Monday, February 2, 2015

In Transition

Some of you know this already: today I am out of a job. My employer eliminated 13 positions as part of a corporate reorganization and now, after more than 19 years with the same company, I am scrambling to find new employment. I have known this day was coming for almost 3 weeks, so the job hunt is already in progress but so far it has yielded nothing.

It would be hard to overstate the seriousness of the situation. I have a wife, two kids, a mortgage and a car loan. I need an income, plus medical and dental insurance coverage. My existing insurance coverage will continue through the end of this month and there should be enough money to last through the summer, but after that I will be in desperate straits if I have not found a new job.

I have resigned myself to a big pay cut, little or no vacation, and a return to commuting after four years of working from home. By most measures, whatever comes next won’t be able to match what came before. I will seek comfort in the intangibles. I liked my income and benefits but I did not like the work itself. Maybe my new job will be more fun and interesting.

Obviously, it remains to be seen what all of the changes will mean for my cycling ambitions. If I have to abandon my racing plans to accommodate my new work schedule—or simply because I can’t afford the entry fees—then that’s my new reality. But no job will get all 24 hours of my day. There will be time in my life for cycling … maybe not the 337 hours, 16 minutes and 12 seconds that my Garmin recorded in 2014, the equivalent of more than 42 work days, but some time. This is one of those moments when cycling, no matter how much I love it, is proved to be just a hobby. Unless …

What if I could find a job that would capitalize on my love for cycling? It takes people to manage bike shops, to represent the manufacturers, to write for cycling publications, to organize racing associations and events, and so on. Why not me? I combine knowledge of and passion for cycling with a successful work history that includes journalism, sales, and no small amount of computer expertise. Some people would caution me that work is work and play is play and those things are fundamentally different. I get it. No doubt, there are people in the cycling industry who have plenty of knowledge and passion but whose business acumen is lacking. No doubt, there are others who get sick of the whole cycling thing by the end of the workday and then start to focus on other things during their spare hours. No doubt, there are still more for whom cycling is incidental—the sales process is what they love and cycling just happens to be the current product. But if there were an opportunity for me to get into “Cycling: The Business,” then I would have to take that chance.

In the meantime, the now-daily routine of scouring Help Wanted ads continues.

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