I have been driving for Uber in Boston for six months.
For three reasons.
I need a job that gives me a ridiculous amount of flexibility.
I need to help our family with the finances.
I need to work while I figure out what is next for me in my career.
Enter Uber, the most perfect job for me that not only fits my personality but those three needs like a glove!
What I did not expect are the amazing & surprising side effects that have occurred for me as well!
There are two pretty straightforward ones – I get to get out of the house and interact with adults which is wonderful. Love my kids and that I get to be home with them but good gravy, Mama’s got to get out!! Also, I get to contribute to our family’s bank account and that has helped my sense of self-worth. So those are pretty cool. Dig ’em.
But what else has happened while I drive around, while I talk to people, while I think about what is next for me, is that I try to focus on what I want. What to do I want my days look like? Feel like? What on Gods green earth do I want to do with myself???
Truth is I am not 100% sure. I have a ton of ideas (yup, I write them all down), I have a ton of interests (but would any of them make a good career??) and I know I could make anything really ‘work.’
But I want much more than just a job. Or just a career that I am making ‘work.’
So as I have been driving around, pondering, feeling so very grateful for Uber and the opportunity to drive whenever I want and make money, I realized one thing.
I WANT FREEDOM.
Tons of freedom.
Freedom of time & schedule.
Freedom to be creative.
Freedom to meet and talk with people.
Freedom to be me. 100% in my life AND CAREER.
Freedom to travel.
Freedom to MAKE EPIC SHIT HAPPEN (should I want to).
Freedom to make my family a priority (hard to believe that would be a ‘freedom’).
I just wanna feel free.
And OMG, driving for Uber has given me a taste of what that freedom feels like. I love driving in the car. Windows down, music blasting. Then I pick someone up. We chat (or don’t). I have had some amazing & inspiring conversations with some wonderful people. That is something I love doing. PLUS, I work whenever I want. THAT feels amazing.
The biggest gift driving for Uber has given me?
It has allowed me to connect with the sense of freedom I want in my life. Condition-free freedom. That is what I want. And if I had not been driving for Uber and connecting with how important that is for me in my life and for my future career, I know I would be searching for WAY longer than I might be. Or I might pick something just to pick something and not have the clarity that this time has given me to figure out how imperative FREEDOM is to & for me.
Clarity, freedom, flexibility, it all feels so good!
Hi, I’m Adrienne & I’m a 45yo wife & mom and I’ve been driving for Uber for six months in and around the Boston, MA area. It has been a great experience and I wanted to create a list of tips for new drivers or anyone thinking about driving. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful! Want to sign up right this second? Click on my referral link and get started! https://get.uber.com/drive/?invite_code=663n8
4/27/17 edit – I’m now 47 years old & have been driving for Uber on & off for 3 years!
1. Know there is a learning curve.
As with any new job or activity, it can take a little time to master all the basics. With Uber this will not take long as the app is very easy to use and riders using Uber are great. I suggest going out the first few times when it is a bit slow just to get your feet wet. If you have any issues, contact Uber – their support team is very helpful. Also, let your riders know you are new! Riders are super nice, love Uber and the service Uber & it’s drivers provide. Just be patient, within a few times of going out you will be a pro!
2. Don’t chase the surge!
On the Uber app you will see a map. The map shows you where you are. Any areas that are busy will be highlighted in orange or red. Red indicates that the area is very busy and ‘surging.’ In red areas the price for a ride will increase, meaning, the riders will be paying more for their ride (and then us drivers make more too!). It can be challenging when you are on one side of the city and there is a big surge on the other side of the city! If you head toward that surging area (as many drivers do), the surge price may go down or even disappear! I’ve driven towards a surge and as I reached the area, the surge changed and the area I had been started to surge! It is very frustrating. I try, as often as possible, to stay where I am until I get a ride. On occasion I WILL head towards a busier area if the area I am in is slow. But if I’m in the city or just a bit outside it, more often than not, I can wait a few minutes and a ride comes in. Chasing the surge can waste your time and your gas. Just use your best judgement and don’t chase all the time.
3. Keep it clean!
You and your car that is! I don’t get overly dressed up but I try to look as clean & presentable as possible. That goes for my car as well. One of the best things about driving for Uber is that you are forced to keep your car clean! This is great especially for those of us with kids as the car can get painfully messy in an instant! I bring my car to the car wash at least once a week and then clean the inside as needed. I’ll bring it to the car wash for an interior cleaning after a busy week or when I don’t want to do it myself! Remember to keep your receipts for car cleaning as you may be able use it for tax purposes. And that brings me to the next tip…
4. Write-offs and taxes
As an Uber driver, you will receive a 1099 tax form at the end of each year. Uber does NOT take taxes out of your pay each week. It’s your responsibility to pay your own taxes as you are a ‘contractor’ with Uber. I highly recommend talking with a tax preparation specialist so that you can have as much information as possible. It’s important to track your mileage, keep receipts and maybe even pay quarterly taxes. A tax professional will be able to guide you in this manner.
5. Uber box
In my car I keep an Uber box. In it there are small water bottles, mints, candies, snack bars, hand sanitizer, tissues, lotion, band-aids, plastic bags, paper clips & elastic bands. Sounds a bit much? Maybe but riders LOVE the Uber box and are so very impressed with it. I drive a 2010 Honda CRV so there is plenty of room for it. I’ll just move it to the back if it is ever in the way. Riders are taking pictures of it, Instagraming it, Snap Chatting it and shouting ‘5 Stars for you!’ all the time. Depending on the size of your car, it may or may not work to have an ‘Uber box’ but consider what might work for you and your particular car. Can you have some waters available? Some mints or gum? A box of tissues? Whatever works try and do it, it’s a really nice touch.
4/27/17 edit – I know use the pouches in the back of the driver & passenger front seats for water and a small container of candies which fits nicely on my console. I have tissues in my glove box. I found I was moving the box often so I now do this instead. Especially now with Uber pool, more people are getting in and out of your car so the box can sometimes get in the way.
If you’re going to be driving 20+ hours a week, that’s a lot of time sitting in your car. Your body may get stiff, sore & tight. Be sure to get out and stretch whenever you can. Take 5-10 minutes before & after (or during!) every shift to really stretch your body as much as possible! Especially the hips. Google or YouTube some yoga sequences for hips or special stretches for anyone who sits a lot. Your body (and therefore bank account) will thank you for it!
7. Be prepared
It’s getting busier and busier here in the Boston area so I’m finding it harder and harder to take breaks. So I’m always sure to have food and water with me so I’m not hungry and/or thirsty…and therefore cranky :D. I’ll pack a small meal or a snack or two to have with me. I always have my own water bottle or some kind of beverage but since I have the Uber box I’m always prepared in an emergency!
8. Take breaks
If you’re going to be out driving for long periods of time, as hard as it can be if it’s busy, do try and take some breaks. Get out of the car, move around, get some fresh air, go sit somewhere outside of the car to eat. Whatever you do will give you some energy and move energy that gets stuck from sitting so long around! So try to take a break every few hours if you can.
9. Where’s the bathroom??
I now know the best places to go to the bathroom in and around Boston! This will take some time to figure out but within a few weeks you will know where to go. So begin to pay attention to where the grocery stores & coffee shops are! Where are the ones with the best & easiest parking? Where can you go without having to buy something? Gas stations, grocery stores, shopping malls and some coffee shops are the best to use. Take a mental note as you are driving around so you can know at any moment what is your best bet for a quick bathroom break!
10. Your rider is your biggest priority
Once you accept a ride and certainly once your rider is in your car, they are your priority. Not often, but sometimes, it can be difficult to find where your rider is (you can always call or text them, of course), sometimes you are driving your rider two places (occasionally riders will pick up a friend or drop someone off or even stop for an errand but know you keep making money during this time!), sometimes you are going further (or not as far!) as you would like. Your rider is your priority, so baring any emergencies or safety issues, remember you’re providing a service to them so try to go above and beyond as much as you can. It feels great to give good service and the riders really appreciate it.
11. Uber support
If you have any issues with the app, a rider or any questions, don’t hesitate to contact support. I have had great experiences with support and they’ve always gotten back to me promptly and I’ve gotten the response I needed. It feels as though Uber really wants the drivers to have a great experience and want to support them in any way they can. So again, do not hesitate to contact Uber with anything you need.
There are lots of Uber perks. Once you start driving on a regular basis, you will begin to be eligible for rewards such as discounts on oil changes and car washes and even a driver fuel card. There’s specific criteria for each ‘perk’ and Uber will let you know what they are once you get started. I love all the perks especially the ‘Invite New Drivers’ perk where you get a referral link and can make lots of extra money signing up new drivers! This is mine if you are considering signing up: https://get.uber.com/drive/?invite_code=663n8. You’ll get your own code once you get started. It’s my favorite perk!
13. Take care of your car
We are very lucky to have a great mechanic in our neighborhood. As my mileage has increased, my need for oil changes has gone up. I know every time I bring it to him, he checks out everything, making sure I am good to go. Try to find a great mechanic in your area and if you can’t, be sure to keep up with oil changes and basic maintenance so little things do not become big things (and big expenses!).
14. Respect yourself
It can get exhausting driving long hours every day. Respect yourself by planning to take time off every week and getting the rest you need. So not only during your shift but during your week take breaks and days off. What is so great about driving for Uber is that you can turn on or off the app ANYTIME. So there is no need to push it. Your safety, your riders safety and the safety of others out there is of the utmost importance. Don’t drive if you are tired, sick or having the worst day of your life. You can make up for it another time. Respect your body, mind and soul and take the time you need.
15. Have fun!
Honestly, this job is FUN!! I am meeting such great people. I’ve had some wonderful. moving & inspiring conversations. I am so grateful for the flexibility and that I can make money so easily for our family. So when you get in your car, have the intention of having a great time, providing a great service & meeting great people. What could be better?
Do you have any questions? Please feel free to ask below!
Want to start driving? Great! And why not. You’ll never know if it’s a good fit for you if you don’t give it a try! There is no obligation to continue if you ever decide it is not working out or you find another opportunity. Just go out once a week. Go out every Friday night. Work only days. Or nights! Head out while the kids are in school. Use it as a part time or full time job. Imagine what a few hundred dollars a week or a month (or even much more!) would do for you. Wouldn’t that make a huge difference? Save it, pay off some bills, pay down some loans, invest it or do whatever you need to do with it. It sure has been a life-saver for us!
If you found this list useful and want to sign up, here is my referral link.
Although, I do sometimes sense them but that is another blog post for another time.
But I digress.
Do you believe in signs from the Universe?
I kinda do.
I say ‘kinda’ because I am a bit skeptical even though I know, like really know, there are energetic forces all around us that we can tap into at any time.
For example, yesterday I was floating on a pond. It was so peaceful. I stared up at the sky and knew I only had a few moments of peace (I have small kids!) so I thought to myself, ‘Universe, God, whoever, send me a sign. Any kind of sign.’ My thoughts were a bit spazzy and I was not in any kind of trance or meditative space, just breathing and trying to chill for a few moments. As I stared up into the sky, I was thinking about what a spaz I am. Then a dragonfly flew by in the sky. No big deal right? Except dragonflies are one of my ‘spirit animals’ or ‘spirit guides.’ I’ve got one hanging in my car (it’s a necklace, not a real one). I had one guide me in a shamanic journey this year (that’s another story for another time!). So the fact that a dragonfly flew above me was a sign. I am not sure for what but who cares. It’s pretty cool.
I drive a lot. Like a lot because I am a mom, an over-errander & an Uber driver.
When I am out driving, I see triple numbers ALL THE TIME.
Now being out on the road a lot, you really do see triple numbers everywhere.
But I see them. Constantly. Everywhere.
One day, not driving for Uber, I was getting on the highway. The lane to merge onto the highway ended a lot sooner than I expected and I was going faster than I should have (I know, I know, bad girl). I missed an 18 wheeler by a foot and swerved into another lane, barely missing another car.
Once my nerves settled, I thought to myself, ‘Good gravy. Angels really ARE looking out for me.’
And JUST as I had this thought, I glanced over at a car license plate and it had the numbers 444 on it.
So as I was thinking ‘OMG Angels are watching over me,’ I see 444.
Triple 4’s often represent Angels and a reminder that they are with you & looking over you.
Occasionally, I will be driving and my mind will be racing all over the place and I will see 777 which is my sign for trust and that there are miracles coming into your life. It is always nice to see these numbers and the wisdom & messages they carry.
I have been driving for Uber for about five months now.
It has been going better than I could have ever expected!
I am going to be posting blogs and videos about my experience but I thought I’d get a quick post out about last week.
Ok, here are some important things to note…
:: I DO NOT drive during the busiest times mostly because I’d rather be sleeping. People who drive during the busy and more ‘surging’ time periods make more.
:: My schedule changes every week as I work around my husband’s ever-changing schedule so I almost never work the same times
:: I live right outside Boston, MA, so this is a busy area in general
Last week I logged 23 hours ‘online’ which means my Uber app was on for those amount of hours. I would say 3 of those hours were times where I was waiting for a ride, driving without a rider towards a busy area or taking a break.
AFTER Uber took their 20%, my take home was $480.01. This includes being reimbursed for tolls. Please take into consideration that I put in approximately $60 worth of gas (I am going to try and track this better but I fill up my tank to keep it at least half full at all times so I am ready for longer drives if necessary). Also, I need to pay taxes on this because as an Uber driver you are a contractor and will receive a 1099. Please talk to a trusted and certified tax professional and ask about paying quarterly taxes as well as what you can write off such as mileage, car upkeep & cell phone.
The way I think of it is this…
$480 minus gas and some money put away for taxes will wind up being approximately $380.
$380/20hours = $19/hour
Let’s be a bit more conservative and say it is about $16-17/hour.
For me and my current situation, being between careers, having small children & having a husband with an erratic schedule, I CANNOT get an interim job, say as a cashier or office person or something of the like for that amount of money WITHOUT PAYING A BABYSITTER. If I did, and I have, my hourly pay goes down to practically nothing. Babysitting, should you have the patience, pays great! And I am MORE than happy to pay a sitter if I am doing something that is contributing to my future career.
The flexibility I have with Uber is pretty much ‘money in the bank’ as I like to say. I can turn the app on (OR OFF!) at any time. I am unbelievably grateful at this time for this opportunity.
And truthfully, I really like it. Riders are so nice. They appreciate great service (which is ridiculously easy to give). I got some AWESOME feedback last week:
Uber is great. Want to get out of debt? Work a few hours a week, say 10, and chip away at that annoying monthly bill! Want to save up for a trip or fund some entrepreneurial dreams like me? A few hundred dollars a week can make a HUGE difference! Want the flexibility to work when you want and how much you want? Uber can’t be beat.
And as a woman driver, I feel safe and I have never been harassed or bothered – this has been my experience and I can only speak for myself.
You can drive only during the day if you did not want to drive at night.
You could just work one night a week at a busy or a not busy time.
You get to pick, you get to be in control.
And that feels good!
Want to give it a try?
Click on the Uber icon below to sign up via my referral link!
Watch my video The 10 Things I Love About Driving for Uber here.
Ask any questions in the comment section below!
I am doing a weekly Periscope #UberTalkTuesdays, talking about my experience driving for Uber & answering your questions! Download the app and search Adrienne @aemartintweets (my Twitter handle).
Honestly, it cannot hurt to give it a try. It might be the perfect thing for you right now as it is for me!
Thanks for reading and please, ask any questions below.
PS Everyone always asks what I drive and I drive a 2010 Honda CRV
PS (again) The week before I made $680 driving about 30 hours