Joining the official Merry-Go-Round: Job Networking

 This is my first discussion about job hunting. I am sure there will be more.

Right now, I am still in ulpan hemshech, so I have not been job hunting with a vengeance yet. I am accepting any and all offers of information about potential jobs, and I am always eager to gather new networking friends in the fields of electronics, aviation and computer science. If you have any ideas for me, feel free to post a comment below or email me at using my contact information on my resume.        

A while back, before we finally decided to make aliyah a reality, and not just a "in a few years" thing, close friends made aliyah and had an uncle who worked for a very large aviation related firm in Israel. At that time I worked for the FAA in New York as an electronics technician and was a recently certificated  FAA Airframe and Power plant mechanic. I also had a degree in Aeronautical Engineering Technology with a major in Maintenance Management. My friend’s uncle was kind enough to give me the grand tour, culminating in lunch in the cafeteria. During the tour, he introduced me to three supervisors, one in the hangar, one in the avionics lab and one up in the tower. For reasons that will soon become obvious, I have deleted  real names and locations.

I was young, eager and interested (and, oh yes, quite female). As a young American who had recently been in Israel on a volunteer program,, I was also very eager to contribute my newly minted technical skills to Israel, but the supervisors were none of the above and simply not interested. Both of the first two, who were about the (then) age of my father, (and I assume retired by now) literally laughed in my face when I was introduced to them by the gentleman giving me the tour as a potential oleh interested in working for them.  The first one never stopped laughing. The second one, an  indoor avionics lab supervisor said "we had one (a woman) once. It didn't work out." His tone was the same tone I got from my mother when I asked for a cat. My brother was allergic to them, so no dice there either.

Only the third man was enough of a gentleman to inquire about my qualifications, if any. He worked in the tower, and had been there since before the medina. After hearing my qualifications and work experience, he told me that I was probably more qualified than anyone working there at the time, but the my challenge would be convincing someone to give me the opportunity to get in the door, as the jobs were given "automatically" to people (“boys”) leaving the air force.

With this in mind, I went back to America & got a degree in computer science, as well as some web design experience. In America, they really like people who can do lots of "as assigned" tasks, that are technically not in anyone's job description, but someone has to get it done. I did a little bit of everything, from ASP pages and VBScript to analyzing small business functions to creating databases for maintenance oversight. I even built a small functional robot for a research project. I met with clients, sold them on the need for a web site and then came back to the office and supervised the design, building and implementation of the site.

I learned how to teach others to do the same thing. As an online learning center coordinator for a college that  granted degrees to many people who spoke English as a second language and were the first person in their family to attend college, I realized there was a real need to teach more than just technical skills. I formed a small company that allowed students to get real experience in working as a professional employee. This included teaching them how to account for their own time, how to work independently, and how to work as part of a team in order to get rewarded and paid as part of a team. Unfortunately, as of yet, I have not found any one in Israel interested in someone with these “additional skills”.

I have spoken to a few potential employers, but the conversions I have had revolve not around what I have to offer a company, but rather where I live, whether I have kids and whether I have a car.  If I actually get an interview, I am told that I am  over qualified or my experience is too general. Or both. Or not enough. Or I live more than an hour away so they will not interview me anyway.

And then I read articles about Israel’s “brain drain”, hoping that some one in this country will be interested in someone who can do more than walk and chew gum at the same time.

Again I invite anyone with a serious idea or suggestion to either comment to feel free to email me.