Thursday, March 7, 2013

Election/Job Campaigning in the Air…

The Israeli elections are over, yet we are still in the extended waiting period, without knowing what the government coalition will look like.

For those Big-Time Wrestling fans out there, it may remind you of the WWF Battle Royals:

Everyone in the ring at the same time, and you keep fighting until there is one person left standing.  And ironically, as we are accustomed to in Israel, notice the referee in the picture that is supposed to make sure the rules are being followed is not even paying attention to the action, maybe being distracted by media with cameras in the front row as so often happens.

And by the way, anyone that is interested in this spectacle, I highly recommend the documentary/movie: I’m From Hollywood.  It will give you a better appreciation of this "sport" – you can find this Andy Kaufman movie on YouTube.

Anyway, on to employment…

You know, the new MKs in the Israeli Knesset are not so different from more traditional job seekers.  They had to go through a grueling recruitment process, being subjected to scrutiny and uncertainty, before being offered a job.  For those fortunate enough to make it into the Knesset, the natural inclination at that point might be to feel the fun has finally begun.    Plenty of press, congratulations from friends and family, and warm welcomes from veteran politicians. 

But the reality can be quite different, something that they will be reminded of many times over. 

This is of course not surprising to anyone that remembers what it is like to start a job at a new company.  Once you accept a job offer, you are generally thrust into an environment that has many unknowns, both in terms of personalities and expected behaviors.   Who will be your allies and who will be your adversaries?  For MKs, on the face of it, these distinctions are more straightforward, as those in your party are meant to be your friends, and those outside are somehow more suspect.  New employees don’t have the luxury of this pre-defined label, and must feel their way around more by trial and error.  At the end though, personal relationships based upon concrete shared objectives are generally more lasting than political party allegiance, which at least in Israel is tenuous at best.

They don’t call it office politics for nothing.  But hey, if you play your cards right, your tenure at your job will most likely be longer than most of the incoming MKs.

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