I inform my current employer.

Maybe I was referred by a trustworthy friend to that role, but she was not the hiring manager; she was just the first contact person for an introduction to the company. Taking things towards the next steps is my job.

So be sure to consult with experts before you make your final decision.

Good Luck! If you’d like, feel free to contact me. I’m happy to share with you my 13 years’ experience in Israel, and I’ll be happy to hear your story.

Thank you!

About the Author
Rina Barbut, made aliyah from Turkey in 2008. In Israel, she’s been working in business and technology related positions at global companies and completed an International MBA. For years she led Jewish educational and social activities in Turkey and Europe. Rina is currently developing JConnect Forum, a network for young Jewish professionals from Israel and Europe to nurture business cooperation.
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