Whiling the hours away at home during my son’s high-risk pregnancy, I started a blog. My friend Ashley talked me into it, and as I recall, it didn’t take too much convincing. As a technical writer I desperately needed an outlet that would satisfy my creative desires and, if I was being honest with myself, I wanted to see how my writing would be received by others – assuming, of course, that people would actually be interested in anything I had to say.
I wrote about whatever topics happened to pop into my head, and while I had a propensity for writing about current events and politics, I rarely shared anything too controversial. I soon developed a very small following of readers and my initial foray into the blogging world was pleasant and uneventful. It was also short-lived; once my son was born, I could scarcely find time to eat let alone write, and blog posts slowly petered down to nothing. (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
I’ve been staring at my computer screen for some time now, trying to come up with a zippy little introduction for my first article in the Haaretz lifestyle magazine ESSENCE, which hit the newsstands on Friday. I don’t know if it’s the lack of caffeine in my system, the lack of caffeine in my system, or the lack of caffeine in my system, but nothing exciting comes to mind.
In any event, the article is about the more than 30 walking tours run by the Association for Tourism Tel Aviv-Jaffa, including the four free tours in English (the rest are in Hebrew). The article isn’t on the Haaretz website, so I’ve taken the liberty of uploading to my blog (having used a total of three different computers for scanning, PDFing and uploading, thank you very much). I loved writing the article, probably because the tours all sound so fascinating! (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
I am a freelance writer – oh how I love to write
Stringing words together, morning, noon and night
It took me quite a while, to give this path a go
Afraid I’d never make it, and that they’d all say no
I started very slowly, beginning with a blog
Years of dreary office work had left me in a fog
I wanted to create; I needed something more
To talk about my work, and not sound like a bore
It’s now a few years later; I’ve amassed a bunch of clips
Some are just a tad mundane, while others – quite a trip
From politics to hummus – sometimes they overlap
Perhaps you’ll disagree with me, but please don’t say it’s crap
As things stand right now, I’ve got some time to fill
Peruse the stuff I’ve written – I might just fit your bill
My writing’s rather good, or so some people say
I’d love to do some work for you – but only if you pay
One of the best moves I’ve made during my time in Israel was to leave my job in a technical writing outsourcing agency and make the leap into the local hi-tech industry. My life changed socially as well as professionally, as I suddenly found myself in a Hebrew-speaking environment instead of an English-speaking one. Instead of spending my days in a comfort zone surrounded by colleagues who were Anglo – the generic term used to describe all native English speakers, I was now spending my days with native Israelis and other non-native English speakers, speaking Hebrew instead of English, and finally having the opportunity to integrate as I never had before.
For the first time since coming to Israel, I started to make Israeli friends of my own, as opposed to those I’d inherited by virtue of being married to an Israeli. Until then, most of my own friends had been Anglos from a variety of countries, and while there’s certainly a lot to be said for having friends from similar backgrounds and with a shared frame of reference, I wanted to expand my boundaries. I wanted the Israeli experience, and given that I was too old to serve in the army (which probably wouldn’t have worked out to well anyway for any one of a plethora of reasons), immersing myself in a truly Israeli workplace as one of the lone native English speakers seemed to be the best plan of action.
And it worked. I now have a wide circle of Israeli friends and acquaintances. Not only that, but from a professional standpoint, I’ve managed to tap into that network and use it to my advantage by positioning myself as the token native-English speaker among them. When people require English-language services, I’m usually the person who comes to mind. In addition to editing and translating resumes (as many international companies with facilities here prefer to receive CVs in English) and academic theses, I’ve been contacted by perfect strangers either requiring my services or offering me a job, having been referred to me by one of my Hebrew-speaking friends or colleagues. In a country like Israel, where who you know is often just as important as what you know, these associations can be invaluable, especially to those who didn’t grow up here, who don’t have the benefit of the ever-important school and army connections. Whether you’re trying to find a full-time position or trying to crack the freelance market, networking is probably going to play a key role in your success.
Positioning Yourself for Success – Networking Tips for Immigrants and Expats