Pros and Cons of Working at Uber
It's been a tough year for Uber. First, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's apparent tight relationship with President Trump and an insensitive tweet resulted in 200,000 Uber customers deleting their accounts. Then there was the sexual harassment suit brought against the firm by Susan Fowler, a former Uber employee who claims that Uber's HR department brushed aside her harassment allegations because the person she alleges was harassing her was a "very productive employee." Then there was the Uber exec Amit Singhal who was apparently let go by Google (his former employer) due to sexual harassment allegations against him, allegations that were not caught (or not thought to be such a big deal) by Uber before Uber hired him. And then, yesterday, a video surfaced involving Uber CEO Kalanick in which Kalanick is caught on tape in an Uber Black, shimmying alongside two female friends to Maroon 5 before laying into the driver, blaming him for some of Uber's recent problems.
And so, the question that begs to be asked is: Given all the unsavory news coming out of Uber, should you still take a job with the firm if you were to get an offer?
Let's look at the pros and the cons.
On the one hand, an Uber job would be hard to turn down. Uber's brand name is known throughout the world (even your grandmother knows who they are) and so, if the Uber job doesn't work out and you need to look for another one soon, or if you want to leave the firm in a couple years, the Uber name will certainly look pretty good on your resume.
In addition, since Uber hires top talent from Google, from other tech firms, and from top schools throughout the world, you'll likely learn a ton from your coworkers and be pushed to put forth your own best work. Also, since you might get to know your very talented coworkers pretty well, you'll likely add some heavy hitters to your network. And so, say one of these coworkers ever goes off and creates a startup, maybe he or she will then hire you, and then when that startup goes public (or is acquired by Google, Facebook, or Snap) and you sell your shares in it, you'll be able to pay off your student loans, put your kids through private school, and buy a house in a gentrified neighborhood in New York, LA, or San Francisco.
Of course, another big payday could happen if your compensation package with Uber contains Uber equity, and Uber, a private company now, goes public, and you're able to sell your shares for a handsome gain.
On the other hand, there is the difficult culture at Uber, there is the alleged misogyny, there is the fact the Uber's CEO once called the company "B'uber" (because his job helped his dating life, he said), there is Fowler's sexual harassment suit, there is the #DeleteUber movement, there is the fact that the CEO likes to blame others for the firm's failures, and there is the fact that the CEO has a thing for Maroon 5.
In other words, there's no clear answer. Maybe the best way to decide is to watch that aforementioned video and ask yourself, Would I work for a company run by this guy? Do I think he (Kalanick) has what it takes to bring this company into the next phase of its growth? Do I really think, as Kalanick has indicated, he is now ready to change his ways and take a long, hard look at himself, in particular at his leadership limitations? Could I stomach listening to Maroon 5 while at work?
In any case, enjoy the show.