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Success Story - Yonatan Goldfus, Head of the Creative and Contents Department, SweetIM / Hadas Shimoni

Yonatan Goldfus, 35, who is married and has a daughter, was studying for a master's degree and headed for a career in academia when he changed course, switching to a career in the field of graphic design. Yonatan took part in a retraining course where he studied animation, and got hired as a graphic artist. Later he was promoted to manager of the Department of Graphics, Translation and Localization at IDT. Feeling he had exhausted this avenue Yonatan looked for a different position more suited to his abilities and proclivities, and three months ago, through the Jobnet site, landed a job as head of the Creative and Contents Department at SweetIM.

Yonatan recalls:
As a communications and art history student in the direct PhD track, I had a strong desire to develop an academic career. But during my master's degree studies, while I was working as an assistant at the university, I realized I wouldn't be able to develop and make a living in academia, so I made a difficult decision to change my career track toward another love of mine, art. I did a retraining program where I studied three-dimensional animation at Hadassah College and one year later I gradually worked my way into the industry.

How did you conduct your job search?
After three years I felt I had reached road's end, both professionally and personally, at IDT. I looked for a job where I'd be able to combine the management experience I acquired as a manager at IDT, as a company commander in the Combat Engineers and elsewhere. I wanted to work at a younger, smaller, warmer company where I'd be able to express my professional abilities.
I got on the Jobnet site and by chance came upon a job description that precisely met my needs – a creative manager with abilities in graphics, animation and management.

Yonatan Goldfus at the SweetIM offices

How did you wind up at SweetIM?
SweetIM contacted me and soon I came in for the first interview, which was with Product VP Ari Jedeikin. He was impressed with my personality and management abilities and immediately set up a second interview, this time with Robert Sherman, one of the founders of the startup, and with Gil Dudkevitch. We clicked right away. I was very impressed with the product and the caliber of the managers. At first it seemed I was taking a chance in switching from a large, stable company to a startup, but I realized it was a company with a whole lot of potential and rapid development.

Human Resources Manager Ayelet Yallin on the company:
SweetIM was founded in 2005 and operates in the field of fun contents, primarily instant messages.
The company is developing a product that allows users on various instant messenger platforms (e.g. Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger) add a variety of fun contents to the chat.
Over 60 million users have downloaded the product since it went on the market. The company has enjoyed great success; every day over 3 millions contents are sent via the product and hundreds of thousands of new users join.

What products do you market?
Product users can send their friends various types of contents and animated images, such as an effect of breaking the chat window using a toolbar added to the chat windows. The product also includes a toolbar adapted to Internet Explorer that has a menu of contents that can be added to chat rooms, forums, social networks and e-mail (Hotmail, Gmail and other web-based mail). This toolbar contains an Internet search window that displays results supported by Google.
The company is in the process of accelerated growth toward additional fun-contents markets and products.

How was your integration here?
Ari, the vice president of products at the company, trained me in a very organized way, teaching me about the product very thoroughly. As part of my job I interact with all of the departments, therefore I was given training on the role each of the departments plays in the process of product development. In addition, to break the ice the company has a policy of throwing a party to mark the arrival of every new employee hired. A pizza and beer party was held for me and another new employee, and very soon I felt acclimated and right at home.

What kind of a company is SweetIM in terms of its character and the atmosphere there?
The employees here are very high-caliber people and each of them excels in his field. The atmosphere at the company is warm because after all it's a small firm, so people run into one another during the course of the day in the kitchen or on the balcony, and everybody knows everybody else. There's no bureaucracy at SweetIM and most of the interaction is direct, quick and efficient. The company is involved in a world of fun and dynamic contents. The product is designed to allow people to enjoy themselves, and so it's fun to wake up in the morning and come to work.

Would you describe yours as a success story?
I feel like I'm part of a family and really love my job at the company. I believe in the product and the ideology behind it. Likewise the company sees me as a core part of the management, therefore they invest a lot in me and I think I'm in a position that allows me to advance and develop. I'm glad to be growing with the company. As far as I'm concerned the company's success story is my success story.

Do you have any advice for jobseekers?
The most import thing is not to give up and to be enduring. Don't chase after money and see it as your main goal, because someone like that won't do his job right and will find himself moving from one job to the next. There are also other factors that are no less important, such as a sense of family, loyalty and deriving pleasure from your work.
I recommend deciding on an appropriate direction and being realistic about your personal and professional abilities, and looking into where you can make the best contribution. In my opinion the Internet is the number-one tool for searching for work, as opposed to job ads in the newspapers, because the number of candidates who apply for each newspaper job ad is enormous, so the chances of finding work are lower.

Ayelet, on cooperation with Jobnet:
The results have proven Jobnet is a useful site. It exposes us to a broad audience and provides us with a direct channel for receiving resumes. The site allows job candidates to forge contact quickly with the various companies, so that at the beginning of the job search process they send resumes via the Internet and only afterwards contact placement companies. Through this avenue we recruited a product manager, who sent us her resume via the site before embarking on a massive search. So far we have manned three key positions through Jobnet and continue to work with them.

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For the Hebrew Article

Students Discharged Soldiers Jobs Accessibility Statment
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