Sharon Nir was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1970, and from the age of seven she helped raise her three brothers while her parents worked outside the home. She started working at the age of twelve and saved enough money to fund her first trip outside the country, to England, when she was sixteen. This month-long journey sparked a lifelong love of travel. At eighteen, she joined the Israeli Defense Force for the mandatory two-year service, was assigned to the Armored Corps, and served as a tank instructor.
At the end of her military service, Sharon attended Tel Aviv University, where she studied for her Bachelor of Art degree with specializations in language and literature, and she obtained a teaching certificate. She worked as a waitress and a customer service representative in a telecommunication company and used the money she saved to travel around Europe during her semester breaks.
Fresh out of university, Sharon was recruited by the knowledge management department in the company she worked for as a student. It was her first job in the corporate world and she loved it. She took part in designing the first knowledge management system in Israel. During her work, she obtained her diploma in Systems Analysis.
At the age of twenty-five, she met an attractive surgical resident while she was visiting a friend at the hospital. They dated for a few months and parted ways. Three years later, they met again and got married. Her first son was born a year later.
In August 2001, Sharon chose to leave her career behind and joined her husband for a two-year fellowship in organ transplantation in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Unable to pursue a career in her field, she opened her own company that delivered nutritious meals for daycare centers around Manhattan.
The family left New York and returned to Israel in the summer of 2003, during which time she was nine months pregnant with her daughter. The relocation to New York had changed Sharon forever. The hardships she faced back in her native country, the compromises that she needed to make, and the feeling of longing for a different place resulted in the family’s immigration to the United States in 2009.
Throughout the years, Sharon held multiple leading positions in the high-technology industry, but US visa regulations forced her to choose between her career and family, remain unemployed for five years, and live and raise her children in a medically underserved area. Yet, she never considered the option of giving up. She did the only thing that was left in her control and completed with honors her Master’s in Business Administration from Northeastern University in 2014.
The family finally received permanent residency status in February 2015. Sharon’s memoir, The Opposite of Comfortable, describes her journey to find balance, fulfillment, and happiness, while making difficult life choices.