For the latter part of 2011 and early 2012, I found myself in search of work. As some of you may have guessed, I do not drive or hold a driving license as I (like most people) have never had the need for a car. I use bicycles as my primary means of transport, so I attended most of my interviews by bicycle.
Generally, I rode the DL-1 to interviews as it permitted me to ride in formal wear with relative ease and stay free of grime. The upright riding position also discourages excessive speed which can lead to a sweaty, dishevelled look. During the interviews I generally chose not to deliberately mention the fact that I had ridden in, although it was common for the interviewer to ask how I got in.
Revealing that you cycled to the interview can act either in your favour or against you, depending on the interviewer. I was quite lucky to encounter a few people who turned out to be cycle-sport enthusiasts during my interviews,who were impressed that I cycled in. Unfortunately, it can also work against you, Whilst I was fortunate enough not to encounter anyone who appeared openly prejudiced against cyclists, on several occasions issues did arise when I revealed that I did not drive.
None of the jobs I interviewed for actually involved driving as a part of the role (such as site visits in remote locations). The problem was merely the interviewers’ perceptions of what life without a car actually means. Because they couldn’t imagine living without a car, they assumed I would be unable to as well. Perhaps they assumed I would be unable to attend work when snowy, or that I would frequently be late, I cannot be certain.
I have also seen several job listings where the role itself requires no driving whatsoever, but the person specification stated that candidates are inexplicably required hold a full driving license, presumably because the person writing the listing simply cannot imagine that a person could manage to attend a job in a city, in Britain without at least having the option of driving.
Considering that young people are less likely to drive than at any time in our recent history and this same demographic is bearing the brunt of the current shortage of jobs, I feel it is time for the government to act on this issue. I am curious to see if existing anti-discrimination regulations apply in this area.
Does anyone else has any interesting cycling related job-seeking stories or experiences?