Finding the perfect job isn’t easy. Most of us go through a couple of gigs before finding one that truly speaks to us. Becoming a taxi driver might not be the first thing you consider when considering new opportunities. However, working as a taxi driver might be the best decision you ever make for several reasons.
Taxi drivers meet various people in their professional work, so it is an excellent career option for those with excellent interpersonal skills who enjoy meeting new people. If you think this might be a potential career path, here’s everything you need to know beforehand.
What Does a Taxi Driver Do?
Being a taxi driver is simple enough, in principle, at least. Taxi drivers are responsible for transporting their passengers from A to B safely and efficiently. However, there is more to being a taxi driver than just driving from point to point. To excel as a taxi driver, you will also need to hone your conversational skills and your ability to react to dynamic situations.
Two types of taxis account for the vast majority of all the taxis on the roads in the UK. The first are the classic black cabs, and the rest are ‘private hire vehicles.’ Taxi drivers can work self-employed or be employed directly by a taxi firm. Both types of taxis are integral to a functioning transport system in major cities. Taxi driving is therefore providing a valuable and much-needed service.
What Are Their Duties?
The bulk of a taxi driver’s job is spent driving passengers, but as with any job, many other tasks need doing. An independent taxi operator will need a way of receiving fares. This could be via a radio, an on-board computer system, or by picking passengers up at a taxi rank. Once you have collected the passengers, you then need to be able to get them where they’re going.
GPS units have made life easier for taxi drivers. However, local knowledge is always helpful for those occasions where the usual route is unavailable. Reading a map or atlas is desirable, even if you also use a GPS. You will also need a way of calculating fares and making them clear to your passengers.
Taxi drivers may also need to assist passengers with heavy luggage or mobility issues, for example. Finally, they will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining their work vehicles.
Is It for Me?
You need to ask several questions if you are thinking about becoming a taxi driver. First, you must consider whether you are comfortable behind the wheel. You must drive professionally and be responsible for the safety of your passengers and your own, so you must be a very confident driver.
You must also be prepared to work the required hours as a taxi driver. This is one of those jobs where your peak hours will be when most people are relaxing and unwinding from their jobs. This can make things difficult regarding your social life, but finding a healthy balance between work and life will always be challenging, regardless of your job.
If you aren’t going to feel comfortable sitting in a car with a stranger for the duration of their car ride, being a taxi driver probably isn’t for you. The better your ability to make small talk with passengers, the easier your rides will be.
What Do I Need?
Taxi drivers in the UK don’t require any specific qualifications. In some places, notably London, you must demonstrate local geographical knowledge to earn your operator’s license. Local authorities issue these licenses, and the specific rules vary from place to place.
You might not have ever considered taxi driving a potential job or career, but it is a job that just about anyone can do. As long as you can drive and are confident that you can handle all the day-to-day tasks required of a taxi driver, this is a job worth considering.
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