Wrote up some mostly career-oriented advice for someone who is considering moving to Israel in the next couple years. With that much time to mull it over and prepare, there are lots of things you can do to make it a smooth(er) transition with the right kinds of expectations set.
So here’s what I got; feel free to add more in the comments!
- Career: see if you can start tailoring your career towards jobs that you’ll be more likely to get here. If hi tech is your area, that’s already a great start. Becoming open minded about shifts in your title/area is key. Things won’t be exactly the same, and if you can embrace shifts, you’ll be more likely to find a job you’re comfortable with here.
- Another thing is see if you can get an opportunity to work for an international company with a branch in Israel, or that will let you work in Israel, telecommuting. It doesn’t come natural for everyone, but if you can handle working from home/doing American hours, lots more opportunities may be open to you. Flexibility is important.
- Networking – absolutely. Both in the States (referring to point above) and in Israel. I’d start dialogue with people here now – on Twitter, like you did with me, reading up on blogs (seems like everyone is doing it), connect with people on LinkedIn and if you’re planning a pilot trip, see if you can join some tech/work-related events while here. In Israel, it’s mostly who you know.
- Live in a place conducive to getting good jobs. Basically, that’s the center for the most part if you’re not an engineer. Jerusalem is ok, Beit Shemesh and Modiin are in the middle, and Tel Aviv of course is the closest to the most opportunity. But lots of people commute between those areas. I live in Tzur Hadassah and commute to Jerusalem. Lots of people commute from BS and Modiin to either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Or work from home!
- Start skimming the job lists and boards to get an idea of what’s out here. There are a few I can think of off the top of my head: Israemploy, JobShuk, JobMob, Jobs in Israel.
- On top of that, start thinking about regular life outside of work. Where you’d live and what’s that like (Flathunting) and other boards where people post all kinds of stuff (Janglo, Taanglo, there are others for different cities).
- If there are kids in the picture, that’s a big one too, and means you have to look really deep into the places you’d live… I recommend getting in touch with other Anglos in different towns/cities through the Jewish Agency, UJIA, Nefesh b’ Nefesh or AACI.
- Be wary of people who speak too (or only) positively, though… I think it’s important to get a fully realistic picture so you come prepared. Hey, I’m a realist.
- Mind your expectations: Going with the above, I think it’s important to keep the fantasy alive while managing your expectations of life here. It’s not all a dream and it’s going to be work. If you’re ready to work for it and take on the challenges, you’re ready to live the immigrant life in Israel.
Post your own thoughts in the comments…