“Sagi, are you sitting down?” asked my friend Yael, when I called her to touch base. After several years in a senior Israel-Diaspora position, Yael had decided it was time to seek new challenges.
This is Yael’s inspiring story:
“I left my job and decided to give myself a year to search for a new job, think and explore options. I spent quality time with my family and friends, as well as with myself. I met scores of people, consulted head-hunters, went to interviews and received job offers. But none felt “right” or excited me. I refused to compromise and kept searching.
Then one day I suddenly realized what I wanted to do. I sat down with my husband in our kitchen, and over a cup of coffee I told him, “I’ve got it! I want to do… matchmaking!” He smiled and said, “Why not? Go for it! But what exactly are you going to do and how exactly will you make a living from this?”
“I’m not sure, but that’s what I want to do.”
Having received my spouse’s blessing, I had a personal discussion with the Creator. “God,” I said, “I’ve done my part. I examined, I searched, and I discovered how I can add my modest contribution to make Your world a little better. Now it’s Your turn!”
Less than one week later, a Wanted ad on Facebook caught my attention: “Seeking CEO for ‘Hiburim’ — an organization that helps people find their match.” My eyes lit up and I sent them my resume. The next day I got an email inviting me for an interview. But there was a catch: They warned me that the salary was low.
At first, I thought I would simply delete the email and continue searching, because I wasn’t willing to work without appropriate compensation. Then I said to myself, “Yael, God answered your request immediately, and you’re going to just delete the answer?!”
So I went to the interview. From there on things moved quickly; the chemistry was right, we wanted the same thing, we reached a fair compromise on the salary, and today I manage a groundbreaking new matchmaking enterprise.”
Yael’s story is inspiring. Although our prayers are not always answered so promptly and completely, belief is supremely important when seeking work and career, as I know from the “The Next Step” initiative run in my community, Hoshaya.
I founded “The Next Step” initiative about 18 months ago, together with a team of volunteers from Hoshaya, who have a variety of critical skill sets in the area of employment: industry, employment law, human resources, pensions, etc. When a member of Hoshaya is searching for a job, being laid off, considering a career change, or facing another employment-related challenge, the team helps with legal advice, resume-writing, networking, interview training, presentation skills, and so on.
I have learned that beyond the priceless skills, education, and training, faith is the determining factor in searching for a job and identifying “the next step.”
What do I mean by “faith”?
Faith in oneself — that one has the skills, energy, and commitment to bring value to one’s next employer, and that the match is in both your interests.
Faith in the path — even if you meet obstacles, frustrations, and disappointments on the way, at the end of the path is the right job with the right organization.
Faith that everything is for the best — that even if you receive a negative answer from what you thought was your dream job, it is still for the best — when one window closes, another door opens.
And last but not least — like Yael, Faith in a higher power. The faith that if you do your part, God will do God’s part. As it says in Grace After Meals: “I was young and now am old, yet I have never seen a righteous man abandoned nor his offspring begging for bread.”
This essay first appeared in The Canadian Jewish News.
Sagi Melamed lives with his family in the community of Hoshaya in the Galilee. He serves as Vice President of External Relations and Development at the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College. Sagi received his Masters degree from Harvard University in Middle Eastern Studies with a specialty in Conflict Resolution and serves as President of the Harvard Club of Israel. He is the author of “Son of My Land” and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.