Monday, August 08, 2005

North Star

Something happens to young professionals that move to Israel.

Some people have jobs lined up before them move here. They might work for an international company or already speak Hebrew enough to get a job in mainstream Israeli culture. Some people have a valuable skill or expertise that puts them in demand.

Some people just get lost.

For the past six years, I have been working in education. I was once a classroom teacher and then found myself doing interesting work as a researcher at a science museum. Teaching was HARD WORK, but I enjoyed learning about how children learn. It was interesting to me to see children "get it" and a challenge for me to keep them engaged and learning. My work at the museum was similar. Instead of planning for my class, I was helping to anticipate the learning behaviors of many people and to help create an environment that was intellectually stimulating for all.

I guess for all of that time I bought into this career path. One job would lead to another. Generally I'd stay in education. Eventually I'd go to graduate school and develop new skills. I didn't know exactly what the road ahead held in store for me, but I was confident that I could craft something fun out of whatever came my way.

I've taken about a year off from the work force (although it doesn't seem that long) to learn Hebrew and to "figure out" Israeli life. Well, it's going to take more than a year - maybe in three or five years I'll have a good understanding of how things work here. What the heck am I going to do in the meantime?!

I went on a job interview yesterday. Yes, it was my first job interview in Israel! It's not a job in my "field" (whatever that is) but it's a job that I can do - I have the skills. It's not intellectually stimulating, but it might be fun. Going on the interview got me thinking about what I'm doing here - what do I want to do? How can I make money doing it?

My mom just sent me the book Finding Your Own North Star. It's on it's way across the ocean. Perhaps it will provide some insight. This transition is uncomfortable and I am not enjoying all of the self-reflection. It's dis-empowering to have experienced success and opportunity in your career and then to be limited by a situation beyond your control - but yet you still have to work. The barriers of language and cultural differences seem so large.

Ok, enough whining - I'm off to clean the apartment and shop for groceries. These things I CAN do.

I'm sure I'll figure something out...


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