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How do you get a job without a car?

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

How do you get a job without a car?

Old 11-19-15, 02:11 PM
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Roody
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How do you get a job without a car?

Mobile155 brought this up in another thread and provided the link. I agreed that it would be a great idea for a thread on this forum. Sometimes it can be a special challenge to find a suitable job when you're carfree. Have you ever had any issues along this line? What advice would you have for carfree job seekers?

| How to Get a Job without a Car ? My Story -
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Old 11-19-15, 02:26 PM
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That was interesting. The biggest negative was that she injured herself riding in winter without adequate preparation, so she should have added that to her recommendations - be sure you are dressed/equipped appropriately for the weather.

Last edited by cooker; 11-19-15 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 11-19-15, 02:28 PM
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Ironically for many of the past 25+ years I've been a professional driver, I've been car free or light
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Old 11-19-15, 02:33 PM
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I work in an office. How I get there, or back home, is none of their damn business.

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Old 11-19-15, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
I work in an office. How I get there, or back home, is none of their damn business.

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Yes, but how you get there is your business. There is probably a limit to how far you would bike for a job.
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Old 11-19-15, 02:59 PM
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I don't think I've been asked about my personal transportation since I was a young punk working minimum wage.
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Old 11-19-15, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I don't think I've been asked about my personal transportation since I was a young punk working minimum wage.
But have you faced other issues while job hunting without a car?

One I can think of is the difficulty of scheduling job interviews without a car. I might be willing to relocate closer to a job--but not until I actually obtain the job.

For example, I work in the only psych unit within 100 miles of my home. I can see moving to Grand Rapids or Detroit if I got a job in a unit there. But how would I get to those interviews that are 100 miles away?
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Old 11-19-15, 03:12 PM
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That severely limits potential job prospects, potential job growth and advancement, and potential income. But there are obviously benefits. I have found that around me, people who are car free or car light do it because their current job allows them to.
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Old 11-19-15, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
But have you faced other issues while job hunting without a car?

One I can think of is the difficulty of scheduling job interviews without a car. I might be willing to relocate closer to a job--but not until I actually obtain the job.

For example, I work in the only psych unit within 100 miles of my home. I can see moving to Grand Rapids or Detroit if I got a job in a unit there. But how would I get to those interviews that are 100 miles away?
No different than someone who isn't car free. No one is driving 200 miles for an interview! At least not a first interview. First round telephone interviews are not uncommon.
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Old 11-19-15, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
How I get there, or back home, is none of their damn business.
Okay, I see where you are coming from.
Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I don't think I've been asked about my personal transportation since I was a young punk working minimum wage.
That is an issue for some people as discussed in other threads - that employers may expect applicants to own a car and you may have to be circumspect about how you handle that on the application form and during the interview. However, I don't think it came up in the article in the OP. She was more concerned, like Roody, about how to handle occasional long-distance trips.

Last edited by cooker; 11-19-15 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 11-19-15, 03:41 PM
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My sister is flying in from Alabama for Thanksgiving and has a job interview lined up in Minneapolis for the Friday after. ...I think she's renting a car though.
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Old 11-19-15, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
No different than someone who isn't car free. No one is driving 200 miles for an interview! At least not a first interview. First round telephone interviews are not uncommon.
If Roody wanted to move to Grand Rapids, and hoped to arrange a job there before he moved, he would probaby be willing to go for an interview, and would need a pragmatic solution for getting there. So that might be a situation where an otherwise car-free person has to use a car.
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Old 11-19-15, 04:52 PM
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The whole article however speaks to why some of us looked into this forum in the first place. How does one deal with the every day tribulations of living in our society.
It seems like when jobs are plentiful it is a lot easier to live car free and can be accomplished by a determined individual as the writer seemed to be. She met and overcame many of the hurdles that others have met and she overcame them.

It it is this type of thing that inspires others into research of the life style, at least people like me. It is far more positive attitude than we hear so often.
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Old 11-19-15, 05:04 PM
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I've been with the same company for 17 years. I wasn't a car-free cyclist way back then when I got this job.
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Old 11-19-15, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
That severely limits potential job prospects, potential job growth and advancement, and potential income. But there are obviously benefits. I have found that around me, people who are car free or car light do it because their current job allows them to.
Yes, in the end she chose a job that couldn't be accessed by bike, and she got a car.
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Old 11-19-15, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I've been with the same company for 17 years. I wasn't a car-free cyclist way back then when I got this job.
Me too (24 years). If I lost my job I might borrow my brother's jeep. He's living in Switzerland and it is parked and driven infrequently. I don't plan to show up for job interviews as a car free freakazoid. I'll wait till I get my foot in the door for that
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Old 11-19-15, 06:51 PM
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Those who are/were in a positon to hire others for their skills in our economy actually exist on BF, we are not unique.

As a senior executive interviewing for positions of responsibility and technical excellence how one proposed to get on-site for working hours never entered into my interview process.
Post hiring one could drop from the heavens in a cloud of radiance, arrive by bus, bike or Porsche as long as they were: On time, attired per corporate standards and ready to work.

What does that mean to the LCF?
Get some Valuable Skills & no one will care how you commute, although your opportunities may be limited by your choice of transportation.
But you already knew that...


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Old 11-19-15, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
For example, I work in the only psych unit within 100 miles of my home. I can see moving to Grand Rapids or Detroit if I got a job in a unit there. But how would I get to those interviews that are 100 miles away?
Sounds like one of the Zen Riddles for Millenials
https://youtu.be/jFzUbgpWNf8?t=55s
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Old 11-19-15, 07:13 PM
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When I was hunting for my current job, I lived in one state, and I was job hunting in another state about 900 km away.

I couldn't afford to fly down for every interview, nor did they expect me to. Instead, I did telephone and Skype interviews. Most of the interviews I had were Skype. Two, I think, were telephone ... and the job I got was with a telephone interview. They were all panel interviews with a minimum of 3 interviewers, and me.

A few of the interviewers inquired where I might choose to live should I get the job and move down. Rowan had briefed me on the suburbs he preferred, and I knew where the jobs were located, so I mentioned I would be looking for a place in the area where the job was located ... I named a suburb or two.

None of the interviewers asked me how I planned to get to work. I've since discovered that my colleagues make use of a good mix of transportation methods including car, bus, bicycle, and walking. So how I get to work is not an issue.

And when I had been hired, all subsequent arrangements were made via email. I didn't actually see any of my new colleagues face to face until my first day of work.
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Old 11-19-15, 07:43 PM
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In the D.C. area, how I would get to work only came up once in a job interview. The company had a number of different sites that had to be worked and my schedule would vary. I told them as long as the site was within ten miles of a Metro station I would bike there and that seemed to please them enough to hire me. In Alabama, I'm pretty sure I lost a job opportunity when I mentioned in the interview that I could bike the mile and a half between home and work everyday. Apparently that was considered abnormal for Birmingham. Right now, I'm debating renting or taking the plunge and buying a car so I can attend an eight week long course thirty five miles away. Mass transit from home to class would be a three hour long, one way trip.
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Old 11-19-15, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Grillparzer View Post
In the D.C. area, how I would get to work only came up once in a job interview. The company had a number of different sites that had to be worked and my schedule would vary. I told them as long as the site was within ten miles of a Metro station I would bike there and that seemed to please them enough to hire me. In Alabama, I'm pretty sure I lost a job opportunity when I mentioned in the interview that I could bike the mile and a half between home and work everyday. Apparently that was considered abnormal for Birmingham. Right now, I'm debating renting or taking the plunge and buying a car so I can attend an eight week long course thirty five miles away. Mass transit from home to class would be a three hour long, one way trip.
Is the course your choice or work related and is there any housing or travel subsidy?
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Old 11-19-15, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I don't plan to show up for job interviews as a car free freakazoid. I'll wait till I get my foot in the door for that
I always wonder how much the stigma is in our own minds. Bike commuting was a lot less common when I started in the early 90s and I worried that people would think it weird, but I got nothing but positive feedback. Its so common for young people in Toronto to bike commute nowadays that I highly doubt many employers are interested. But where it's less common, it might still be viewed with suspicion.
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Old 11-19-15, 09:28 PM
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Care to elaborate? I don't really get the question.

I apply like I would if I were using any other form of transportation. I don't see how the vehicle you use makes a difference, unless you do not own a car, refuse to get a DL, and are applying for a driving job.
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Old 11-19-15, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I always wonder how much the stigma is in our own minds. Bike commuting was a lot less common when I started in the early 90s and I worried that people would think it weird, but I got nothing but positive feedback. Its so common for young people in Toronto to bike commute nowadays that I highly doubt many employers are interested. But where it's less common, it might still be viewed with suspicion.
I started commuting in the bike boom of the 70s. Even back then no one cared how you got to work as long as you got there on time. I can remember riding a Schwinn Varsity to work for years.
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Old 11-19-15, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
I don't see how the vehicle you use makes a difference, unless you do not own a car, refuse to get a DL, and are applying for a driving job.
We've heard in other threads of applicants being asked if they have a car, or application forms that have that as a question, even for non-driving jobs, so those applicants have had to somehow dance around that. However that actually isn't the focus of the OP. The cited author was really discussing how she managed to get to interviews and jobs without a car, not what the employers expectations were.
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