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Old 02-07-19, 10:56 AM
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Wow these really are some great suggestions, I think I'll aim a little smaller for now but thanks I'm going to start applying everywhere I can once I hand in my notice at my current place. Thanks for the replies everyone!
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Old 02-07-19, 01:25 PM
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If I may interject a here, start the job search before you hand in termination notice. May take a while to find something viable that matches your goals.
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Old 02-07-19, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
although you disliked auto work in your limited time in that shop, , at a dealership you stand a better chance of a good wage and a retirement plan..

lots of people do less than their dream job, to feed their families..
....
You can say that again. At this point, I'm tired of being a college professor. I'm looking forward to giving this up and working in a bike shop...probably just a year or two after my own kid graduates from college. Minimum wage sounds fine, as it generally means that I won't have to take my work home with me at night.
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Old 02-07-19, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
If I may interject a here, start the job search before you hand in termination notice. May take a while to find something viable that matches your goals.
This. And depending on your cash flow, I would do more than "start" the job search; I would hold off on the notice until a new position is secured. I almost made such a mistake 20+ years ago; had something lined up and a start date "set", was about to draft my resignation letter, and the person signing the final paperwork at the new place took sick. Delayed the start date by over a month. If I had quit the previous job when I first expected, I would have had zero income for a month.

As for what "milieu", seems like every mechanically-oriented occupation is male-dominated. Just that some seem to have more... er... unfriendly work environments than others. I would reckon that of all your options, a bike shop or other outdoor equipment oriented place would have a more open-minded environment.
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Old 02-07-19, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
You can say that again. At this point, I'm tired of being a college professor. I'm looking forward to giving this up and working in a bike shop...probably just a year or two after my own kid graduates from college. Minimum wage sounds fine, as it generally means that I won't have to take my work home with me at night.
Not so sure about this. When I was younger (and during my shop ownership) I either stayed at work long after closing getting stuff done or did bring certain jobs home (wheels often). Not every day or most of the time but during the height of the season enough to rob me from a lot of life that I saw my friends who worked other types of jobs lived. Then there's the aspect of when you show up on a group ride and there's a problem with someone's bike and they all turn and look at you... So closing time isn't really stopping time often enough. Andy
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Old 02-08-19, 06:07 AM
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Well get relevant experience and them go for it ..!!
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Old 02-08-19, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
You can say that again. At this point, I'm tired of being a college professor. I'm looking forward to giving this up and working in a bike shop...probably just a year or two after my own kid graduates from college. Minimum wage sounds fine, as it generally means that I won't have to take my work home with me at night.
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Not so sure about this. When I was younger (and during my shop ownership) I either stayed at work long after closing getting stuff done or did bring certain jobs home (wheels often). Not every day or most of the time but during the height of the season enough to rob me from a lot of life that I saw my friends who worked other types of jobs lived. Then there's the aspect of when you show up on a group ride and there's a problem with someone's bike and they all turn and look at you... So closing time isn't really stopping time often enough. Andy
Oh, I have no interest in owning a shop, nor even working in one FT. If the job significantly cut into my leisure time, I would quit. For me, it would just be an opportunity to get out and be around other people a bit during retirement.
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Old 02-08-19, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Not so sure about this. When I was younger (and during my shop ownership) I either stayed at work long after closing getting stuff done or did bring certain jobs home (wheels often). Not every day or most of the time but during the height of the season enough to rob me from a lot of life that I saw my friends who worked other types of jobs lived. Then there's the aspect of when you show up on a group ride and there's a problem with someone's bike and they all turn and look at you... So closing time isn't really stopping time often enough. Andy
Yeah. The last shop I worked in dealt mainly in high end road bikes where the technology is changing at a blistering pace. Encountering something new was almost a daily occurrence, so after hours was research time.
Of course, now we have the internet which puts the info at our finger tips.
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Old 02-08-19, 10:04 AM
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Every industry has an ugly underbelly. You see it in the car mechanic industry, and if you don't see it in the bike industry, it might be that you haven't been exposed to it yet. On the other hand, some underbellies are more "palatable" than others, and for all we know, you'll love working in bikes. But by objective criteria, it's hard to be happy in the bike biz long term, because of all the trades that use manual labor, the bike trade pays far less than all the others, by a lot. That may not matter now, but it is likely to matter later. As you get older, you want more in life, like a stable and roomy home, a spouse, and kids, and retirement savings. The lack of pay may not be offset by the other aspects of the job.

But I'm not saying don't do it. It could lead somewhere. Not just owning a bike shop, but the lessons you learn may be applicable in your next moves. And you could have a good time doing it. I started as a shop mechanic in my senior year in high school. I worked in bike shops for years while I was in college. The pay was low, but it was higher than my peers were getting in other industries, so I was actually ahead. I did eventually leave the industry for my career, and I have no regrets about taking the path I took. There have been a few dry patches in my current career as an IT professional, and in some of them, I took some part time work at a bike shop. Compared with the salary I'm used to, the wages felt like I was working for free, but it kept me busy, and I felt like I was doing useful stuff, so that was nice.
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Old 02-10-19, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Every industry has an ugly underbelly. You see it in the car mechanic industry, and if you don't see it in the bike industry, it might be that you haven't been exposed to it yet. On the other hand, some underbellies are more "palatable" than others, and for all we know, you'll love working in bikes. But by objective criteria, it's hard to be happy in the bike biz long term, because of all the trades that use manual labor, the bike trade pays far less than all the others, by a lot. That may not matter now, but it is likely to matter later. As you get older, you want more in life, like a stable and roomy home, a spouse, and kids, and retirement savings. The lack of pay may not be offset by the other aspects of the job.

But I'm not saying don't do it. It could lead somewhere. Not just owning a bike shop, but the lessons you learn may be applicable in your next moves. And you could have a good time doing it. I started as a shop mechanic in my senior year in high school. I worked in bike shops for years while I was in college. The pay was low, but it was higher than my peers were getting in other industries, so I was actually ahead. I did eventually leave the industry for my career, and I have no regrets about taking the path I took. There have been a few dry patches in my current career as an IT professional, and in some of them, I took some part time work at a bike shop. Compared with the salary I'm used to, the wages felt like I was working for free, but it kept me busy, and I felt like I was doing useful stuff, so that was nice.
Tom, you have such a nice way of saying "Sure, go for it. Working in a bike shop will make you appreciate your next job that much more."
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Old 02-10-19, 04:19 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by coffinjewel
Hi hi! hopefully someone can give me some advice,
I hope im not making this thread in the wrong place. I've been in automotive mechanics and fabrication for 3+ years (unliscensed mind you) and I absolutely hate it! The entire trade is awful to me. I've really been passionate about building bikes since I restored one for my partner ages ago and put together a few other projects. I'd really love to be a bike mechanic and possibly progress into frame building in the future. My question is will a shop see my experience as an asset when applying or should I try and get some other relevent experience first? How picky are shops about the experience of their mechanics? Is there a sure way to look good on a resumé?*
If it's not too indescrete to ask: what is it exactly you don't like about your current job? All the things you don't like and why?
There's also a difference between a job and a career - apologies if I'm stating the obvious.

As for bicycle mechanics: it's a lovely job that doesn't pay well, at least based on my knowledge and experience. However, we aren't all the same. For others it might not be a nice job. While for some that pay could be considered OK. Wrote in a lot more detail here, "inspired" by this thread:

https://bike.bikegremlin.com/7340/mechanic/
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Old 02-10-19, 02:03 PM
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One other thing is you are busiest in the best weather, so you own vacation time will be in the winter... when the weather is not so great..
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Old 02-10-19, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar
. . . If it's not too indescrete to ask: what is it exactly you don't like about your current job? All the things you don't like and why? . . .
Originally Posted by coffinjewel
. . . This thread isn't about how much i hate my job i included that info to stop people from asking why I would step backwards. . .
In other words: "Don't challenge my assumptions and just tell me what I want to hear."
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Old 02-10-19, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
Turn a hobby into a career and you usually end up ruining a good hobby.
Looking at it from another angle: you don't (really) work a single day in your life.
The jobs I do - I'd really do them for free if I had a monthly income source whether I work anything, or not. Most probably do it full time too - work is one of the things I find fulfilling and making me happy.
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Old 02-10-19, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
The first bike shop I worked in was Alameda Bicycles in Alameda, CA. That was 1982. Since then I have worked in several others and still doing it on a as need basis. Managed a shop, wrenched, sales, etc. As a manager I hired any girl that came in looking for a job. Each and everyone of them was a success. The problem was they only stuck around for a few seasons as the money was not enough to keep them interested. Such a shame as they were all so very talented and really great for moral.
Were women ever near half of the employees? Asking because I've had a chance to work in 100% male, 90% female collectives and various combos in between. At least in my culture - having a majority of women at work sucks - all sorts of gossip, inter-personal stuff etc. comes flying more often than not. 100% men is a lot better compared to that. Best ratio being some 1/3 to 1/2 women: better atmosphere, but also a good ballance.

There's another perspective, again could be a culture thing: women (here) usually put more effort for the family and kids than men. That is: you can expect most female employees to get pregnant (2-3 kids mostly) - which will leave you without those workers for a full year usually, with each kid. Also: when kids are sick, it's women who take days of for care (99% of the time), not the men. It means they're more normal I'd say: kids being a lot more important than any career, but from an employer's point of view: it can be a problem. A friend has a small company, growing, has a few of them working long hours and he said he doesn't hire women - for the reasons explained in this paragraph. Taxes, customers: they don't care about your family, it boils down to doing the work and paying all the expenses (the "beauty" of "free" capitalism).

Mechanics related: very few women I've ever met were inclined towards fixing/repairing any kind of machines/appliances. Don't know (of) a single female mechanic in my city. They usually do sales in bike shops - and those working are very good at it, both in terms of working with them and coming as a customer.

Having said all this: would I hire a female mechanic? Yes, any day. Would give them "preference/advantage" over a similarly qualified male mechanic - at least up to 1/4 of the employees.
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Old 02-11-19, 03:48 PM
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There's nothing "normal" about putting work before family. And an employer is taking a big risk employing men over women thinking faimily leave will be less of an issue. Our dept. (IT) has its share of family leave. Women sometimes take more time than men, but I don't know of any new new fathers who didn't take family leave after the birth. A few years ago, we had three new fathers resign to become full-time dads after their kids were born, because their wives had better jobs. In almost 20 years here, I think that's happened ONCE with a new mom.

'Course, this may all be irrelevant to the OP. In any event, it's illegal to discriminate in hiring on the basis of family leave.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
There's nothing "normal" about putting work before family.
It's usually: man works more, woman cares for the kids. Most well paid jobs in my country require full commitment. Unfortunately.

Originally Posted by madpogue
And an employer is taking a big risk employing men over women thinking faimily leave will be less of an issue. Our dept. (IT) has its share of family leave. Women sometimes take more time than men, but I don't know of any new new fathers who didn't take family leave after the birth.
Here it's seldom the case. Men take about a week or so, but it's women who usually don't work in late pregnancy and until a kid is 6 months old. It's normal, good, but with economy crisis - not many employers can afford that - very cruel world.

Originally Posted by madpogue
A few years ago, we had three new fathers resign to become full-time dads after their kids were born, because their wives had better jobs. In almost 20 years here, I think that's happened ONCE with a new mom.

'Course, this may all be irrelevant to the OP. In any event, it's illegal to discriminate in hiring on the basis of family leave.
Yes, it's illegal here too, but no one tells you why you didn't get the job. Very tough and cruel.
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Old 02-12-19, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork
What do you hate about automotive mechanics and fabrication? You might find many of the same things in bike wrenching.
You must first answer this question. You can't mover forward until you know where you stand. This should be a list of at least three comprehensive answers.
Originally Posted by fietsbob
although you disliked auto work in your limited time in that shop, , at a dealership you stand a better chance of a good wage and a retirement plan..

lots of people do less than their dream job, to feed their families..






....
Bad answer. Always encourage others to move forward, not remain stagnant.
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Old 12-21-20, 10:01 PM
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Generally speaking, bike shops are able to accept items from online retailers. Even if they did not make a profit from selling the bike, $50-100 in labor for constructing the bike will still be picked up by the store.
As for the people who are walking in a beach cruiser department store and one of those 49cc engine kids on the internet, Fahad Entrepreneur are pretty quick to show them the entrance. No bike store that I know of is able to touch them. There are surprisingly many bikes that are just ridden until they break with no sign of care or cleaning. Although, that makes it extra goodie when "that cool dude" brings in his epic cinelli build

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Old 12-23-20, 09:21 AM
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I wish you the best in your vocational endeavors. In my 45 years of wage-earning in mostly automotive related work, eight years in aviation mechanics, my four year stint at a bike shop (while attending college) was the most satisfying experience of all. I still work on my friends and families’ bikes and enjoy working on higher end bikes more than the department store variety. I’m within four years of retirement and once that day comes, bike building is a definite option for me.

As for gender issues, I see no issue. Mechanical aptitude is gender-blind. Aptitude and experience combined is a force multiplier. Culture is more than likely the larger reason there are no more female mechanics than we see now. The successful good mechanics I know have excelled because they’re teachable and open minded and disciplined—double check everything, have high work quality standards. A highly creative person reaching expert level will innovate and find great satisfaction in doing so.

Best wishes for the new year!

p.s. you may find some philosophical support for your attraction to the cycling industry in Matthew Crawford’s “Shop Class as Soulcraft”.

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Old 12-23-20, 07:55 PM
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I’m more intrigued about the OP’s ‘unlicensed’ fabrication capabilities. Frankly I think that is far more interesting than just working as a bike shop mechanic. For example- if you specialize in lengthening steerer tubes- I think there is a demand for that. Same with threading steerer tubes. Fabricating/ welding decaleur to stem. Shortening crank-arms; shortening lever reach by relocating pivot points; Fabricating light mounts to replace the constantly slipping rubber band clamps. Custom shifter mounts for handlebars.
Another area of fabrication is to take inspiration from the ski industry- there in an entire cottage industry devoted to making your ski boots fit your feet. I see a parallel need in the bike industry- customising cleats, customising shoes with shoe wedges, stretching narrow shoes ( bike shoes are all made for stick figures), foot beds, relieving hot spots, filling in the heel cup to improve heel retention, changing q-factor. We are an aging population- there will be more and more demand for this sort of service. Somebody with the skills and vision needs to blaze the path.
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Old 12-25-20, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by coffinjewel
Judging by the replies on this thread it's all the same attitude lol "the job sucks, it doesnt pay enough I deserve more and the end goal is owning my own buisness becuase I'm much smarter than everyone I've ever worked for"
Dude, you make this post #6 when half of the preceding posts were made by you?

You asked people what they think, have the good graces to thank them instead of insulting them for taking the time to answer your request.
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Old 12-25-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
Dude, you make this post #6 when half of the preceding posts were made by you?

You asked people what they think, have the good graces to thank them instead of insulting them for taking the time to answer your request.

Just a point of information
That reply by coffinjewel was almost two years ago and he hasn't posted in any other thread for about 7 months, might be gone
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Old 12-25-20, 02:18 PM
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Zombie thread, folks. OP hasn't visited for quite a while. Feel free to discuss at length.
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