We sat down with 4 Uber employees to learn how they’re making 2018 their year, from pursuing lifelong passions to finding the confidence to try new things. Here’s Emilee’s story:
Hi Emilee! Tell us a little about what you do at Uber.
I’m a software engineer on the Uber for Business team. If your company has Uber for Business, we’ll send you a report at the end of the month with all of the trips you booked with Uber so it’s easier to keep track of expenses.
What does a typical day look like for you?
People are always surprised that I don’t spend all day staring at a computer screen! I spend most of my time talking through engineering problems with my team, so you’ll often find me drawing those out on the whiteboard wall next to my desk.
You recently wrote a blog post about your experience overcoming imposter syndrome. Can you talk about that?
I wanted to talk about my experience because I felt like other people must be experiencing it, too. Before I hit “publish,” I was worried how people would react. But so many people messaged me afterwards to say things like “I feel that way, too!” It made me realize that imposter syndrome can affect anyone, no matter what kind of job you do.
Tell us about a goal you met last year.
Last January I finally said, “Okay, it’s time to get in shape.” In a year, I went from not being able to run a quarter of a mile to being able to run 6 miles, no sweat. (Okay, maybe a little bit of sweat.)
After being in college, where I always did things in chunks of 10 weeks, it was new to work on something over the course of an entire year without much structure. Sticking to it was hard, and I fell off the wagon a few times, but I made it. I recently signed up for a half marathon! Getting fit has had unexpected side benefits, too, like getting to see more of the city I live in as I run around.
How do you manage your goals?
Write it down. At the end of the day, I’ll write down 1) what I did that day and 2) what I learned that day. So when I feel stuck, I can see how far I’ve actually come in the past year. I like to brainstorm on paper, too. Not everything needs to be digital.
What are you hoping to accomplish at work this year?
I’m excited by the edge cases. Most of the time our processes work really smoothly, but there are always edge cases that keep us from perfection. It might take 50% of the work to get a project 95% of the way there, and the other 50% of the work fixing that last 5%. I’m a perfectionist, and I can use that to help us get to 100%.
As far as personal goals, I want to learn more about biology. I love being an engineer but sometimes miss the other sciences. So I want to read more scientific papers in my spare time and figure out how I might apply that back to software.
What’s your best advice for someone trying to meet a goal?
Technology gives you the illusion that you can focus on 15 things at once. But if you have multiple goals for the year, just do them one at a time. Now, my mantra is ‘All or nothing.’ I don’t do half friendships, half hobbies—I give it everything I’ve got. If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. That also means I have to be better about saying no to things I’m not fully committed to, so I can say yes to the things that are really important.
Just make one small change, and you’ll be making bigger ones in no time.
The statements contained herein are those of the individuals and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views, opinions, or policies of Uber Technologies, Inc.