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  1. #1
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    Working in the cycling industry

    Ok, just trying to get feedback on some opportunity/dilemma.

    I've been working in the Advertising industry for quite awhile making really good money, but I was lacking job satisfaction.

    I though, since I have such a passion for this sport, why not get into that industry. As I've found out, it is somewhat difficult due to lack of experience.

    I've finally been offered a job as a retail manager at a bike shop. The retail pay is no where near what I was making. In fact, probably 2/3's less without going into detail. Now I'm not sure if I should take the position or not. I've out weighted the pro/cons. It seems money is a factor, as it should be, but also other factors such as benefits, vacation, perks and so on.

    I can't see myself working here forever, but it is a way to get into the industry. What are your thoughts. Should I take it, or continue searching for that ideal job where all my criterias are met. This of course might mean that I may not work in this industry after all.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    What would your ideal job in the industry be?

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    Without knowing a ton of details of the job or its pay, I think my skill sets in sales and customer relations could be of use as a product rep, perhaps marketing/advertising for companies such as Trek, Zipp, that sort of thing.

    I guess I biggest concern is pay. I'd like to work in the industry but have certain standards to what wage I can work at in order to substain my standard of living. At this point, I'm not willing to lower it to 2/3 of what I used to make. Maybe 1/2 that.
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    And what did Trek, Zipp do with the resumes you sent them?

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    Trek, Zipp were just examples. I have had some success with responses based on resumes sent to certain cycling companies. Even interviews and such. Bottom line is either the jobs are very entry level(which I don't mind if there is growth opportunities) or those companies feel I don't have industry experience with the exception of this retail position.
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    Have you considered working part time before you make such a radical change? Make sure you like it first.
    Job satifaction is good so is still living the life you are accustom to with the salery you are making now. You won't have as near of job satifaction if you can't pay the rent.
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  7. #7
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    The thought of working part time has crossed my mind. There is a fine line between job satisfaction and standard of living. I'm trying to find a happy median. That is the ultimate goal. Because of switching industries, I recognized that I may not make the same income as before. At least not in the beginning, however 2/3 less than before is a huge pay cut...and for how long. I'm not getting any younger I don't know if I can afford to start fresh all over. It seems like a huge step backwards..you know what I mean.

    I think I'm starting to get the answer to my dilemma, but I'm not ready to admit to it.

    BTW, I should state, I am currently not working at the moment..so there is a wee bit added stress of finding a job for the sake of paying bills. I'm not desperate, but certainly can't afford to retire just yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by klam View Post
    2/3 less than before is a huge pay cut...and for how long. It seems like a huge step backwards..you know what I mean.

    BTW, I should state, I am currently not working at the moment.. I'm not desperate, but certainly can't afford to retire just yet.
    hmmm.... 2/3 X $0.00 = ???? If you're livin' fine now, I don't know what the dilemma is? Seems like you could take the pay cut... or retire. If my math is correct, your salary will be the same.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klam View Post
    I've finally been offered a job as a retail manager at a bike shop. The retail pay is no where near what I was making. In fact, probably 2/3's less without going into detail. Now I'm not sure if I should take the position or not. I've out weighted the pro/cons. It seems money is a factor, as it should be, but also other factors such as benefits, vacation, perks and so on.
    That's the retail industry for you. I assume you have also factored into your pros and cons list the fact that you'll be working weekends and evenings and all sorts of varying shifts.

    Of course, if you're not working at all right now, you might consider taking it for the time being.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trace22clawson View Post
    hmmm.... 2/3 X $0.00 = ???? If you're livin' fine now, I don't know what the dilemma is? Seems like you could take the pay cut... or retire. If my math is correct, your salary will be the same.
    "2/3 x $0 = ???" .. Funny, I need a little chuckle. I'm not going to disclose what I made before, because it really is irrelevant.

    Its been a long while since I've worked retail, and yes, retail = lower wages. I have looked at things like working wknds and no benefits. Believe me you, those are important.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    That's the retail industry for you. I assume you have also factored into your pros and cons list the fact that you'll be working weekends and evenings and all sorts of varying shifts.

    Of course, if you're not working at all right now, you might consider taking it for the time being.
    In fact, I have just done a pro/cons list and items in both were equal. That didn't help, so I had to take it a step further and rate each pros and cons from 1 to 10. Now I have a numerical value to compare. So far, its weighing alittle heavy on the cons, which means I shouldn't except the offer.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like you'd feel like you were selling yourself short. I get the impression that a lot of folks are paid in proximity -- that is, they like working with bikes, so they can be hired for less.

    Never a good idea to compete with a single guy with few expenses who works basically as a hobby.

  13. #13
    the bike made me do it oneredstar's Avatar
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    I work in the cycling industry, in retail to be exact. I love my job, but I am not a manager. I get paid well, get amazing deals on product, get to hype what I love all day, work my ass of all summer, but when things slow down in winter I can take a few months off if I like.

    What I am wondering about you is, why don't you work for a bicycle company in their advertising department? Seems like the logical choice to me. You still maintain your "livable wage" and you get to be in the bike industry.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klam View Post
    "2/3 x $0 = ???" .. Funny, I need a little chuckle. I'm not going to disclose what I made before, because it really is irrelevant.

    Its been a long while since I've worked retail, and yes, retail = lower wages. I have looked at things like working wknds and no benefits. Believe me you, those are important.
    But you are making nothingi right now ... right? You're not working. You may have been making a large salary at one time in the past, but that's not relevant right now in the present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oneredstar View Post
    I work in the cycling industry, in retail to be exact. I love my job, but I am not a manager. I get paid well, get amazing deals on product, get to hype what I love all day, work my ass of all summer, but when things slow down in winter I can take a few months off if I like.

    What I am wondering about you is, why don't you work for a bicycle company in their advertising department? Seems like the logical choice to me. You still maintain your "livable wage" and you get to be in the bike industry.
    oneredstar, it sounds like you've found your calling. As I've found out, working in the bike industry(retail) is more of a lifestyle career choice for sure. My original idea was that since I was so passionate about the sport why not attempt to make some dollars for what I enjoy so much. Truth of the matter is, I'm not sure I want to make this kind of lifestyle change yet. Perhaps, a few years down the line, I may re-asses the situation. BTW, if the right job came up were I could work in mrkg/Advertising for a cycling outfit, I would probably consider, by pulling out that pen/paper and doing up a pro/cons list again. I think when you're in a situation like I am, where finance is not as critial I can pick and choose. Meaning I need work and job fullfillment, but it doesn't have to be tomorrow.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    But you are making [i]nothing[/]i right now ... right? You're not working. You may have been making a large salary at one time in the past, but that's not relevant right now in the present.
    Ok, Machka I now know what you're getting at. 0=0. Getting a min wage/hr job is still min wage and better than nothing, but as I've mentioned, I'm not in a financial crunch where I need to get a job for the sake of paying bills. At least not right now. I am willing to way out my pro/cons and pick what I think will be the right job and not go from job to job due to desperation.
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  17. #17
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klam View Post
    Ok, just trying to get feedback on some opportunity/dilemma.

    I've been working in the Advertising industry for quite awhile making really good money, but I was lacking job satisfaction.
    Any job is a compromise (and I mean that as a postive term). Most of us can't just amuse ourselves by surfing the internet or playing guitar or cycling all the time and be paid, so we have to work at something other people value, so they will pay us. The job is never going to be totally fulfilling, but hopefully there will either be really enjoyable parts to it, or it will fulful some altruistic or narcissistic need to contribute to the betterment of the world, or create a legacy, or it will pay well and be at least tolerable.

    Just because you like bikes doesn't mean you will love a job in the bike industry. It's a business like any other, aimed at getting consumers to spend money and generating profit, and in some cases that might mean cutting corners, using substandard components, hyping products beyond their real worth and so on - perhaps working for a bad bike company will end up destroying your enjoyment of cycling.

    Look for a job that suits you in a number of ways: salary, challenge, opportunities for advancement, location, match to your skills, and match to your interests (one of which is bikes) and so on. Perhaps because you love bikes you will eventually decide you would rather work somewhere where you can bike to work than specifically for a bike company.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by klam View Post
    Ok, just trying to get feedback on some opportunity/dilemma.

    I've been working in the Advertising industry for quite awhile making really good money, but I was lacking job satisfaction.

    I though, since I have such a passion for this sport, why not get into that industry. As I've found out, it is somewhat difficult due to lack of experience.

    I've finally been offered a job as a retail manager at a bike shop. The retail pay is no where near what I was making. In fact, probably 2/3's less without going into detail. Now I'm not sure if I should take the position or not. I've out weighted the pro/cons. It seems money is a factor, as it should be, but also other factors such as benefits, vacation, perks and so on.

    I can't see myself working here forever, but it is a way to get into the industry. What are your thoughts. Should I take it, or continue searching for that ideal job where all my criterias are met. This of course might mean that I may not work in this industry after all.
    If you want to make a sustainable living doing something you like, bike industry is the wrong choice. Especially if you have qualifications that would enable you to be paid much more.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Cycling is a passion, not a career.

  20. #20
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    As a second career; I'd love your job. When you gonna quit.
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  21. #21
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I'd stick with the higher-paying job.

    There are a number of fields that are attractive to a lot of people, don't require formal education, and therefore tend to have very low-paying asects about them. Acting is one. Photography is one. It sounds to me like you're finding a similar effect in the cycling industry.

    We lived in Colorado for several yeras, and one of the sayings I heard there was that you could live in Colorado and not ever be able to afford to go skiing, or you could live in Kansas City and be able to afford going to Colorado to ski.

    I would think that being retail manager in a bicycle store would have more in common with retail selling in general than with bicycling.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  22. #22
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    +1 to what StephenH & others have said. The fact is, many things make for wonderful hobbies but lousy- or at least very low paying- jobs. (Photography being a prime example) It seems to me that you don't really have a plan, just a vague dissatisfaction with your work & the notion that it would probably be fun to work with toys you like- in your case, the bike business. Since you're making good $$, I say: Stick with your current job for now, & you'll be able to afford any bike you want. At vacation time, you can go & ride any *Place* you want. Don't leave a good paying career unless you're able to face the fact that you may never make your current $$ again.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Just because you like bikes doesn't mean you will love a job in the bike industry. It's a business like any other, aimed at getting consumers to spend money and generating profit, and in some cases that might mean cutting corners, using substandard components, hyping products beyond their real worth and so on - perhaps working for a bad bike company will end up destroying your enjoyment of cycling.
    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I'd stick with the higher-paying job.

    There are a number of fields that are attractive to a lot of people, don't require formal education, and therefore tend to have very low-paying asects about them. Acting is one. Photography is one. It sounds to me like you're finding a similar effect in the cycling industry.

    We lived in Colorado for several yeras, and one of the sayings I heard there was that you could live in Colorado and not ever be able to afford to go skiing, or you could live in Kansas City and be able to afford going to Colorado to ski.

    I would think that being retail manager in a bicycle store would have more in common with retail selling in general than with bicycling.
    These posts make some good points.

    What is it you enjoy about bikes? Selling them to others (whether you mean it or not)? Riding them? Other things? Some combination of the above?

    You might be better off earning better money somewhere else, and then riding more.

    Ecotourism has some possibilities and openings, if the activities appeal to you, or if certain activities or certain aspects appeal to you.

    Do you want to be indoors or outdoors? Working with people or with bikes? Or earning money to support free time? Or integrating the two?

    *******
    I knew a guy who was fascinated with bees and beekeeping, and being with the natural environment around them. He did it for a living for a time, and discovered that what he really enjoyed about it was edged out -- most of his time was spent moving hives, taking care of business worries and concerns, maintaining his truck and equipment, being under pressure, etc., scrambling financially and earning very little money.

    There is some kind of illusion that one can fall into here, or some kind of fallacy. It can be very clarifying to know (more specifically) what it is that you love (about bikes)(or in general), and then see if that's what you will actually be doing.

    Another possibility is to widen the field of what you enjoy doing.

    One guy I know leads river trips. At first he didn't like working with groups of people. He wanted to be out on the rivers -- that's what he enjoyed.

    Then he learned how to enjoy being with the people too, and teaching them and helping them; and it solved something for him.

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