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How do you get a job without a car?

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How do you get a job without a car?

Old 11-19-15, 09:49 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
attired per corporate standards
Do you think the clothing standards were at all a barrier for cycling? I think mobile 155 may have mentioned that as an issue for him at some point. Were there shower or change facilities for example?
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Old 11-19-15, 10:00 PM
  #27  
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One job I got ... and I actually remained with them for 8 years ...

I had mailed in my application but had pretty much given up on them when I suddenly got a phone call ... could I come in for an interview next Tuesday (or whatever day it was).

No problem.

At the time, my former husband used our car for courier work, so I was on my own. I checked bus schedules and discovered that I could get a bus close to the place, but still about 1 km away. So there would be some walking involved.

That was OK until the night before and morning of the interview. It was January, and it snowed. Heavily! I knew that the 1 km walk had no sidewalks, and it was touch and go whether they would have ploughed the road given that the snow was still falling and the road wasn't a main one.

So I donned my interview outfit and my heavy Sorel boots, popped my dress shoes in a bag, and went. They had not ploughed the road, and it was tough slogging!! However, I arrived early, tidied myself up, and carried the boots into the interview.

Of course that raised questions. How had I travelled to the interview? Bus + walk. Oh, how resourceful ... given that half the staff hadn't made it in because they were faced with the prospect of driving in all that snow. Could I drive on the chance that it might be required as part of the job? Yup!

And I got the job.

I cycled there most of the time, walked occasionally, and took the bus a few times in winter when the conditions were particularly bad.
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Old 11-20-15, 12:15 AM
  #28  
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I was told about an orchard job, and rocked up on my bike. I didn't have a car. I met the farm manager, had a chat, and he asked me to start the following Monday. My means of transport to and from work wasn't an issue... there was accommodation on the property! Free!

I stayed there for a couple of years until I left to visit Canada for six months. I got my old job back when I returned, but arrange to live elsewhere, still commuting by bike every day, because I was still free of car ownership.

My only means of transport was bike, or public transport, when I worked in a professional cycling advocacy position. And I commuted by bike when I ran my small bike tours business. And the newspaper where I worked as a sub-editor when I first took up cycling after my car was towed away from home, didn't care how I got to and from work, just so long as I turned up on time each afternoon.

My current job is in orchards again, but I live quite a distance away, and the terrain is very hilly, enough so that I am not confident at this stage of commuting and working a full, physical day of labour without something breaking. So I use motorised transport.

The commute is, however, partly car-free -- I am a walk-on passenger on a ferry that takes me to and from the island where my work is located. In total, from door to door, my commute is around 50 minutes (the ferry trip is 20 minutes of that), and cycling would add at least another 20 minutes each way.
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Old 11-20-15, 12:33 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Is the course your choice or work related and is there any housing or travel subsidy?
My choice. I'm trying to develop other career options.
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Old 11-20-15, 01:16 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Grillparzer View Post
My choice. I'm trying to develop other career options.
Good for you!
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Old 11-20-15, 03:46 AM
  #31  
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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.
With computers, Skype is available for "face-to-face" without being there.

I do just about all my hiring for the orchard over the phone. How the people get there is their business, just so long as they are on time and ready to work, I am happy. And trust me, I wonder sometimes how some of the backpackers make it with their old banger cars.

In all the office job interviews I have had, my mode of transport to and from work has never been discussed. Even when I worked as a media manager for an international motor sport event (before I lived for a decade without owning a motor vehicle).

Of course, getting to a job interview 200 miles away requires some strategic transportational planning, at which, I would have thought, people who are free of car ownership should be adept. Taxi? Bus? Train? Hitch hike? Rent a car? Con a friend into giving you a lift? Ride your bicycle???

By the way RPK, what makes you think aren't a punk still?
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Old 11-20-15, 06:18 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
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.
The forms I filled out for my present near-minimum-wage job included a section where I had to state that I had dependable transportation that did not depend on the bus. It implied, but did not state a car. But with nearly 40 years experience of bicycle commuting, I felt confident that my bicycle commuting met the criteria. Now that I've shown my employer that I can arrive reliably on time in all forms of weather, my bike is a non-issue. Admittedly, there were a few times when conditions were bad enough that I walked to work. but that too is reliable transportation, even if it takes hours to travel.

In interviews that I've had to travel significant distance for, I've taken the bus or rented a car. But even for a closer interview, I've ridden through a snow storm and changed into a suit and tie when I arrived, but before going into the office.
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Old 11-20-15, 07:23 AM
  #33  
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Seems obvious that most bike commuters don't work in construction or live in rural areas.

Try hauling 50 lbs of tools and an acetelyne tank on a bike (I worked in plumbing)

Also, a hard hat doesn't substitute for a bike helmet...










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Old 11-20-15, 07:31 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Rcrxjlb View Post
Seems obvious that most bike commuters don't ... live in rural areas.
Well actually ... read both of Rowan's posts above (28 and 31).
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Old 11-20-15, 08:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Do you think the clothing standards were at all a barrier for cycling? Were there shower or change facilities for example?
With the adoption of "business casual" as the corporate standard proper attire was way easier to maintain than dealing with coat & tie daily for men.
If being ready to work in clean neat shirt/blouse & slacks/skirt was a "barrier" the bar was pretty low.

We didn't have shower facilities at the last HQ but there was a fitness club adjacent that we had membership discounts with as part of our heath & wellness program.
Lots of us used it.

Those who arrived on two wheels could change from motorcycle/bicycle kit in the washroom.
We had a project manager who arrived via Road Glide and transformed from full leathers/biker kit to corporate attire daily.

It takes all kinds.

-Bandera
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Old 11-20-15, 09:03 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Rcrxjlb View Post
Also, a hard hat doesn't substitute for a bike helmet...

It's likely most or all of those guys were car-free.
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Old 11-20-15, 09:05 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Rcrxjlb View Post
Seems obvious that most bike commuters don't work in construction or live in rural areas.

Try hauling 50 lbs of tools and an acetelyne tank on a bike (I worked in plumbing)

Also, a hard hat doesn't substitute for a bike helmet...
It should also be obvious that there may be totally different transportation requirements for taking a job interview than actually working at many different types of jobs or crafts (for example frequently reporting to different work sites located at different locations for repair/construction craft-work, inspections, training, supervision, etc., sometimes daily, sometimes with tools or heavy equipment.)

Not every job is located in one permanent location, forever. Nor is every jobsite and residence convenient to a subway line.
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Old 11-20-15, 10:14 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
No one is driving 200 miles for an interview! At least not a first interview. First round telephone interviews are not uncommon.
I have driven further than that for interviews, and more than once. My current job I got through a phone interview.

Currently I get to work on my (recently finished) e-bike.
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Old 11-20-15, 11:43 AM
  #39  
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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.
As coker also pointed out, you have to be sensitive to the norms where the job is located. There are lots of non-car commuters in D.C., not so many in Alabama.

As for the eight week course--rental might be an option. If it comes down to buying a car, paying cash for an older model used car might be the answer, then sell the car after you complete the course. You should get most of your money back, minus registration and insurance fees. This might be long-run cheaper than renting, although you would need a big chunk of capital to get the car. Also, committing to a long car note seems like a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Have you looked into interurban bus service (like Greyhound) as well as city buses?
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Old 11-20-15, 11:47 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
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.
It sounds like you've mastered the situation so completely that it's not an issue to you like it would be for less experienced carfree people. Maybe you have some suggestions about how you would manage a job search without using a car?
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Old 11-20-15, 01:32 PM
  #41  
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Ah, I've never run into that situation. I get asked if I have reliable transportation, I say yes, that's that.
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Old 11-20-15, 01:46 PM
  #42  
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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.
"Stigma" might not quite exist and it's still an issue. You're suspicious, particularly if you choose not to own a car at all and you commute a good distance with poor bicycle infrastructure. Why? Are you trying to prove something by being car free against all odds? What are you really thinking. Job interviews are as much about connecting on a personal level as they are about qualifying. More so for many jobs, where your skill set and previous performance are verified before the interview.

Around here, you're either a good ol boy or your not. These things may not be deal breakers at all. But if it's a competitive market and you're on a list of the top three, now you might just not make it because of personality, lifestyle, etc without people even being aware of that influence.
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Old 11-20-15, 02:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
Ah, I've never run into that situation. I get asked if I have reliable transportation, I say yes, that's that.
Of course, that's that; unless the employee's "reliable transportation" cannot reliably deliver him/her on-time to different/various job site location(s) than the job interview.
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Old 11-20-15, 03:13 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Rcrxjlb View Post
Seems obvious that most bike commuters don't work in construction or live in rural areas.

Try hauling 50 lbs of tools and an acetelyne tank on a bike (I worked in plumbing)

Also, a hard hat doesn't substitute for a bike helmet...












100% true, at least in my 40+ years probably over 600 jobs in heavy construction not one person ever showed up on a bike... I actually thought of doing that a few times and did ride my bike to the job site to test out the feasibility of me riding to work and time wise it would have worked on some jobs but then I thought of the trip home after a 10 or 12 Hr day (normally on most jobs), still would have worked... But then I thought of the ride home after another 2 or 4 Hrs+ of overtime which was common and expected... So, no, I never rode my bike to work...
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Old 11-20-15, 03:32 PM
  #45  
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Twice as an adult (nearly 50 in fact) I've been in the situation of getting a job without a car. The first I just selected and ranked according to nearness since which job didn't matter. The second I had enough confidence that I didn't care where. I rode my bike to the interviews and told the interviewer that I rode further than the commute every day anyway, and that went over well.
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Old 11-20-15, 05:54 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
100% true, at least in my 40+ years probably over 600 jobs in heavy construction not one person ever showed up on a bike...
Your experience is probably not that unusual. Maybe these folks have figured out what type of personal transportation methods best suits their needs for economic, philosophical, and/or pragmatic reasons. Just like car free people!
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Old 11-21-15, 06:02 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Your experience is probably not that unusual. Maybe these folks have figured out what type of personal transportation methods best suits their needs for economic, philosophical, and/or pragmatic reasons. Just like car free people!
What's your point? That car free does not work for everybody? Wow. Who would have thunk it?

Maybe that qualifies as "figuring" to you. When you adopt the same practices as everybody else in the observable universe there's not necessarily a lot of brain power involved. Doesn't seem like a meaty subject for the LCF forum.

Of course people that have jobs that require hauling heavy equipment will rarely if ever attempt that with a bicycle. Is that surprising to you? Does that say much about other people that do not have to haul heavy equipment?

Maybe for those people a car free life will work just fine. Maybe some will in fact choose to avoid jobs that require hauling heavy equipment or going to distant work sites, at least in part because it means they don't have to own/maintain a car?
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Old 11-21-15, 07:05 AM
  #48  
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What's this thread about?
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Old 11-21-15, 07:07 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
What's this thread about?
Skype.
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Old 11-21-15, 08:54 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
What's this thread about?
Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
What's your point? That car free does not work for everybody? Wow. Who would have thunk it?
You are right some people do not seem to have thunk much about it all. Applying for a job, and performing/keeping it are different subjects often with different requirements and quite possibly require totally means of transportation. It is good to not get these tasks confused.

Simplistic recommendations/advice for getting to or phoning in a job interview are not necessarily applicable at all for keeping, performing or advancing in many if not most job positions.

My advice for job seekers would be to also think beyond the initial job interview and figure out if you have the tools and/or willingness to acquire the tools (to include transportation) that may be necessary to satisfactorily perform the job. A bicycle or bus pass may be all the transportation that is necessary to hold some jobs, maybe even advance in them; maybe not.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 11-21-15 at 09:01 AM.
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