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Job and Bike-commute (or commute in general)

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Job and Bike-commute (or commute in general)

Old 06-02-08, 04:44 PM
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chuyim
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Job and Bike-commute (or commute in general)

I rediscoverd "bike-commuting" about a year ago after I purchased a condo in the same town where my company is. It's a perfect 5-mile bike ride on my 20" folder with options to go semi-city roads or along the coast. I am loving it. On snowy or rainy days, the subway station is just down the street. So far my husband and I survive really well on just owning 1 car (hubby's commute is a 20-mile bike-unfriendly journey).

So now this recruiter has hooked me up with an interview with a company that is 34 miles away on the other side of the Greater Boston Area, that is a good 50-minute car-ride on pretty straight forward highway with normal traffic, let alone daily highway accidents. There are no easy alternative roads and public transportation is not accessible.

Pros for new company: potentially nice new culture

Cons for going w/ new company:
gas price is at $4.00/gallon and will continue to go up
2-3 hours on the road daily w/ traffic is major set back of quality of life
can't bike commute, so need to buy another car

In the past I always moved with jobs but now I've got a house of my own, moving is not an option. So I am thinking, unless the job is paid at least 20K-30K more, what's the point? I am contemplating whether to go for the interview or not

I know this topic's been discussed before and at the time most reponses seemed indifferent, I wonder if ppl's opinion has changed in light of gas price and economy ressession.
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Old 06-02-08, 04:56 PM
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heywood
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With gas prices high or low it is still more time and the slow accumulation of less exercise on your body, I wouldn't go for this job. What's your quality time worth and how much is your health worth..i'm assuming it's alot more than an extra 20k-30k. Now if more people decided not to work due to travel time I think more companies would locate themselves in more logical locations..
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Old 06-02-08, 04:58 PM
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It sounds like you don't want to work at the new place.

I used to live on the other side of Portland from where I work. The drive was killing me (probably literally), so I started taking mass transit. I really liked the reading time this gave me, and I generally like public transit, but the extra two-three hours a day away from my family made it bad enough that we sold the house and moved across town, within 5 miles of my workplace. That was really, really nice. Eventually we bought a house 11 miles from where I work. It's not as nice as living within 5 miles, but it's OK. Since I've started biking to work, I like the distance.
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Old 06-02-08, 05:03 PM
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Andy_K, I bet you must love your job - relocating for jobs requires a great deal of confidence and courage. It's easier when one's renting, not when one's owning. We just bought our home a year ago, have just done loads around the house, bit early to give it up.
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Old 06-02-08, 05:16 PM
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heywood - you are right, health is more important, especially mental health nowadays. Quality of life is hard to put into money terms, even if put into money terms, it won't be linear, it will be a near-exponential relationship. Think I am going to put faith in people and wait for the revolution to happen :-)
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Old 06-02-08, 05:20 PM
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Perfect example of one of the problems home ownership brings.
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Old 06-02-08, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Perfect example of one of the problems home ownership brings.
I've turned down a few good offers because of it.
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Old 06-02-08, 05:28 PM
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chuyim: I would probably not take the job. The travel time/aggro is not worth it, unless, like you said, it's $20k extra. I would still take the interview, as I don't believe in turning down a job before it's offered.

I live in NY and could move further away from my work to save a lot of $$$ in rent, but I just can't trade the money for more time in the car, and it'd be a bit far for bike commuting (25mi each way). Right now I live 12mi from work by bike, and it's a perfect distance.

Is it possible to take a T or bus and then bike a reasonable distance from there?

Good luck!
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Old 06-02-08, 06:34 PM
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My general rule for life: never close doors prematurely.

Take the interview opportunity. Use that opportunity to answer all the relevent questions about the type of work you will be doing and the pay and all that. You can always turn down the offer after it becomes an actual offer.

I'd never turn down good work on account of my method to get to work. Line up the problems and solve them in line. The cost of gas, while getting more expensive, is still not terribly expensive if you put the costs on an accounting sheet. If the job and pay is good, you can then go about minimizing the cost (in time and money) of the commute.

Overall, you are doing the right thing in counting in the cost of the commute in with the cost of living. If the jobs are equivilantly satisfying, then it would have to pay more to make up for the commute expense. If they really want you, then you can use that commute cost as a bargaining tool when discussing the pay.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:35 PM
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Brian - yeah, just enough to make me go. I think I've been getting too lazy and comfortable at my current job anyway, the commute easily throws off the decision making. Right! I will go for the interview and use it to polish my job-hunting skills. Interview now and bargain later.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by chuyim View Post
In the past I always moved with jobs but now I've got a house of my own, moving is not an option.
Why not? You can sell your house, you know, and buy another one. People do it, like, all the time. I mean, there could be tons of reasons why you don't want to move, but it IS an option.

So I am thinking, unless the job is paid at least 20K-30K more, what's the point? I am contemplating whether to go for the interview or not
Do you know how much it's going to pay? Will it be more, or no?
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Old 06-23-08, 08:37 PM
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Ok, the job offer is on its way, haven't seen it yet, but the recruiter said so. As I went further into the interview, my gut has been feeling stronger and stronger about not wanting to commute. That, along with the lack of confidence in the new company's long term financial situation and current leadership (people and culture are really good though), really plays the devil's advocate (depending on how one looks at devil). My 2nd interview was scheduled for 9:30 am, took me almost 1 and 1/2 hour to drive there. Professor Daniel Gilbert from Havard said "Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day."
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