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After arriving in Israel, the continuation of your job search regularly runs into the weeks and maybe months.
In conjunction with effort, there may be something you can do to make yourself more valuable to Israeli employers. To gain Israeli work experience, improve your Hebrew or professional skills, and add people to your network, volunteering can be a useful tool.
This will enable you to get both valuable experience and a reference. While it may be difficult to consider working without a salary, there are plenty of advantages and, if necessary, you can take a temporary job to pay the bills and organize your voluntary work to fit around it.
There are various ways of approaching volunteering and before accepting a position, you should consider what you want to get from the experience – and what you are prepared to put into it.
The most obvious place to start looking is in an area which will give particular skills or experience in a field of interest to you. You could offer to volunteer for the company you’d like to work for, particularly if this is a charity or non-profit organization. Working as a volunteer can often lead to a job, but don’t expect this to happen. If you aren’t eventually offered a salaried post, you’ll still gain a great deal of relevant experience and you’ll have that reference which will help you get work with a similar company.
You could consider working in a different field, but one which will still give you skills needed for your ideal job. Remember that soft skills, such as communication skills and teamwork, can be gained in a huge variety of settings. So make a note of the skills you most need to develop and keep these in mind when researching potential volunteer placements.
Working with teenagers in a youth club, teaching a sport to disadvantaged or disabled children or helping out at an old people’s home can all improve those soft skills and can be fitted into your normal work or study schedule, if you volunteer on weekends or for an evening or two a week.
Another alternative is to do something really challenging and radically different from your day to day routine. You could consider teaching in a poor area in another part of the country. There are plenty of regions in which help is needed and you will gain enormous benefits. If you are a high flyer, this type of experience will prove and enhance many of your leadership qualities, such as risk taking, problem solving, and the ability to work under pressure. If you find yourself in a rut, this could be the way to move out of it.
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