What is it like working at today’s hottest startup, $US17 billion Uber?
It’s awesome — in a stressed-out, always-working sort of way.
Former employee Melanie Curtin says she used to “daydream about leaving Uber” all the time. She spent a year in the company’s New York office where she was a community manager. She left in 2013. Now she is the director of communications for another startup, Opia Talk.
Curtin wrote about what her experience was like as an Uber employee. For the most part, her description is glowing.
“The team is freaking awesome,” Curtin writes on LinkedIn. “They’re ready to listen to anyone, if what they say is of value.” She also says it’s incredible to witness the company’s explosive growth first hand and know you contributed to it.
But like any rocket ship, there are downsides:
It’s stressful. “Everyone looks like they’re doing fine, but they’re really working 80-100 weeks and even then, constantly feel like they’re behind,” Curtin writes of Uber employees. Because the company is in constant sprint mode, Curtin says employees aren’t “always given everything [they] need, to do the job they’re expected to do.”
Additionally, Uber expects employees to work weekends and holidays, when Uber cars are most in demand.
“It will be ‘normal’ to spend your entire workweek working until 9pm or 10pm every day, then work an all-day event on Saturday, for Uber,” Curtin writes. “You’ll miss seeing your friends and family, and resent the constant feeling that you’re not doing enough, despite working so much. This may wear on you over time, and eventually you may burn out.”
While Uber seems like a large corporation on the outside, it’s still a 4-year-old explosive startup on the inside. And, as Curtain notes, it’s natural for employees to feel both enthused and challenged by that.