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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 10-03-07, 10:47 PM   #1
Jet Travis
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Not Exactly OT--Job Question

I may have the opportunity to take a bicycling-related job.

The upside is that it would be an adventure in an interesting community doing something I think would be fun and that I'd be pretty good at. I've been in the same job for nine years, and, while secure and good in many ways, sometimes I feel a bit stale.

The downside is that the pay would (I think) be a good bit lower, the security would be less, and that I'd be moving--with wife--far from long-established friends. Of course, her feelings would matter a lot in al this. BTW, we have no kiddees, other than our cats.

I realize that no one can decide this other than me, but I'm guessing 50+ types have from time to time entertained similar questions. If so, what did you decide and how did it work out?
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Old 10-03-07, 10:59 PM   #2
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Ask yourself what does your head say? What does your heart say? What does your gut say? The path with heart will reveal itself, if it hasn't already.
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Old 10-03-07, 11:35 PM   #3
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Head? Head?
I'd go with what makes my wife happy divided by how much I hate the job I have over how much I'd love the new job and then multiply by the pay difference expressed as a + or - percentage
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Old 10-04-07, 12:14 AM   #4
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Head? Head?
I'd go with what makes my wife happy divided by how much I hate the job I have over how much I'd love the new job and then multiply by the pay difference expressed as a + or - percentage
Well, yeah, there's that...
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Old 10-04-07, 04:13 AM   #5
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I've never changed jobs but I did make the decision to take a big pay cut and work less. I don't regret it, even though lately I've had to put in some long hours to get caught up with my three week hiatus.

Thinking very pragmatically, what would sway me is my wife's earning potential just in case things didn't work out.
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Old 10-04-07, 04:55 AM   #6
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It seems to me that I'd think about two other things in more depth before such a move. First, how important are those "friends" in my life? Are they the kind of relationships that enrich me, or ones I've just fell into and wouldn't miss much? Some folks thrive when they have regular contact with people who are important to them. Others are much more easily comfortable with themselves. Which are you, or are you somewhere in between? Second, with a major income reduction I'd seek clearness on how easily I could live more simply. That is, can I do without many of the products and services our consumer based culture tends to see as important? There are many people who live high quality lives with income being one of the least important factors. However, not everyone can do this. Are you one who can?
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Old 10-04-07, 05:04 AM   #7
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Cannot help with past experiences but it sound like the ideal opportunity when I'd be ready to leave what I'm presently doing and "scale back", if that makes sense. At some point I'd love to have a job where it was more part-time than full time-or basically the hours I was willing to invest. Timing is everything, isn't it? I have had tons of people leave the company I work for over the past 10 years and 90% have said it was a great decision.......Those that weren't as happy it was usually they were expecting more dollars then they rec'd long term. If dollars are a concern, can the spouse pitch in to help fill some of the gap? Can you begin to scale back primary expenses like mortgage, investments, etc? Heck you're in the money raising business so you know better than anyone how to generate dollars!! Not sure I've helped much but envy you having the choice.
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Old 10-04-07, 05:09 AM   #8
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Would the bicycle world still be fun if it were a job, too? I don't play music any more. I just work in the music industry! Picking up a violin always feels like work.
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Old 10-04-07, 05:28 AM   #9
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I have moved my family twice now for work and probably the hardest part is the kids which you don't have to worry about. If the area you are moving to has advantages over where you currently live and you will like the job better and not have to struggle due to lower pay a move can be very exciting. You will make new friends find new places to ride and you will always have your existing friends and be able to visit and talk to on the phone and such. Life is an adventure get out there and explore.
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Old 10-04-07, 05:29 AM   #10
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Would the bicycle world still be fun if it were a job, too? I don't play music any more. I just work in the music industry! Picking up a violin always feels like work.
+1 Its very common among those who go to work at what used to be a fun hobby to find out that its not so fun anymore. I have scaled way back on the cycle work that I do for others because it was becoming a chore. Lately I'd rather just go riding.
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Old 10-04-07, 05:39 AM   #11
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I may have the opportunity to take a bicycling-related job.

The upside is that it would be an adventure in an interesting community doing something I think would be fun and that I'd be pretty good at. I've been in the same job for nine years, and, while secure and good in many ways, sometimes I feel a bit stale.

The downside is that the pay would (I think) be a good bit lower, the security would be less, and that I'd be moving--with wife--far from long-established friends. Of course, her feelings would matter a lot in al this. BTW, we have no kiddees, other than our cats.

I realize that no one can decide this other than me, but I'm guessing 50+ types have from time to time entertained similar questions. If so, what did you decide and how did it work out?
Retirement?

As I remember, you are in a college environment. Correct me if I remember incorrectly. If you are, you most likely have a pretty good retirement program.

You didn't say too much about the perks of your potential new job, but most non-profits are not going to have these perks, which become increasingly important as you near that retirement date.

Also, post-retirement, most state or community plans allow you to buy into a pre-negotiated medical plan, life insurance, etc. Better benefits at a lower cost.

Could you do the same thing on a volunteer basis in your own community?

I am shooting totally in the dark here, and if I have recalled incorrectly, I will just delete the post.

Tell us a bit more.

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Old 10-04-07, 07:44 AM   #12
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I'm not in much of a position to give job advice because I "stayed put" at one company for 31 years. I've never even had a resume. I was a lifer at "Ma Bell".

I do recall, however, you mentioning how laid back things were at your present job, and how you were fixing a flat on your bike while at your desk, and no one thought it was odd. There is a lot to be said for that kind of environment.

DnvrFox's post above ^ is loaded with common sense.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:53 AM   #13
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I'm a headhunter and get asked this all the time. The best advice is to make sure that the family participates in making the decision when relocation is involved. They're major stakeholders in the process.

The #1 reason I hear for people wanting to look for jobs in certain areas is that they want to return to their friends and family after relocating to take a new job.

If they're OK with the move, then its best to weigh the long term effects the move will have on your future...because you're posting here, I assume that retirement isn't that far off and financial considerations may be a priority.

Secondly, examine your motives for considering the move...are you running from your old job?, or running towards the new one?...if it's the first, you'll never be happy with the decision

good luck with this
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Old 10-04-07, 05:52 PM   #14
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Everybody who works in a bike shop knows what the pay is going to be before they start. It's relatively easy to figure out if that's going to be enough to meet your needs.

Working conditions can be a bit murkier.

Most people who take bike shop jobs do so because they are into bicycling. Most bike oriented events, races and the like, are held on weekends. Guess what the biggest sale days are for bike shops?

I once worked for a bike shop that wouldn't let me take a weekend day off - EVER. So here I am, working full time in a bike store, and I can't participate any bicycling events (not to mention things like family get-togethers). I hated it.

Trying to schedule a vacation wasn't any easier. A guy who I worked with tried to schedule a week's vacation during February, our slowest month. Well, February may be slow, but we maintained a minimal staff during February too. He eventually got authorized to take the time off but not until after he had lost the opportunity for lower cost travel tickets.

Speaking of which, are you talking about a 12 month job or a May to October job? Don't assume that you're being offered a 12 month job unless they actually say it.

Incidentally, I'm a school bus driver today. A year and a half ago I talked to the owner of a local bike shop and offered to trade wrenching for bike parts. Today I work maybe 4 hrs per week through the slow months and a few more hours during the busy months. The hours that I work fit in with my school bus schedule and it's just enough to keep me from feeling stale.
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Old 10-04-07, 06:07 PM   #15
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Thanks, everyone, for your insights. They're very helpful. I must agree, Denver, I've become somewhat addicted to positive cash flow over the years. What's more, I do live in a great town and have built many good friendships. And, Louis, I can't discount the value of being able to change a tire at my desk. So this new job idea--no matter how good the fit in many ways--may end up being a bit of a non-starter, but it is fun to entertain the idea of a new adventure. Again thanks for your well-considered thoughts.
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Old 10-04-07, 06:38 PM   #16
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I had a chance to apply for a job I'd thought, since I was 18, would be the perfect job.
In the end I stayed where I am because I like my co workers and management. I can also ride to work and keep my bike in my office.
I'll never kow what I gave up, but I'm happy with what I kept.
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Old 10-04-07, 06:51 PM   #17
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1. Your original post sounds like you feel iffy about the whole thing.
2. Assuming I am right, stay put.
3. I did not read one single other response before posting this one. It's my honest reaction.
4. Best of luck to you either way.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:09 PM   #18
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I'm curious about the nature of the job. I have a strong feeling that some of the assumptions made here are incorrect. As for whether to take the job, that's less your decision than your wife's. Unless you plan to get a new one of those, too.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:34 PM   #19
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This thread has some of the best and soundest advice on a topic that I've read on this forum. Then, there are people that get their panties in a wad when someone posts something OT. The neat thing about 50+ is that there is a lot of experience to call on and some very insightful advice.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:37 PM   #20
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I'm curious about the nature of the job. I have a strong feeling that some of the assumptions made here are incorrect. As for whether to take the job, that's less your decision than your wife's. Unless you plan to get a new one of those, too.
Nah, I can hardly afford the one I've got. And she doesn't even eat much. Besides, she spent the first half of her life freezing her butt off in Russia. I don't think she wants to spend the second half freezing her butt off in the Rockies.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:53 PM   #21
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Nah, I can hardly afford the one I've got. And she doesn't even eat much. Besides, she spent the first half of her life freezing her butt off in Russia. I don't think she wants to spend the second half freezing her butt off in the Rockies.
You are not going to tell us, are you!
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Old 10-04-07, 08:44 PM   #22
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I'm not in much of a position to give job advice because I "stayed put" at one company for 31 years. I've never even had a resume. I was a lifer at "Ma Bell".

I do recall, however, you mentioning how laid back things were at your present job, and how you were fixing a flat on your bike while at your desk, and no one thought it was odd. There is a lot to be said for that kind of environment.

DnvrFox's post above ^ is loaded with common sense.
+1 here as well. There was times I hated my job, hanging off of a pole in sub zero weather, but I kept thinking of a good retirement and that was that. 10 more years 5 more years 3 then 1 and then it flew by. I wanted to sail the rest of my life, but hurricanes and health, changed all that so fast I couldn't believe it. I guess it just wasn't meant to be, but that retirement check every month sure makes me glad I stayed at the job I had. Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old 10-04-07, 09:45 PM   #23
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+1 here as well. There was times I hated my job, hanging off of a pole in sub zero weather, but I kept thinking of a good retirement and that was that. 10 more years 5 more years 3 then 1 and then it flew by. I wanted to sail the rest of my life, but hurricanes and health, changed all that so fast I couldn't believe it. I guess it just wasn't meant to be, but that retirement check every month sure makes me glad I stayed at the job I had. Good luck with whatever you choose.
Hey George, instead of a Rivendell, why don't you buy a bent? They come in steel. Sorry for the hijack.

That's the only bike I ride now.

ps: the seat on my Gold Rush is so much more comfortable than my Brooks B17 that I can't believe it!!
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Old 10-05-07, 06:12 AM   #24
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I may have the opportunity to take a bicycling-related job.
People here have nailed it in their replies. I'll add my voice to the ones who said that converting something that is your passion, and fun, into your job may have the effect of making that pastime, well, work. If it were me, and I were thinking of making a life transition, as I have in the past, I would probably make a T-chart, with + on one side and - on the other, then at the bottom write 'other', such as wife's reaction (and depending on the magnitude of the transition, square that and raise it to the nth power). But it sounds as though you've already had second thoughts. Oh, and in moves like that, I always like to have a back-up plan, and a back-up plan at 50+ looks a whole lot different than one at 20+.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:25 AM   #25
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At 20, the only good advice would have been "Go for it!" But now we have all those pesky longer-term considerations.

How your cats will react is of primary importance. Your feelings come a distant second. Your wife's feeling come a close third.

Can you meet your retirement goals with the reduced pay? Are there other ways to be involved similarly without moving or quitting your job, say doing a volunteer position? What friends and community do you leave behind? What friends and community will be there?

My gut level is that as long as you and your wife do it together, I mean really together, that it will work out. If she's doing it just to please you, it will be in trouble unless she finds her own path to getting into the new community.
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