Suena has been driving via the Uber platform in her hometown of Amsterdam since November 2017.
She started driving after a good friend, who had been driving with Uber for a while, persuaded her to try it out. She quickly became convinced after she saw how much freedom she had with the work as well as how much she could make doing it. In the beginning, Suena mainly drove in the evenings, after school.
“When you’re young, it’s hard to combine schoolwork with an internship,” she says. “With other jobs, you typically have to come at certain hours and they don’t take exams into account.”
Since then, she has started driving around 8 hours a day for 4 to 5 days a week. She usually starts in the morning and takes a break for an hour or two. And if she has something else to do that day, she adjusts her schedule accordingly.
The first rides
Your first few days as an Uber driver can be quite exciting…
“You get to ride with many different people in the car,” Suena explains, “in the beginning, you might not be sure what to talk about.”
Luckily, Suena’s first ride was with someone who was also making their first trip with Uber, so they had something in common.
Getting to know people
Suena believes that good contact with passengers is important for a driver. She often leaves it to the passenger to start a conversation, but she always likes a good chat during a ride. The work is varied in terms of the people and places you visit, so you can find a lot of different conversations during rides.
“For example, I often have first dates in the car and you notice when you chat that they don’t know each other very well yet.”
Suena also learns a lot from her passengers. She’s found hidden places in Amsterdam that she has never heard of or seen before and passengers often tell her about the countries they go to when she drives them to Schiphol Airport.
“I get to see people’s lives very briefly when they ride with me, and I really like that.”
There are few female drivers who drive for Uber and Suena thinks that many people still see driving as men’s work. But she thinks driving is an ideal job for independent women. It can be easily combined with, for example, family life or study.
“It is serious work though,” she added, “for example you have to get your taxi pass and of course you will put a lot of time into the job.”
She notices that female passengers really like it when a female driver is behind the wheel.
“Women are often pleasantly surprised and then sit next to me instead of in the back. Men are often impressed and seem to like it too,” she laughs.
Finally, Suena has a top tip for achieving that coveted five-star rating: Always be yourself and stay friendly, whatever happens!
This International Women’s Day on March 8th, we want to thank inspiring women like Suena for their energy, passion and commitment. Thank you Suena—keep up the good work!