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Any one here given up thier career job for thier passion? It's been in the back of my mind for a while now. Skiing and mountaineering have always been my dream and passion. I was headed that way until around 98 or so I tore my ACL, MCL, and shatered my knee cap backcountry skiing. The doctors basicly said Id never ski again. I took up cycling at that time to help with physical therapy, I also got really depressed and kind lost intreast in things. Fast forward...I know have a great job doing visual effects and graphics. I started skiing again 3 years ago. Slowly, just greens and groomers. Then last year got back on the tele skis and felt really good. After skiing and snowboarding again this year, I realized This Is what I want to do, at least for a while. At this point I am ready to walk away from my job (with the proper planing...of course) and see If I can still do this. My ultimate goal would to become a backcountry guide. It's a risk at my age (34), and everyone thinks I am crazy for wanting to leave what I have, but I am not really happy. Anyone else have any expierience with this?
 

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Gnarley!!!!!
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I know where your coming from, although. my situation is a little different.

I am 20 years old, and am currently in college getting my degree in computer networking. On my way to a full life of workin 9-5. Fun. Seems a bit depressing to me, but thats life I guess.

If we all had awesome jobs, there would be no passion and excitment in mountainbiking. Hobbies like skiing, snowboarding, mountainbiking or any other hobbies just fill in the voids of everyday life. To much of something good like mountainbiking can be a bad thing. Possibly get burnt out on it, that would suck!
 

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Sadly, I would say don't do it. I left my career for biking 10 years ago. Now I'm 34, in a dead end cycling job that doesn't pay the bills, and I have a family to support. Industry jobs are always very tenuous. You can get laid off at the drop of a hat, especially in the fall/winter. I love riding probably more than anything, yes I'm ashamed to say more than my family sometimes. My career move has actually left me with LESS time to actually RIDE. That's the most frustraing thing about it. During the summer months, when you are yearning for awesome singletrack, you're stuck working like a dog.
So my advice? Find a way to minimize your current situation. Cut back working hours, or find a way to work hard during the winter, and take it easy during the summer. Something that allows flexibility in your schedule. That way you have the time, and money, to enjoy your passion properly. Drop the rat race, and start living simply. Create flexibility and opportunity will present itself.
 

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Interesting. I was thinking about doing the same thing. I am 27 having worked in entry level jobs for the past several years. Now I'm thinking of either finally getting a 'real' job or venturing out on my own, possibly starting my own business (bike courrier company for instance). Last night I read the speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford where he said that 'you have to love what you do, otherwise don't do it'. I totally agree with it. Now it's time to apply it in my life....
 

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Everyones' situation is different. All I'm saying is the happiest people I know are the ones who have found a way to make their jobs conform to THEIR life. Not the other way around. Don't Identify yourself with what you do for a living. Identify yourself with what makes you, YOU. For some folks it is their work. Since you're posting here, I'm assuming you're not one of these.
 

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I bumped through a very brief college stint and then entered the work force. I had a very good paying job working as foreman for a city water department. At 25 I was making bank but I was not happy. I lived to work, nothing else. I damn near lived there. So I packed up everything moved 3000 miles away to NV, bartended a while, found my passion and I am almost done with a more successfull stint at college. My passion is to help others, so upon my graduation I will again be making decent money, but as a Nurse I will be happy. Not to mention working three twelves a week leaves a lot of time for my family and Riding. So put a lot of thought into what it is you truly want, and go for it. If you cover all your bases the rest will work out. I'll be riding proof of that in a year and a half.
 

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First of all no, I have not quit my career.

In my career (about which I am very passionate) the loss of several years would limit my oppourtuntites.

I am also lucky enough to have several other passions, getting time to fufil these passions is a balancing act.

Several of my friends have suspended their careers, to become back country guides.

Most last several years, and eventually their passion has become a boredom of baby sitting their clients.

I would always retain at least one or two passions that I can pursue solely for my benefit and interest.
 

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I never settled into a 9-to-5 job since I could never find one that I really liked. I could have went for a job in Computer Programming or IT but I didn't care for either of those things. So I worked crappy part-time jobs or was unemployed. But now I've finally found a job (Web Design) that I truly like. It still allows me to have lots of free-time for my other passions- trail building and riding. So my advice is to pursue your dream job. Otherwise you may never be truly happy. Money doesn't equal happiness.
 

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Isn't part of the extra zing you get out of biking/skiing/trekking/whatever because it's an escape from the rust of the drudgery? Wouldn't you lose the daily anticipation of your passion if that's all you had to do?

Not to say you shouldn't make your job conform to life rather than life conform to the job.
 

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I say go for it! Plan carefully. Take the time to create the right bussiness plan and to accumulate the capitol you need. Be prepared for setbacks and unexpected problems, but, if you are passionate about it then you will succeed.
 

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Wow, here is a tough one. I completely hate my job (IT Support for a multi-billion dollar company). It's a tough one because my hours are pretty good - 6am to 2:30pm (time to play after work), and they pay me way too much for what I know - but don't tell them that. This allows me to have lots of very nice bikes, and take very nice cycling trips - when my vacation time allows. But, still, every morning when the alarm goes off (for over 6 years now at this job) I can't stand the thought of what awaits me.

This is my second "career", and I'll turn 40 in a few months. My first, advertising, was much more enjoyable, but didn't allow me to afford the fun "bling" I have now.

If you are younger than I, and want to give some other option a try, I'd say go for it. Not that 40 is that old, and not that I'm still not trying to figure a way out of this rat race and still have enough money to fully enjoy my "passion".

Sort of more of a rant than a reply, sorry.
 

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Burtonrider250 said:
If we all had awesome jobs, there would be no passion and excitment in mountainbiking. ...
i disagree. life is made up of many passions. with only one passion you run the risk of becomming unidimensional and bored.

i have an awesome job (at least IMO) and i do something i am passionate about. i am also passionate about riding and a variety of other things. it's what keeps life interesting.

i hope you find a career that you are passionate about.

as to the OP, weigh your options and finances carefully before making a decision. and remember that sometimes making the passion that you use to escape into your job takes some of the passion out of it.

rt
 

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MrT
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I completely agree...

*rt* said:
i disagree. life is made up of many passions. with only one passion you run the risk of becomming unidimensional and bored.

i have an awesome job (at least IMO) and i do something i am passionate about. i am also passionate about riding and a variety of other things. it's what keeps life interesting.

i hope you find a career that you are passionate.

as to the OP, weigh your options and finances carefully before making a decision. and remember that sometimes making your passion that you use to escape into your job takes some of the passion out of it.

rt
:thumbsup:
 

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Yup!

Luckily I have it both ways.... I'm an architect, I love building, architecture, construction and all it entails. It's what I do when I'm not racing/riding/training/obsessing about cycling.

Cool having two passions.

If there was a way to specialize in designing cycling facilities, trails, ramps, tracks, courses, etc - THAT would be cool! Alas - there is so little demand for them (in the USA anyhow...) - wah.
 

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I did. I got so single-minded that I just didn't have room for my non-cycling job anymore. Well, the short of it is, it's a lot tougher to make a living in cycling that people say, and people already say it's pretty tough. After I lost everything, borrowed twice that amount, lost that too, and wound up after four years of struggling, homeless, penniless, hungry, and out of favors. I finally saw my passion for cycling decrease a little. Just enough to give up and finally find a normal job. Well, big surprise, not a lot of people looking to hire someone who has a 4 year hole in thier resume, a trashed credit record, no home address, and no presentable looking clothing.

Be careful. Following your passion can cost you your life.
 

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Couple things to consider:

1) Work like a dog in off-season doing high paying job like tree planting, crab fishing, roughneck, construction all whilst living like a dirtbag (ie not eating out and spending half pay on booze). Core skiers do this all the time. Work isn't a career so much as a means to an end.

2) Backcounty ski guides have an obscene amount of course and training. There are ways faster, easier, cheaper ways to get more days in "the white room".

3) Be your own boss. I know people with consutling company in their basement. They get big contract in the door, work like a dog, then bugger off for a couple months to surf or ski. You'd need to fit your skills to this type of work.

4) This my favourite so far: get up to salary which exceed your current costs (ie car house etc). Instead of raising your costs with new car etc., try either: 1) bank lots of time, 2) Work 4/5 days a week (on average) and take a pay cut. 3) Take unpaid leave on top of your vacation alotment. For example, I work in the fisheries field, and all the guys I see doing tons of fly fishing are accountants etc. These guys make big bucks when they're on the clock, hence it's not a deal breaker work a 30hr week and fish a whole bunch. In this scenario, you can keep healthcare benefits too !

Keep your costs low, and treat work as a means to play and you'll get more quality time in your passion than by trying combine work and play. Easier said than done, but I'm just speaking to what I've seen in real world.

Lastly, if you do get a job in the industry, don't be the frontlines guys. You want to be the schmoozer who takes prospective clients on rides/trips, not the tech who's being pulled 8 ways in the busy season. Its the latter who typically complain about no time to play, meanwhile the other guy is on a photo shoot and all-inclusive heli trip.
 
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