Recuitment / Employment
Working for Bike Asia as a cycling tour leader
If you're reading this then, chances are, you're considering a job with us as a cycling leader. If you love cycling, are passionate about travel, looking for a new challenge, want to meet and work with people who love what they do and to immerse yourself in a foreign culture... then Bike Asia could be for you! Bike Asia actually came about for all those reasons. Following is some information for you to consider so that you can decide if Bike Asia is the right path for you.
Bike Asia is a growing cycling tour company based in China and is run by two Australians, Scott and Naomi. As a relatively young company we are continually developing our product, our itineraries and expanding into new regions. Our emphasis is on providing people who have an adventurous spirit with the opportunity to see a region in an intimate way – meeting the people, learning about the local customs, eating the local food, encountering people's daily lives and the challenges they face, and travelling through areas that are handpicked for their unique beauty, all by bicycle – and that all goes for our staff as well as our passengers!
To give you an idea of what we are looking for in a leader let's start with a few things that don't matter! Age, gender and nationality.
What does matter is people skills. Almost every aspect of this job is going to be either working for, or with, other people. Your ability to develop an inspiring and responsible relationship, not only with your particular group members, but also with other staff members, local operators, local guides, local people... well, everyone in fact, is a skill that we rate extremely highly. In, fact it's what we are all about! Don't be fooled. It's not always easy! Issues ranging through managing group dynamics, cultural and language challenges, differing physical abilities, logistical concerns running your trip, fostering a sense of learning and mutual understanding between passengers and locals and, above all, making it all fun, is where your excellent people skills will be your greatest asset. An ability to communicate with a range of people in a great variety of situations will enhance not only your enjoyment of your role, but also the experiences of all those you lead and meet in your travels.
And that's not all! A genuine passion for Asia and its people is a must. An ability to thrive in a foreign culture and to develop relationships with locals will lead to a general enthusiasm for your role and a rich and rewarding working experience. Your travel experiences, knowledge and stories of Asia will be an inspiration to your groups and re-enforce their trust in you as a leader. Historical and cultural knowledge, local knowledge and language are skills that we would expect you to make an ongoing commitment to developing. So, for those of you that are addicted to Asia... read on!
A strong leadership background, or experience, is crucial for a cycling leader to possess. Not only will you need to be highly organized in order to run a smooth trip, you will be called upon to make sometimes difficult on-the-spot decisions. Your confidence in your ability to think on your feet and problem-solve will be important to consider before making a decision to apply. Broader life experiences are all useful tools in leading trips and will be considered in your application.
It is a role that carries a large weight of responsibility. Not only will you be responsible for the group's general safety and enjoyment, you will also be required to handle cash and make payments on our behalf. An honest attitude and attention to detail are required here. Basic accounting / computer skills will be necessary in the role. Sometimes, when it can't be avoided, you will be asked to run trips back to back. This entails that you manage your energy levels and maintain a professional standard on all the trips you lead. You will, after suitable training, be running trips solo so you will need to be able to work independently and meet the physical and emotional demands that this requires (for this reason it is probably a good time to mention that working with Bike Asia may not be the best thing for a couple to consider as you could spend significant amounts of time not only apart but in different countries!). It's important to recognize that working for Bike Asia is not an opportunity to get paid to travel but can be extremely demanding at times. It is an ideal opportunity for the adventurous spirit to indulge and share their passion in a stimulating, challenging and rewarding environment.
Sense of humour required – non-negotiable!
If that's not enough, we are looking for people that are most comfortable on two wheels! Not only do we want people who love cycling, we want people that are versatile and resourceful with a tool-kit as well. Patience, patience, patience! Our tours will attract cyclists of varying abilities and you'll need to make sure they are all catered for equally well. Sometimes that means reining in your Lance Armstrong fantasies and cycling at the back as a sweep, sometimes there's the chance to stretch out as the lead. Sometimes you'll have to explain how to change gears properly! You'll have to repair punctures, oil chains and adjust seats. Whatever it is it's up to you to make sure all cyclists enjoy the same service standard, are safe, and enjoy themselves. Remember it's not a race, and as one past Bike Asia traveller put it, "Why would you want to race through this!!"
Can you do more?! As a developing company your involvement may be required outside of running tours. You may be asked to perform various other duties such as helping with office work, running shorter local tours, bike maintenance, research and marketing. Flexibility is the key. This represents a good opportunity to get involved with the many other aspects of our company and really become a part of our team.
Still interested? The conditions for employment as a Bike Asia leader are as follows:
You will be required to sign a contract for a minimum of 18 months (this may consist of two "seasons" – a "season" meaning two working periods with a break in between of up to three months). This we will discuss with you in light of your requirements, our schedule, and other factors as they arise. You may, of course, choose to continue with Bike Asia after your initial 18 months and we would be happy to discuss your prospects at any time during your contract.
For the first four months you will be considered a trainee. After this period, if we are happy with your performance, you will receive a salary increase.
When leading tours you will be paid a daily rate. The salary for leading is well above industry standards and includes an adjustment for personal expenses.
You will need to hold a valid senior first aid certificate for the duration of your contract. You will also need to supply your own travel insurance.
The last word... this is not a job that you should consider if you are looking for a career. It is demanding and requires a high level of energy that is difficult to sustain over long periods of time. Having said that there may be opportunities to move into other roles that arise as the company grows but this should not be a factor in your initial considerations, you should honestly think about your ability to commit to a two year period first. Not only that, keep in mind that you will be working in close quarters with people of different personality types, ages, races, religions, backgrounds, attitudes and beliefs. It is not a job for snobs, racists, sexists, etc., and we have very clear views on this.
Excited? Nervous? Curious? Not sure? Fill out our application form and we will be in touch.
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