Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Looking for a Job in Israel?

The Classifieds: Israel Rail's Newspaper, December 24, 2006

People in Israel often complain about how hard it is to find work. In the end, although it is a hated job, many young people turn to "shmira" (guarding).
Security guards are posted everywhere in Israel: at schools, supermarkets, post offices and banks, movie theatres, the gym, shopping malls, and bus station entrances. My belongings are searched every day an average of three or four times, sometimes more. The security guard job is hated because it is usually boring. The guards stands at a designated place for hours and checks bags and purses and may ask a few questions here and there. In the winter, most guards stand outside in the cold until their shift is over. And when the job isn't boring, it's dangerous. A number of security guards were wounded or even killed during the Intifidah while protecting entrances. The relatively low salary (often less than $6 an hour) is hardly worth risking your life for.
And yet, if 2006 is any indication of how 2007 turns out, security guards will remain to be in hot demand. On page 21 in last week's Classified section of the Israel Rail's newspaper, 11 out of the 36 ads were seeking security guards. The criteria are usually simple enough: army service, an updated arms licence, and no criminal record. Many young people in Israel who have just been released from their mandatory army service fit the bill.

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