Part-Time Jobs in Israel - Join the Club
The New York Times on Sept 7th 2010 writes about the new phenomenon of Japanese workers taking second and even third jobs to make ends meet.
For those in the Israeli employment market, this is a very common and long established practice here, either juggling multiple part-time jobs instead of holding a full-time role or taking on a part-time position to supplement the full-time income. Sometimes this part-time decision is forced upon the job seeker until a suitable full-time job can be secured, while at other times this option is chosen for lifestyle or income reasons.
The reason this issue is critical to raise is that I have spoken to many immigrants to Israel from North America, Europe and other countries that seem to feel that accepting a part-time job implies a failure on their part. This is mostly due to the fact that in their pre-aliyah country, part-time work is less common, at least for “white-collar” professionals. As with many things that are involved in relocating to a new country, it is critical to understand and adapt to your new environment, and in terms of employment this means being open to less-than-fulltime job opportunities.
Sometimes, instead of a part-time job, freelance work is found; for more information on this subject, see: http://jobsearchinisrael.blogspot.com/2010/03/freelancer-in-israel-what-does-it-mean.html.
In fact, the related topic of dual wage earners is also useful to consider. 61% of Israeli Jewish couples have two breadwinners, 28% have one person making an income, and 6% have none. This percentage of two-wage earners is not dissimilar to the figure for the US (57%). However, what it seems to me is that of the people that decide to emigrate from Western countries, the percentage of families in which both husband and wife work before aliyah is much lower than this average. So when the new realities of life in Israel kick in, it can be difficult for some to change their mind-set and come to grips with the typical situation of both members of the family working, full or part time. Changing to the two-income model is not a failure, but rather an intelligent adaptation to the life in Israel.
Setting realistic expectations for employment objectives as an immigrant to Israel can go a long way towards enabling a successful transition.