Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Getting the Most of Tel Aviv in a Short Visit

Winter (January) sunset on the Tel Aviv promonade (walk along the Medeterennian) - © 2017 D-A Vider
When coming to Tel Aviv on a business or family visit, take an extra day to experience something special. Israel is one of the most misunderstood place on earth. I remember an American Ivy League professor visiting Tel Aviv. She was so afraid to leave the hotel for security reasons. Told of horrific violent acts by Israeli Defense Forces soldiers (IDF) and the Apartheid treatment of Israeli Arabs, she chose to avoid street life and stay in her hotel. A friend asked me to simply take her on a walk along the beach so she can see the city. After an hour of seeing bathers, from bikinis to burkas, she wondered what the city really felt like. In two hours her preconceived notion of the horrific stories told in the US diapered (some was obviously mass media impressions). A friend (Sam the man, from previous blog posts) just reminded me of a very similar story. One of his old friends came to see why Sam was living here after having a perfectly great upper-middle class life in Ohio. My advice? If you are in Tel Aviv and can add a day to your trip, see the city for yourself. If you have seen Jerusalem or came for business outside the city, don't let this opportunity pass you by. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Tel Aviv's Attraction for Millennials

Only the brave & adventurous para-sail Tel Aviv's coast on windy afternoons, yet plenty of foreign millennials are on the beach watching, May 2016

When you live and work in Tel Aviv, especially if you are a millennial, you notice the number of young foreigners here. The most surprising observation is the wide range of people from different countries (I go by languages) these millennials represent. Not only European and American, also Asians (especially Japanese, Korean and Chinese) and South Americans (especially Argentinians and Mexicans). With a few Africans and eastern Europeans thrown into the mix (Russian tourists still come in some numbers). Granted most come to visit or on business. Some come from curiosity, bucking the trend of staying away because of negative image. What will get all these millennials, energetic, optimistic, curious and a bit adventurous to come live and work in Tel Aviv? Besides the image of an active entrepreneurial center, there was a sense of adventure and maybe risk taking when coming to Israel. This is especially the image Israelis try to portray. Israelis also portray an image of a modern economically developed country. Almost on par with western European countries. Yet most western European and Americans see a different picture. Israel is still a small country somewhat isolated from Europe and completely apart from the surrounding middle east. This makes for a bit of an island mentality. Economically Israelis are still struggling to catch up with western Europe. Israeli standard of living is also below US middle class. Yet in culture, technology, architecture (especially residential construction), personal freedom, modern legal and government standards and many business sectors (particularly retail, banking and corporate structure) Israel has come close to many western countries. To most Asians and south Americans this is good news. Although adopting to Israeli culture takes effort and to some it's a steep learning curve, the benefits of living and working here are worth the effort. The same goes for most eastern Europeans, where economies and technology slowed to a crawl for decades, Israel is a breath of fresh air. The story of millennials in Israel is rich and interesting. More to come...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pressure Cooker in Everyday Life: Stress on the Job

Security guards in public buildings feel more stress than most Israelis

A recent incident with a mall security guard brought out the stress some Israelis feel: daily ongoing tension. Simply put, some jobs and situations are stressful here. Security guards in public places: shopping malls, government buildings, business parks, outdoor markets (shuks) and fenced public areas (beaches, parks) are at the top of daily stress list. Security guards in public spaces are about a notch above cleaning personal in respect and pay. Which is somewhat out of place (and unfortunate). They are paid at a low salary scale, they usually work under freelance contract in security contract companies (i.e. they are not permanent employees with full social benefits). While their working conditions are below average, they are expected to deliver vigilant accurate service at all times. Most guards are calm and present a professional image. They check bags for suspicious objects. Sometimes they ask a few questions to see if someone is nervous or seems suspicious. While Israeli security services pride themselves on superior training and highly qualified guards, Israel's economy and culture create a different reality. Here is a salute and a tip of a hat to these unsung heroes. More in future posts...


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Intel's 2004 Guide for Doing Business in Israel ruffles feathers

From the book "International Business: Theory and Practice" by Ehud Menipaz, Amit Menipaz (Google book preview)

A long time ago (probably as far back as 2004) Intel published guidelines for "doing business in Israel". Israel's bloggers hit on this document recently when a photo from a trade-show presentation was posted on social media sites. Apparently the document was written by an outside consultant to help American visitors from Intel to get along with Israeli technologists and business managers. Intel has benefited tremendously from their Israeli operations. From chip design to semiconductor manufacturing, Israel has been one of the more productive and certainly innovative locations for the company. That said, Intel has also been very much and American company. This was true for the company until recently, when the company started to branch out around the globe. What Israelis did not worry about a decade ago, is the image of how we do business and cooperate with foreigners. Intel can somehow guide their workers to work better with Israelis. Some foreigners from around the world may not feel the need to do so. I wonder if companies like Yamaha (from Japan), Samsung (from S. Korea) or ABB (from Sweden) will guide their managers when dealing with Israelis. Comments welcome...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Technology Development Is Heating Up Again

Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point tells the story of how messages travel in networks. His is the modern day observation of the power in people networks. His observation is more on how social messages affect our way of making decisions in life.

Business in Israel is both isolated and connected with the outside world. It is isolated because there is no real connection with any of the border states. Arab states are different culturally and the political divide continues to make any business relationship difficult. On the connected side, Israel has strong ties with European, American, African and Asian counties. Culturally, Israel is most similar to European countries. So are business practices. Business wise, Israel is closest to the US. This is especially true in the technology sector. There is more synergy between Israeli technology companies and Americans than any other area here.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Israel's Mad Scientists: Business Hackers, Programmer Bloggers, Recruiting Networkers

Israel's new mad scientists are following in the path of the 1980's hackers, 2000's bloggers and 2005's social networkers. Mad scientist is the best term I can come up with right now. Hacker, blogger and social networker are also just analogies. It is certainly a mad gold rush to establish the "NEXT THING". Sharp changes in technology, business situations, political status and even personal work preferences are sprouting ideas for Internet and real world products. Technology is pushing innovators into WEB2.0, SaaS, Social-Networking, iPod accessories and apps, Face Book / Linked-IN / Twitter plug-ins, portable computing (NETbooks and more) and all sort of cloud computing unimagined even a year ago. Culturally and financially Israel's "turn to the East" is also pushing entrepreneurs in Israel in a different direction than before. The sharp business cycles in the US and Europe has been pushing Israelis to look east for business partners and markets, this shift is starting to yield results. Unlike the European and American counterparts, central and far-east Asians are much less concerned about Israel's security and political issues. They see Israel's ability to innovate and produce technology. To Koreans, Taiwanese and Indian businessman and bureaucrats the situation in Gaza is an unfortunate media blemish seem "just unfortunate". Also Asians have more experience with national and racial clashes.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Israel's Foreign Worker Dilemma: Economic Downturn Debate

The number of unemployed in Israel is flat or slightly down at 7.6% (1st quarter 2009) [228,000 out of 3.005 million workers, Israel Bureau of Statistics, 27/5/09]. Unemployed workers now outnumber the number of foreign workers. This puts pressure on the state to reduce the number of foreign workers. But some of the foreign worker are doing work Israeli natives are not willing to do. Still, out of approximately 200,000 registered foreign workers there must be some who can be replaced by Israelis. There are estimated 200,000 more unregistered illegal workers (some with expired permits some smuggled through Egypt and Jordan). The thinking now, while the economy is not creating enough jobs, first turns to these workers. The reduction of foreign workers in Israel started in mid-2008. The Olmert administration did not pay much attention to the details: what work needs to be done and by whom. They just cared about reducing the number of foreign workers, and as quickly as possible. A policy was formulated to reduce the foreign workers by half in one year (mid 2009) with focus on restaurant and services (i.e. cleaning), and agriculture (i.e. pickers and packers). The idea was to give Israelis a chance to take the jobs which will open up once foreign workers left. It has not worked very well, in some sectors it has not worked at all. The jobs in home care of old people, now done by young women from the Philippines and Thailand is attracting so few Israelis, training programs are no longer running. In agriculture the problem is even worst, farmers are already warning that some crops will simply disappear from store shelves. Some cash crops will not be exported any more. Even if Israeli workers start processing fruits and vegetables the cost of manufacturing will go up. In today's economic climate farmers will not be profitable or will lose their competitive pricing. This is the price we pay in hard economic times, some products simply are not viable. This means some workers are not needed.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Law and the City - Labor Law in Tel Aviv

In Israel unlike the United States all employees are either covered under a collective bargaaining agreement or a private contract. In both cases they are protected under Israel labor laws and enforced by the various labor courts.

The National Labor Relations Board that enforces the labor laws of the United States only has juristiction to enforce collective bargaining agreements that involve wages, hours, and conditions of employment. If you have a private contract you are left to file your complain in a regular civil court. These cases usually take a longer time to resolve and you have judges who are not expert in labor law.

In Israel your right are protected whether your coutract is negotiated by a labor union or a personal contract. These cases are resolved in a relativly short period of time. Also unlike the U.S> failure to pay wages may be a crime in Israel. Consult your lawyer, you may have a better case than you think. It's safe to work in Israel where the rights are protected.

Enjoy your life and work in Israel -- sam-D-man @ TLV Read More...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Travel to Tel Aviv - it's not just fun and games

From the stories here you may think that Tel Aviv is just fun and games. Shopping, dining out, lying on the beach, hanging out in cafes... well, that's just the leisure and lifestyle part of this city. Just as important, Tel Aviv is the true center of commerce, business, technology, investment... and basically the place people come to meet and make the "deals". Not that there are no other places to meet in Israel, there are lots of wonderful places, both quiet and comfortable. Green areas like old kibbutzim, quiet areas like hotels on the Dead Sea and the Red Sea (at Eilat). Green areas like small bed and breakfasts (called Tzimmerim - in the German tradition) up in Gallil, from the sea (Mediterranean) to the sea (of Gallily). But to see people, go to conferences, get business services, people come to Tel Aviv. Like all business centers the one thing people complain about most is the travel. Roads are clogged beyond belief on rush hours, buses run late and are filled with sweaty riders and cell phone screaming teeny-boppers, taxis are too expensive if you come from anywhere but a close suburb, trains don't run often enough and can also be full. Oh, the thought of getting on the highway or a train one more time. Once you get to Tel Aviv there is never enough parking, there is a ticket writer on every corner, and the bus stop is never where you want it.

Nicely flowing traffic into Tel Aviv on the coast road (Hertzel facing McDonald's)
OK, you get the point. But it's really not that bad, compare to LA traffic, NY bus and subway, Rome or Paris drivers, and London parking. In some of these cities you actually pay just for the privilege of driving your own car into the city. Not here! Actually if you know where you are going and have a little time, there are parking lots in most big buildings and public areas (Dizengoff Center, Azrielli, T"A University and fairgrounds, large hotels, etc.) Traffic is only really bad if you come the absolute peak hours. From 7:00AM to 9:00AM anywhere coming into Tel Aviv you are going to find a traffic jam. In the evening from 4:00PM to 6:00PM it's just as bad as the morning. But if you avoid these hours, you are going to be OK. But for a big city, Tel Aviv is not that bad. Traffic is bad but not everywhere and not every day, but you will have to sit in the car and listen to that radio talk or your favorite iPod collection. Once you figure out where you are going, there are plenty of ways to avoid the big intersections with the most amount of traffic.
Buses are comfortable, run all the time, and go everywhere, but you are still stuck in traffic!
Buses and trains are a whole other story. Trains are great if you are coming and going to where the stations are. The trains from Modiin and from Petach Tiqva are a new addition and you will not be traveling alone during rush hours. They will also save you a great deal of time if you don't have to trek from the stations too much. Buses have the same issues as cars on the highway, there are no high speed lanes in and out of Tel Aviv. So if traffic is at a stand still, so is your bus. But once you get used to a certain bus line you may get to like it. If you catch the bus early in the route you will get a seat. Than, put on these fancy headphones and ride with your favorite tunes. If the ride is longer than 20 or 30 minutes that means the line is not going to run very often, so make sure you don't miss the 7:30 bus because the next one could be 20 to 25 minutes away. Anyway, if you need to get into and out of Tel Aviv, no big deal -- but you better get used to it and figure out what you need.
Tel Aviv is working very hard to make travel easy. Roads are in good shape and there are construction projects to bypass heavy intersections, it's just that construction always take years longer than needed. The train system is moving along, but it is very expensive to construct rail lines and stations are very slowly being built. Actually the train system is already suffering from under capacity, but you don't have this rush of trains like in Calcutta (we are going to eventually learn how the Indians do it). Travel is one aspect of Tel Aviv that is actually working, the city is a usable business center - YOU CAN GET   H E R E !   Which is one thing that we learned from the bigger cities, which you can't get in and out of as easily!

      Next time - alternative transport-ation: bikes, tus-tus, and a board or tiny-wheels. Read More...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Nanny Interview - 5 Steps to Success

Editor: another great article in the nanny diaries by nanny Frankie ;-)

First impressions are one of the strongest ingridients for a successful ending between you, parents, and child. Does it sound like a recipe? It is a chemistry that explodes into success or explodes into "seeya letah". It is not an easy task to enter the home of a stranger and leave the home a needed and wanted employee. You must be prepared to look and sound confident and intelligent. They do not expect a rocket scientist. They expect a happy, loving, and enthusiastic individual to look after their child as if that child was your very own. There are 5 steps to climb to achieve this goal.
1) Appearance:
Present yourself on time and looking your best. No heavy make up. No dirty hair or messy cloths. No bad smells or food between your teeth! BE CLEAN, sweet, happy, and act glad to be there.
2) Meeting the child:
Do not "grab" for the baby. (if your mom is still pregnand simply ask how she is feeling and how wonderful she looks). Most interviews take place when the baby is very new. Show great interest, smile a lot, but do not push yourself too strong. If mommy wants you to hold their baby - do not refuse, please wash your hands first. Support the child's head and be confident about how you hold a new born. The impression of good hygene goes a long way.

Nanny interview... a great way to start!

3) Experience and Life Saving Skills:
Be prepared to answer questions about your experience. Be enthusiastic about your love of children. Have some knowledge about child development. Education can come from a paperback book or the net or from your own life experience. Just a little information can again make a successful impression. A course in C.P.R. is a MUST. A nanny must be able to do everything possible to save a child's life. The courses are available and not at all difficult. Everyone on the planet should have these skills!
4) Trust and Expectations:
Parents need to trust you not only with their child but with their home as well. Show them you are trustworthy, honest, and will keep "things" clean and in order. Do they expect more than childcare? Be sure to discuss what is expected of you. Some families are very organized and neat and some are, well? NOT! Be nice, but discuss the rules before the game starts. (Cooking, Laundry? Ironing? Dishes? Light housework, or just children.)
5) Salary Last - LAST - L A S T ! ! !
You are "on a roll". You look great, sound amazing and chemistry is on fire. They seem to like you and you feel good about them. The child is so sweet and already under your skin. The trust between you seems solid and now comes the $64,000 question. How much do you charge? Tip for the day! What is the average salary in this area? One only has to visit the area gardens BEFORE you interview and simply ask the nannies before hand. You will get a pretty good idea.
DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT and don't be unreachable. Your recommendations and reputation can really help you achieve the salary you deserve. Again, educate yourself before you enter an agreement or contract. Don't forget hours, insurance, pensions, vacation time. The more you know all laws covering your work the better. The AACI can help answer any of these questions. Any lawyer and government agency will also have answers.
Good luck! Wishing you all the best! Any questions? -- e-Mail Frankie the nanny.

P.S. Did NOT like this family? Say thank your - Bye Bye - Be Nice -- TRY AGAIN!! Read More...