Monday, March 09, 2009

How to choose a career for yourself

I am good at giving other people advice as to what work they should do. But when it comes to myself, of course this is more difficult.

For a while I have been dissatisfied with what I am doing. I felt that I had been given this disability in order to something special with my life. My current work selling Internet ads and managing Google accounts didn't seem to be that worthwhile to mankind. As a result, I did less work and racked my brains for something new to do. Just doing exercise and keeping the house together isn't enough for me.

Anyway, work came to me, so I did it as we need the money. I even ventured to visit a client in my wheelchair. Funnily enough, I began to realize that I was getting pleasure from the work. Also I was proving that a disabled person does still have a brain!

Then came the message from above that I was waiting for - but in a very unexpected place and manner.

Last week I had to go into hospital for a minor procedure. Unfortunately we had to take a private doctor, and go to a private hospital in Petach Tikva. Rather different to the normal Israeli hospital.

So they had me all kitted out in the very appealing operating gown, cap and sox waiting to see the anesthetist. The normal questions came (in Hebrew), then the more difficult ones. What was my work? I thought this was a test question to check I had all my "faculties". As my Hebrew is poor, I just said Marketing. Not good enough for the doctor. What sort of Marketing? Hmm, try explaining this in simple Hebrew to a Russian doctor. So I said "Internet marketing like advertising on Google". (I was hoping he would at least know what Google is, and stop asking me more questions).

No, he carried on. "So you must be rich" he said. Haha. I fell for that one. "No way" I said, "You must earn more than me". Then came the killer answer. "I only earn 27 shekels an hour (approx. $6)" he said. I was dumbfounded - I pay much more than this to a house cleaner! So we carried on chatting, and the nurse joined in saying she earnt the same amount.

At the end of this conversation, I just thought what a strange country we live in.

But that's not the end of the story.

I'm in the operating room, having maneuvered myself up to the operating table by 2 doctors. My legs are hoisted up in the air, a drip is in my arm and I am waiting for a nice sleep. Then comes in another doctor and says to me "I hear you do Google work". Well, that's it. There can't be a clearer message to me from above that this is the work I should be doing.

Is there a morale to this story for anyone else? Maybe.

A career - or work as I think of it now - doesn't have to be saving the world or making millions. It should be fun, bring in a few pennies (shekels or dollars are also OK), but most importantly make you feel good about yourself.


Maya Norton said...

Coming from a US system where a medical degree pretty much guarantees wealth, I find it shocking to hear how much doctors in Israel earn-- and still can't quite believe it every time I hear it. How can we possibly justify that as a society? And if we don't pay doctors a living wage, what hope is there for teachers?

Glad to be following your blog through Twitter and that we are now connected (@mayanorton).

Shavua Tov,

~ Maya Norton

The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy

schoodic said...

A response to your google work: I once heard from a fine lady from the northern territory (Canada) that google was called grandma google there.

Anonymous said...

anesthesia is the worst medical paying profession in israel; there is a real shortage becuase the pay is SO low.

Abacaxi Mamao said...

I think I would be scared to be anesthetized by someone earning 27 shekels an hour. Seriously. Who who can do other things with themselves would want to do that?

A medical degree in the US may not guarantee wealth for long (because the system, as it is, is not viable and so many remain without basic care), but we (all) have to do better than 27 shekels an hour!