Today I’m excited to bring you insider tips from a Boston native and share how he’s learned the city like the back of his hand all as part of a fun sponsored post with Uber. If you’ve ever thought about driving for Uber, or just wondered what it would be like, don’t miss this one!
Meet Jim. He’s given over 20000 rides in the last 3 years driving for Uber.
“I feel like everybody has something on their minds that they want validated or given feedback on and that’s what I offer. This is why people talk to me, vent with me, ask for marital or dating advice, or life coaching.”
Fresh snow fell all morning but it stopped in time for me to make the short trip down the street to Swiss Bakers. We’d been there just the week before to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday, but I’ll take any excuse to go back. We connected in the bakery and I got to learn about his story over some of my favorite swiss baked goods in town.
To Jim, Uber means flexibility. He’s been an elementary school teacher, a video producer, and in businesses for over thirty years but …
Why he got started
Three years ago he walked into the Uber office in the leather district and started driving that very day.
It started as a one year sabbatical. He’d always loved driving and, after a lay-off, he could take some time to figure out what his next step would be …. all while doing something he loved and getting paid.
For a boy whose first word was “car,” driving all day everyday felt like living in a video game, exciting and energizing. He never never bored, never stressed, and was always on-the-go.
When he started interviews in corporate America a year later, it didn’t feel right. He decided to stick with Uber and persue his writing a bit more.
What he loves about Uber
Jim loves the people he gets to interact with. And it’s true, he’s come up with a unique way to get them to talk (it’s a trade secret, but if you’re in Boston and you’ve been inside his car, you know!). The first thing riders do is say they’ve never seen anything like it…then they ask to take a picture., and then they start talking.
Personally, I love chatting with my Uber drivers when I’m getting around Boston. It’s a fun way to get insider tips on the city. But, I also appreciate when I can get in and spend a solid ten minutes in silence (a commodity in short supply in my life these days) and so I can bet it’s nice as a driver to be able to have silence when you want it and then chat it up if you have a talkative rider.
He loves the pace. He’s always on the go and never bored. For him, it’s the most engaged and entertaining job he’s ever had.
He loves the total freedom of being in charge. He sets his hours (typically he works from 5am – 2:30pm to miss the evening rush out of Boston). He determines how many drives he does; he determines how much money he makes. After years of instability, Uber let him take control of his life back.
I can see the huge benefit of having a job you can work whenever you have the time. For Jim, he’s working Uber like a semi-traditional 5-2:30 but with this flexibility you can take vacation when you want, work another part time job when you want, pursue your passions when you need to. Awesome, right?
What do you do when you’re not driving?
Jim uses the freedom he has now with Uber to take up writing on his site Uber Insights (I love this post sharing three random rides from a Friday morning). He decided if he was going to be an Uber drive partner, he needed to have a creative outlet and he’d always wanted to write. He likes to joke with his riders, “Did you know that Uber supports the arts?”
His content includes riders who truly inspire him, anecdotes about the job, and things he discovers around Boston.
Tips for new Uber driver-partners
You have to know your territory. It isn’t just being familiar with it, it’s really knowing it. See if you can get to every major neighborhood without a GPS.
Jim has been in Boston since 1980 and after driving around in sales for over thirty years, he knows what lane he should be in (you can shave minutes off your drive if you know what lane to be in). He’ll tell you to drive the city whenever you can.
Keep your car clean, inside and out. Definitely don’t smoke in your car (can I get an AMEN?).
Take advantage of the support Uber offers. I didn’t realize they have how-to videos, tips from seasoned Uber driver-partners, and 24/7 phone support right in the Uber app for driver-partners.
If you’re in Boston: Tips from a local
- Get a soda and a real local flavor of a Boston neighborhood. If you’re here on a Sunday, head down south of Washington Street from 10am – 4pm where they have food trucks and art galleries open. There’s usually arts and crafits fair with everything from wholistic foods to cool tee shirts.
- For the best ham and cheese croissant in town, don’t skip Swiss Bakers.
- Visit the third floor of the Boston Public Library.
- Walk the streets of back bay or the south end and appreciate the European influences in architecture.
- Grab a bite at Bagelsaurus. They have the best egg sandwhich and the best chicken salad sandwhich in the city.
- Everyone knows about Legal Seafood for a reason, find out why.
So now I have to know – have YOU ever been a driver-partner with Uber? Would you consider it? How would it fit into your lifestyle?