Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nu? What's Doin?

The view from a coffee shop in Tel Aviv. 

This has been probably one of the longest blogging breaks in recent history, and I have a good excuse, but not necessarily one I'm willing to divulge -- yet. I know, I know. It's killing me, too. Patience, friends!

I've spent the past two weeks traveling between job interviews at some of Israel's largest internet companies, and every day I'm praying that they call me back and I land the job. In the meantime, I've picked up some decent freelance work doing content writing (aka ghost writing, because gosh knows my name isn't attached to 99 percent of when it hits the web) and a bit of editing here and there, as well as some very part-time social media work. It's amazing how busy it keeps me, and yet it's amazing how it doesn't manage to pay the bills. (See my recent post on Contently about writer wages.)

I'm also discovering through job interviews at smaller firms that the ethics that are so clutch in Judaism don't always translate into the working world. I'm not into sleazy, black-hat practices where fake Twitter and Facebook accounts and personas are the tools for building brand awareness. I've never been on board with buying followers and likes, and companies that have all-or-nothing policies that are damaging to their clients are a huge turnoff.

The more time I spend freelancing, the more it makes sense to consider building my own business up if these jobs with big Israeli brands don't pan out. I've avoided it for years, partially out of fear of not making enough money and partially out of a fear of failure. There's also, of course, the fear of developing that god complex where you think that everything you do is gold-plated, just because simple, small brands don't seem to know how to create and maintain a Facebook page. For people like me, it isn't rocket science, but when it comes to clients, they always come first, no matter how much or little they know about what goes on when they're not knee-deep in their brand's own tweets.

I've also spent the past few weeks living in a five-star hotel in Ramat Gan while my in-laws are in town. Glamorous as it may seem, close quarters, repetitive food, and gobs of noise from Team USA here for the Maccabiah Games 2013 has made it quite the challenge. It's nice to get away and sleep on a big squishy bed, but after a few days I missed my kitchen, my jars of quinoa and millet, my full-bean coffee and French press, my comfy purple couch, the cool breeze of Neve Daniel.

Oh, and the ability to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without getting fully dressed and putting on a head covering? Priceless! I miss that, too.

The benefits have been that I've been close enough to the Mercaz (center) of Israel where all of the tech jobs are to properly hit up interviews, I've gotten to spend some quality time here and there with iBoy and my in-laws, and I've even enjoyed some time poolside, gaining a bit of color in my otherwise pale skin (unfortunately, computer screens don't make good tans). A major difficulty has been being in a small space with people who have different approaches to raising iBoy -- all people working out of love, but man alive if it hasn't been tough -- and constant conversations about work and money.

Nine months ago I hopped a plane for Israel, anticipating a pretty amazing and life changing experience. The truth is that it's been more than that, and different than that, in so many ways. Seven months ago I got engaged and nearly five months ago I got married. I've lost two jobs, gained freelance work, applied for well over 200 jobs, and canceled a much-needed trip to the U.S. because of a lack of finances. Who knows where I'll be at the 12-month mark -- hopefully, I'll have a full-time job or have worked out how to be a rockstar business owner.

Nobody said aliyah was easy. My dad always said life wasn't easy. But it's all for a purpose, right? It's all for an end. I have the most amazing husband in the world, the most supportive friends a girl could ask for, and the future is bright, gall darn't.

What have YOU been up to? How's your summer going so far (if you get one, that is)? Don't forget to Ask Chaviva Anything!