Avishag grew up in a poverty-stricken, rural household. As a young single woman, she could not manage to parlay her studies into a related job offer. Her extreme lack of self- confidence was most apparent as she walked around her place of employment (as a part-time worker in a minimum wage position at a Jerusalem not-for-profit organization) looking like a rag.
When she was fired along with several other workers, concerned staff referred her to the Yad Ezra V’Shulamit Job Desk. There, the employment counselor discovered that this downtrodden looking woman had graduated from a women’s institute with a double major in Accountancy and Computers. Although Avishag had managed on her own to acquire a degree in a lucrative potential profession, it would not be simple to place her in a relevant position at most companies.
While discussing potential work environments and options with the Job Desk employment counselor, Avishag changed her mind a couple of times. Once, when she returned from an intense interview for a company in the center of the country, the counselor helped her to analyze what went wrong and discussed how to respond to future questions. Soon after this, the counselor saw a position advertised in the accounting department of an internationally renowned Jerusalem institution. This was a rare job opportunity, and the counselor’s familiarity with the prestigious program led her to believe that Avishag might fit in there. It was hoped that the employer was more likely to give her a chance than would most companies.
The counselor insisted that Avishag come in to apply. Together, they quickly tailored her CV and cover letter to the job requirements. Within days, Avishag was given an appointment to meet for a first interview. After working through issues that came up in their last session, Avishag went for her interview feeling that – in her words – she was a “diamond;” if the employers were lucky, they would hire her.
Her interviewer said that she was very impressed by Avishag’s abilities, but that they needed someone more experienced. Avishag said that her recent Job Desk conversation about interviews gave her the confidence to respond: “Hire me for a 2-week trial basis, and I’ll show you what I can do.”
The employer called later that day to offer Avishag the position, beginning with a short-term three-month contract. The Job Desk client was thrilled with this opportunity and with the salary!
She put in overtime whenever asked and dedicated herself to learning on the job. Although she has experienced many ups and downs in this position, Avishag has worked there for over three years. She supports herself as well as significantly contributing to the support of her family of origin.