6 Important Things to Know about Israeli Culture in the Workplace
Thinking about interning in Israel?! Looking forward to experiencing a whole new culture, trying new foods and meeting new people? Traveling to a new place can be very exciting but it’s also very important to be prepared for any and all surprises that might come your way. And being prepared doesn’t just mean having your passport and getting your phone plan figured out, it also means learning about the culture and the people! Language aside, there are many cultural differences to know especially if you hope to integrate into the Israeli workplace. Check out everything that you need to know about Israeli culture in the workplace below!
Israelis value honesty. They are a lot more straightforward, direct and blunt in the workplace and will appreciate it when you are as well. Israelis do not understand subtly and vagueness and will often interpret these things the wrong way.
2. Dress code
Israelis are very casual! In fact, many Israelis will wear jeans and flip flops to a wedding- no joke. This casual way of life extends to every aspect of their life- and the workplace is no exception! In Israel, business casual just means dressing casually. In most Israeli companies, it is completely acceptable to wear jeans, t-shirts and sandals in the workplace.
The professional hierarchy in Israel is not as rigid as it is in other countries. There is of course a hierarchical management structure but even a new employee is free to speak their opinion and share their thoughts on a project. Israeli companies have a round table mentality where everyone is considered equal and contributions from a new employee are considered just as important as contributions from a manager. As an intern, your opinion matters! Your employers want you to voice your thoughts and will often implement your ideas into the structure of the company.
4. Time Management
Timelines, schedules and agendas are more like suggestions than actual rules here in Israel. Israelis use schedules and set deadlines for different projects but in reality everyone tends to be running just a little bit late. In fact, it’s not uncommon to arrive late to a meeting or schedule a meeting at 9:30am even though you don’t expect anyone to show up until 10am at the earliest.
5. Networking is Huge
The Israeli work culture is relationship-based, not rule-based. Its therefore not what you know but who you know! In Israel everything is about networking. Even social situations are potential networking opportunities. So get out there and start making friends and building your professional network!
6. Work Hard and Play Hard
Israelis work hard and play hard! In spite of working Sunday through Thursday and 45 hours a week (5 hours longer than the American work week), Israelis always find time to go out, enjoy a beer or two, hike in the North or travel to other countries. Israelis are also night owls and the nightlife culture in Israel is HUGE! In fact, its quite common for Israelis to go out for dinner at 10:30pm or later on a weeknight.
If your interested in interning in Israel, Top Israel Interns offers positions in all different fields including but not limited to Start-Ups, Medicine, Technology, Arts and Business. Check out our website here:http://topisraelinterns.com/
Aside from providing top positions and accommodations, Top Israel Interns also provides you with the support you need to overcome any and all cultural differences and so that your transition into Israeli society is as smooth as possible.