Although it wasn’t the main reason why I left New York, Uber did light the fire. Personal growth is super important to me and I was at a crossroads, trying to determine if I could mature any further in NYC. Fate was also giving me hints. In the same month, my landlord unexpectedly chose not to renew my lease and Uber offered me a job with Uber Eats in Los Angeles. Even with these signs, I was still unsure if I was ready to go. To help sort out my thoughts, I fled solo to Miami for the weekend, and after finding clarity, accepted the Uber Eats job while I was on the beach. It was time for a change. I was ready to be actually disruptive.
Previously, I had only worked in “corporate” environments, so the fast, freewheeling, and almost chaotic atmosphere at Uber Eats was totally refreshing. If your product is disruptive, your company’s culture should be too. In past jobs, I had to abide by company rules and put up a professional, yet superficial, front. On the contrary at Uber Eats, I felt like I could be my genuine self, which made working conditions more comfortable. I felt like a wolf released from its cage.
Startup life is over glamorized. A lot of people assume it’s like HBO’s Silicon Valley with open workspaces, ping pong tables, and endless snacks. Yes, all these are true, but you’ll still need a strong work ethic and patience to tolerate the stress that comes with building a business. At Uber Eats, I lacked the resources, tools, and budget, so I needed to be creative and scrappy to make a dollar out of 15 cents. And boy, we did some pretty amazing things. This entrepreneurial spirit will help you thrive anywhere you go.
There’s also a great deal of volatility at startups, especially if the business was growing as fast as Uber’s. Growth entails change and I witnessed a number of shenanigans, as the company battled negative PR, a change in CEOs, and other newsworthy things, The company also reorged a number of times, which impeded my own professional growth. Even though working at Uber Eats has been my most enjoyable job, I’m not allowing a company to dictate my career.