The whole world seems to have changed, and that includes the job world. Searching for a job in Israel during these unusual times may seem like a daunting task, especially if you cannot take a pilot trip to network and investigate your field. Rest assured, it is possible prior to Aliyah, as there are a number of excellent online and remote resources to begin the job hunt before you arrive!
Create a network of professional contacts from the comfort of your own home It can be difficult to apply for jobs before you make Aliyah, as employers are usually not interested in applicants before they’ve made the big move. However, you can help yourself jump start the process by creating a network of professional contacts and speaking with them by email ahead of time. Do you know anyone in your field who lives in Israel, or do you have any friends in Israel who might have contacts of their own? Do you have any connections through your Jewish community in the US, Canada or the UK? You can also search for groups in your field on Facebook and Linkedin to connect with other professionals in Israel. If you don’t have professional contacts, the Nefesh B’Nefesh Employment Office is happy to help you find people to speak with in your field. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nefesh B’Nefesh Job Board currently has over 115 listed positions. NBN is in touch with hundreds of companies who post their openings on our board when searching for candidates with fluent English-langaugae skills. Keep an eye on the job board for opportunities in your field and to learn more about different companies hiring English-language professionals.
Do market research Find out what the market is like in Israel for your field, and tailor your job hunt and your resume accordingly. Flexibility may be the rule to survival. In some cases, switching gears may help you land your first job, especially if you are looking at English-language employment. For example, several of our medical professionals are temporarily working in the medical documentation field while waiting for their licensing to come through; one of our English teachers needed to alter her resume to emphasize teaching English as a Foreign Language, which is in demand in Israel. One Olah did a complete pivot from school nurse to pilates teacher!
Explore all avenues for maintaining foreign-based income for the initial arrival period Speak to your current employer about the possibility of continuing to work from abroad. This has recently become more of an option as remote work is now more common. Retaining your current job will give you some time to get settled and conduct a job hunt without feeling the combined pressures of acculturation and unemployment. Some jobs will allow you to telecommute and continue working, even if only on a short-term basis even after you’ve moved here. (Some Olim maintain overseas phone numbers and addresses after moving to Israel, for this purpose.) Negotiating a short-term project that you arrange prior to Aliyah is a great way to ensure employment when you first arrive.
Make Hebrew a priority
Need a Covid-lockdown hobby? Consider online Ulpan! It is a good idea to find time to improve your Hebrew while you are still comfortably employed and settled in your community abroad. After you get here, you will be dealing with the pressures of settling into a new environment and the sooner you can start working in your field, the better. While there are English-language jobs in Israel, knowledge of Hebrew will broaden your job prospects. Check out your Ulpan options in North America and the UK and other educational resources.
Learn about licensing procedures Moving your career to Israel may require converting your professional license. In some cases, you may be able to begin your license conversion from abroad.
Whether you are planning Aliyah in 2020 or have a long-term plan, it is never too soon to start researching your professional options and connecting with other professionals in your field. Below you will find some excellent networking resources: