Friday, September 09, 2005

End of Week Four at Seven Cycles

One month under my belt and many more to go. It has been an exciting transition. I am back in the bike business, a place I should have never left. I joined a small and growing company, where there will be opportunity for learning and growth. I am surrounded by people passionate about their work, and by the objects of so many people's desire. What could be better?

There was some anxiety when entering my new job. Will I like it? Will the people I met during the interview process be as accommodating and pleasant as they were in the interviews? Will I like the physical space? Will I fit? The answers are yes, yes, still adjusting, and starting to. My decision to join Seven Cycles was a good one. The thorough interview process provided me the opportunity to conduct my due diligence, coming to the conclusion that I would like to work there. It just so happens that they felt the same way.

It is another job transition, something that I gloss over as insignificant and easy. In truth, it can be difficult and challenging. There are many factors to manage and embrace, or at least come to terms with. There is a new daily schedule, logistical considerations, company cultural change, individual personalities, systems changes (how do I mail something?), food storage, personal space & time allocations, answering the phone, managing e-mail, notifying business & personal associates of the change, learning a new product line, and on and on. Notice that none of these things include what the duties of the job actually are. What are my performance expectations? What is my role within the company and how do I manage relationships within the company to fulfill my responsibilities? What about our customers and the industry I am switching to?

I am fortunate in that I spent three years in bicycle retail, time that allowed me to familiarize myself with the industry and make some connections. I am not starting from scratch, nor am I a veteran. When I take a step back to think about this transition in these terms, it is somewhat daunting, especially joining a small and well-respected growing company with aggressive goals in the challenging and somewhat chaotic trade show season. Interbike, the marquee industry event for the United States' bicycle industry is just around the corner, and there is much to be done in preparation for it.

In preparation for 2006, we successfully introduced at Eurobike. Our new Diamas was well received. We believe the response at Interbike will be positive as well.

The fact that I have been unable to log some serious bicycle mileage over the past three weeks has not helped my mental state. I have been unable to join my new co-workers on group rides, my solo rides to burn off excess energy are on hold, and my cyclocross training is in limbo. It's all a bit depressing. I should be thankful that I have the opportunity to gripe about this. I am not on the Gulf Coast.

We shall see how I feel in late October.

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