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Re: [CF] Re: general attitude

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  • Tom Keats
    ... Congrats on your new job. I m currently unemployed myself, and using my bike in my job search. Since I live in an urban centre, it s quite easy for me to
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
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      "purple_bovine " wrote:

      > As can be seen from the above, I sold out to the dark side. Which is
      > why I am not bankrupt and not unemployed right now (living in a
      > cardboard box might be ecologically sound, but I think it's a little
      > drafty). The job I eventually found (3 weeks later) is reachable by
      > public transit, so I am, once again, leaving the monster in the
      > driveway more often than not (and when not, employing it only to get
      > to the train station and taking the train the rest of the way). I
      > feel guilty about having acquired said monster, but break my head as
      > I may, I have no idea how on Earth I could have remained solvent
      > without it over my period of unemployment. Any ideas, for future
      > unemployment?

      Congrats on your new job. I'm currently unemployed myself, and using
      my bike in my job search. Since I live in an urban centre, it's
      quite easy for me to remain carless, as I don't really have to travel
      great distances. I also reside at one of the highest elevations in
      the city, so most destinations are an easy, downhill coast. The trip
      back home is where I might work up a bit of a sweat.

      I'm not bragging; I just consider myself fortunate, and hope at least
      some folks might be able to glean something for themselves from my
      own experience. My intent is only to contribute something toward
      dealing with the /practicalities/ of job searching by bike -- not
      condescension or brow-beating. And I understand that some folks just
      don't [currently] have the same cycling advantages as myself.

      My biggest concern with bicycle-facilitated job searching is
      clothing -- I'm just looking primarily for a small warehouse/stockroom
      position, so the old "dress one step above that required for the
      position applied for" advice is do-able for me. Rather than riding
      in "good" clothes to interviews, I just roll up a nice shirt and
      pair of trousers, pack them with me, and slip them over the bikewear
      in which I ride, before going in for the interview. It's nice to be
      able to slip into a washroom to freshen up a bit beforehand, too.
      Alcohol wipes can be a Godsend. Especially if your chain falls off
      while en-route. You can make your own alcohol wipes with some
      paper towels and a dollop of isopropyl alcohol, in a zip-lock baggie.

      I've got an inexpensive cordura briefcase, which I bought at some
      office supply company like Staples or Office Depot. It keeps my
      resumes, cover letters and other documents dry, flat and fresh.
      It has pleated sides & bottom, so it expands enough to stuff
      other odds 'n ends in there too, like battery bike-lights, etc.
      I just toss it in the milk crate on my rear rack. It's a very
      useful item.

      I live in Vancouver BC, where rain is rather frequent. So I use
      a rain-proof helmet cover, and a cycling-specific rain cape. It's
      quite cool since it's so loose-fitting, and it's dry -- especially
      with an application of ScotchGard. Full mudguards/fenders are a
      must here. Long hair doesn't fair very well under a helmet cover,
      but short hair doesn't pose much of a problem. The disadvantages of
      the rain cape are: can't signal turns, and it slows one down in
      headwinds. My old Union generator and lights really help for
      visibility in dismal daytime weather, without having to fuss with

      My job-searching approach partly involves riding around the industrial
      and commercial areas around town, looking for prospective places, and
      noting their addresses. I then look up their phone numbers, call, and
      ask for the name of whomever is in charge of hiring. Then I call that
      person, and try to arrange a personal interview (if they're not hiring,
      it doesn't hurt to ask if they know of anybody who is). I also ride to
      various employment resource centres in town, where I can access the
      government-provided, on-line Job Bank, print out copies of my resume,
      send faxes, etc.

      So, what works for me is:

      -> living in the heart of a mild-climate city where employment and
      job-search resources are readily available within short distances

      -> residing at a high elevation, in the geographic centre of town,
      so outgoing rides are easy

      -> being prepared for the elements

      -> not looking for a suit-&-tie job

      -> living amidst a vibrant local BikeCulture, with a cycling-encouraging
      City Council, and good (& improving) municipal cycling infrastructure

      -> just plain liking to ride

      -> not even knowing *how* to drive a car, and being totally disgusted
      with the local (poor) public transit service ;-)

      I realize all this isn't applicable to everybody, but to those for whom
      it is -- yes, it *can be* very possible -- even convenient -- to carry
      out a bike-borne job search. I guess I'm so blessed, I'd be remiss /not/
      to avail myself of the opportunity to do so. It's rather the opposite
      of making sacrifices.


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