Carol Hauser Slapak
Try | Make Mistakes | Learn | Succeed

Using my Creativity and Honing Important Skills for the “PC” (Post Coronavirus) Time

It has been over a month since the Israeli government asked its citizens to #StayHome. In less than a week, all the hiring processes were put on hold. #SocialDistancing, they said. And I stayed at home, with my husband working from home.

As one of the 1 million Israelis unemployed, I started to attend webinars (at the end of this post, I’ll share a list of interesting sources, in case you don’t know where to get this information), I continued networking and (virtually) meeting new people, I continued reading my very relevant feed on LinkedIn and learning how to use this time of uncertainty to build something positive. Honestly, I kept myself as busy as always. I was just not going to any job interviews…

My birthday was coming and whoever knows me well is aware that I love to celebrate my special day. So, I began planning and then executed my first online party (I wrote a blog post about it). That day made me think that, as a professional, I have always used Skype, Google Hangouts and, lately, Zoom to communicate with customers, business partners, and teams spread around the globe. But it was the first time I used it for personal use.

Whoever follows my work knows that, in my spare time, I try to help other newcomers (Olim Chadashim) by writing a blog with tips and tools for the Israeli Job Market and being a very active member in the “new community world”, mainly on social media (i.e. LinkedIn, Gvahim, Keep Olim in Israel, InterNations and Beit Brasil Jobs for Brazilians that are living in Israel and looking for a job or networking).

During my online party, some of the job seekers that joined the party told me that they didn’t know what to do during this time, since all hiring processes were on hold. And they asked me for advice. I thought “I can recommend the main groups and communities I’m in, but most of them are in Hebrew (most of the newcomers still don’t master the language) or they’re from a closed institution (like Gvahim Network)”.

The next day, I got on a call with Limor Schwartz, Gvahim’s community manager. When I shared with her the immediate need of fellow Brazilian job seekers and knowing that I want to develop myself to be a community manager, Limor gave me the greatest idea ever: to develop an online/virtual support and networking community in my mother tongue – Portuguese! She offered me the use of a Gvahim’s Zoom Pro, so the online event wouldn’t have the timeframe limitation of the free version. I thought “what a great opportunity to hone and sharpen important skills for the “PC” time by volunteering!”

Then, I got on a call with Gerson Lerner, “Beit Brasil” CEO, and asked him to add me as a moderator for the Beit Brasil Jobs Facebook group. When I posted about the idea of the event, and asked for community members to vote on the best time for them, my post got over 200 voters and several positive comments about this new initiative! This definitely gave me the strength to continue and successfully execute this first online event.

A screenshot of the poll I created on Beit Brasil Jobs Facebook group

My next step was to attend online webinars, but this time with the goal of learning current best practices and identifying improvement opportunities. When I had the idea of leading this virtual community, I couldn’t imagine the amount of workload and different skill sets I had to put to work – before, during and after the event!

  • Create an organizer profile on Eventbrite
  • Design an event image
  • Write an event description
  • Manage and compose emails to attendees
  • Publish and promote the event on social networks
  • Plan the subject and sub-subjects and prepare the presentation 
  • Prepare an interactive survey (this time, I used Mentimeter) to better engage the participants
  • Prepare survey post-event
  • Lead and coordinate the online event and the community
  • Consolidate survey post-event in a compelling visual design
  • Edit the videoconference recording (after searching and testing several video editing tools)
  • Create a verified profile on Youtube
  • Invite a guest and plan the topic and sub-topics of the second online event
  • Design an event image
  • Write an event description

 

Overall score 8.5, not bad, at all!!

In a matter of 2 days since the opening of the “sales”, I received 88 orders in total. Only 29 joined the live meeting (33% show-up rate). If you ask my opinion, I think it was a low show-up rate, but I’ve been told it was good, given it was the kick-off of this weekly series! For sure, this will be one of my KPIs

The number of attendees didn’t interfere in the results of this first online networking event for Brazilians – Support and Networking Group. Here are the satisfaction survey results filled by 20 attendees:

Satisfaction survey results of the first online networking event for Brazilians – Support and Networking Group

Some of my “customers’” opinions about the online event:

“Light, fun, informative and motivational meeting. It’s very important to have this support in our mother tongue, so we can follow this path of reaching our goals surrounded by good people who are willing to learn and help.”

“This first event was really cool! I loved the idea of the questions with everyone’s participation.”

“I found the event very interesting, and dynamic, mainly starting with not so obvious tips and talking more about Israeli culture, which differs from other events.”

Of course I made some mistakes. Naturally, I received some improvement suggestions in the post-event survey. I asked other professionals some questions and obtained some feedback and tips. And I’m sure I’ll make other mistakes in the next meetings. But I think this is the beauty of honing and sharpening new skills by volunteering, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic! Quoting my first guest for the next event, Neriyah Oren, “in times of social distancing, there are still many ways to be together and unite!”.

Adding to this, I was IMPROVISATIONAL, a very particular Israeli characteristic, as stated by Osnat Lautman at her ISRAELI™ model (Informal, Straightforward, Risk-Taking, Ambitious, Entrepreneurial, Loud, Improvisational). Quoting her: 

The culture of improvisation in Israel supports “thinking outside the box”. This means not just going along with an existing plan but continually thinking, initiating and changing until the desired goal is reached.

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List of interesting sources for webinars, during the Coronavirus crisis:

  1. HaMeetupistiot: led by Hilla Bakshi and Adaya Ohana, this community is intended to encourage and promote women in high-tech meetups (in non-Coronavirus times). They temporarily changed the community name to “HaWebinaristiot”! LOL! The best tool they provide (in my opinion) is a Google Calendar with the main events. You can get it here: http://bit.ly/2VU5D3I. Communication in this community is mainly conducted in Hebrew…
  2. HaMeraanenot: led by Eti Avital, this community is the first high-tech incubator to find jobs in the industry (mainly for women). Eti created a unique format for this community’s meetups, where she takes a very intimate group to visit companies like Fiverr, Microsoft, IronSource, Taboola and Samsung. In the “new Coronavirus format” posts, she has been inviting HR people from leading companies (such as Monday.com) to talk about the current situation at their companies and how to maintain positivity during this difficult time. Communication in this community is mainly conducted in Hebrew…
  3. Nevo Network (former Eisenberg Olim Tech Network) partnered with Olim in Tech: they’re offering Zoom talks from leading tech professionals, skill sessions and mentoring in order to support Olim in tech as they face challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. Good news! Communication in this community is mainly conducted in English…

There are several other groups, but most of them are in Hebrew. In case you’re interested to learn about other webinar sources during the Coronavirus crisis, please comment on this post.

About the Author
Carol was born and raised in Brazil. She had spent her professional career working as a management consultant there. When crime was becoming intolerable in her native country, she took a leap and embarked on a new life in Israel in 2015. Although her Israeli language skills were still rudimentary, with the help of a non-governmental agency, she was able to land her first role as a Project Manager and a Strategy Business Analyst for a global company where her command of English, Portuguese and Spanish sufficed. Unfortunately, her position was eliminated within two years as a result of an acquisition. Surprisingly, her second take as a job seeker was long and exhaustive, and much tougher than her first. Driven by her intellectual curiosity to find solutions for current challenges and her ability to be resourceful and actively listen to people, she started blogging at The Times of Israel. Then, she was able to build and nurture long-lasting relationships within strategic people from the Israeli Job Market by leveraging social media to its fullest. Today, she uses her own experience in business consultancy methodologies, to mentor job seekers and to help them improve their networking skills in order to advance their careers. In this blog, she shares her knowledge and practical tools to help all the other job seekers. “What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away, you keep forever.” - Axel Munthe
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