While gearing up for a recent networking lecture for Gvahim Tech & The City participants, I revisited a blog post I crafted in 2019: “Meetups – a Valuable Tool to Find a Job and How to Make the Best Out of Them.” This post was written after enduring a year-long job search. After I revisited it, I was inspired to update this piece with new insights gathered after becoming an experienced networker and HR professional in Israel’s high-tech industry.
Why Attend Meetups?
Let’s start with the basics: sometimes meetups are free, some come with added perks like food and beer, making them a fantastic space for networking and meeting new people. Moreover, you can gain valuable knowledge, listen to experts, and possibly even engage with them before or after an event. Additionally, there’s a sense of community as you connect with others who share your interests.
Maximizing Your Meetup Experience:
To get the most out of each meetup, consider these pre and post strategies:
- Research Profiles: Before attending, take a look at the profiles of lecturers and organizers. Who are they? Where do they work? Understanding their background might open doors to potential job opportunities.
- Early Arrival: Arriving early provides a chance to interact with lecturers and organizers without any hassle. Offer your assistance, introduce yourself, and deliver a concise elevator pitch. This proactive approach aligns with the collaborative spirit found in Israel’s networking landscape.
- Active Listening: Be fully present during the lecture, taking notes of key insights relevant to your goals. Review your notes immediately afterward to ensure clarity.
- Share Insights: Share your takeaways on LinkedIn, accompanied by pictures, and tag the lecturers and organizers. Authenticity is key to leaving a lasting impression.
- Q&A Participation: Get involved in the Q&A session, either during the open forum or afterward in a more private setting. This is where you can establish a lasting connection.
- Mingle and Connect: Allocate time before and after the meetup to mingle. Connect with fellow attendees on LinkedIn, using a QR code for easy networking.
Additional Tips for Enhanced Networking:
- Diversify: Explore a spectrum of events beyond your immediate industry to broaden your network and gain insights from different perspectives.
- Strategic Follow-Ups: Reference specific event points in your messages, adding a personalized touch that enhances your connection-building efforts.
- Leverage Online Platforms Post-Meetup: Extend the conversation beyond the venue. Utilize online platforms like LinkedIn to sustain connections and foster collaboration within common topics.
- Consider Hosting Your Own Meetup: Contemplate hosting your own meetup or participating as a speaker. This positions you as an industry authority, creating opportunities for meaningful connections.
Where to Find Relevant Meetups:
Below are a few ideas on where to find meetups in Israel:
- Meetup: Utilize the platform to search by location and keywords, join communities, and connect with community hosts on LinkedIn.
- Eventbrite: Similar to Meetup, use filters based on location and interests. Following event organizers ensures personalized suggestions.
- Facebook: Make use of communities and AI suggestions. Mark interest in events to receive future recommendations.
- LinkedIn: Explore events and leverage the algorithm to your advantage. While not as popular as Facebook in Israel, LinkedIn can still be a valuable resource for that as wel.
Even after securing your dream job, don’t give up on attending meetups. With layoffs becoming more common, it’s wise to stay proactive, attend events, and offer assistance to others. Networking remains a valuable asset, even when you’re not actively job-hunting – you never know when it might come in handy.
Below is a list of a few free meetups for the next couple of weeks: