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Thread: Becoming a chauffeur in Chicago

  1. #1
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    Default Becoming a chauffeur in Chicago

    I've given it quite a bit of thought, and I'm going to try to become a chauffeur and just wanted some ideas about the business and my chances in the business.

    First off, some background info about me. Skip this paragraph if you don't care. I'm 25 and only speak English, and had my drivers license for 7 years now. During this time, I've had one ticket for speeding, one for a dirty rear windshield, and one not at fault accident (all of these are more than three years old and would not show up on a DMV report anyway). In terms of criminal history: I received a possession of cannabis charge in 2003 which I messed up when getting it expunged, so it does not show up under a search through the courts, but it does show up during a search through the state police. I have 2 counts of disorderly conduct from last year for which I successfully completed court supervision. I also was charged with 2 felonies last year, but the charges were dropped. These charges (if convicted) wouldn't have prevented me from getting a chauffeur license in Chicago. Employment history is kind of sketchy and has large gaps. Most of it is industrial type work, which is really not my thing. My last job was a student job I had for 2 years and would receive a great recommendation from. I am a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying physics and have a 3.0 gpa. I'm pretty good at maintaining a good appearance with clean pressed clothes, etc. I perpetually look like I almost have a 5 o'clock shadow no matter which way I shave. I tend to be quiet and reserved and don't really say much unless I feel there is something to say, but can converse fluently with other people when I need to. I am very good at meeting other peoples needs quickly and making them feel like they are the most important person in my word. I realize some of this stuff isn't very glamorous looking, but I wanted a realistic idea of if this is something worth taking the time to pursue.

    I believe in the city of Chicago I need a restricted chauffeurs license. I am very capable of taking tests, and would pass vision, drug, and background screening. My belief is this would take a couple of weeks to obtain. Should I try to get the first, or should I see if any limousine companies take an interest in me? I do not have a CDL and am not interested in obtaining one. I desire to be an employee, not an independent contractor. What percentage of companies run their operations this way? Even though I'd be capable of driving a limousine, I would much prefer to drive a sedan or a luxury sedan more oriented to business customers. Is this a realistic thing for a new person to hope for? Do drivers get much choice of what they drive or is it more they drive what they are told to drive?

    My goals for this are quite a few. I'd need to start out part time on the weekends until my current semester is over (First week of May I think). After that, I'd be willing to commit full time to a company through August. At that point I'd strongly like to evaluate what I think of the profession, whether or not the income can support me, etc. If I like it a lot, I would be ok with doing it as a career. If it's not bad, I'd need to drop back to part time to continue in school. If it's something I don't like, I'd probably get out of the business then. If I were to have a career as a chauffeur, I would eventually like to move on to being hired by business professionals, etc driving privately owned vehicles for a living.

    What are your thoughts on some of these ideas? Have I thought of everything relevant at this point? What could I do to present myself in a more positive way? I know a lot of people here have an established business or are starting one. If I happened to live in your area, (hypothetically) would you be interested in hiring me as a chauffeur? Does anyone know any businesses in Chicago that might be a good place to start out?

    Sorry if this is too long, but thank you anyway for your knowledge, experience, and feedback.

  2. #2
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    I've given it quite a bit of thought, and I'm going to try to become a chauffeur and just wanted some ideas about the business and my chances in the business.
    Review any application instructions very carefully. If there is a question that asks: “have you ever…” don’t attempt to get around it, or try to qualify it by pointing out the dates. The question has more to do with your honesty and integrity than the violation.

    In terms of criminal history: I received a possession of cannabis charge in 2003 which I messed up when getting it expunged, so it does not show up under a search through the courts, but it does show up during a search through the state police.
    This is quick and easy: do you have an affidavit from the court granting the petition to expunge… yes or no. No exceptions or in betweens, you either do or you don’t. I don't want to know, but you need to know for a fact what your status is. If in doubt, find out!

    I have 2 counts of disorderly conduct from last year for which I successfully completed court supervision.
    So this was a conviction. You were sentenced, so you’d want to disclose this. Be honest.

    I also was charged with 2 felonies last year, but the charges were dropped.
    You don’t need to explain them... the record usually speaks for itself.
    I think that's about enough on this. Be honest.

    Employment history is kind of sketchy and has large gaps.
    This is where a lot of people mess up. You have to grab on and handle this. You need to sit down with a sheet of paper and write down every job you’ve ever had for at least the previous ten years. Unless you were really employed at fifteen, you were probably in school… put it down. You might have to get help from friends or family on the dates and locations but you should be able to cite the month and year you started and ended. If there is a gap of one month or more, you need to account for that time. Where were you? Jail? Out to sea? In the hospital? Or just plain old unemployed? You should be able to account for the entire ten year period (or more if you can). Have the information, including titles, addresses and phone numbers (even if the business is no more)… never underestimate a background check. If you don’t know, someone knows. You just have to put in the work.

    I'm pretty good at maintaining a good appearance with clean pressed clothes, etc.
    Let’s make that “I’m very good at…” or “I’m exceptionally good at…”

    I perpetually look like I almost have a 5 o'clock shadow no matter which way I shave.
    The Fred Flintstone look, huh? Suave, cool hip, and ready for the club? Whatever… they either like it or they don’t.

    I do not have a CDL and am not interested in obtaining one.
    Understandable… they can be a headache to get but a CDL represents more responsibility and a vested interest in being responsible enough to earn it and keep it.

    Even though I'd be capable of driving a limousine, I would much prefer to drive a sedan or a luxury sedan more oriented to business customers. Is this a realistic thing for a new person to hope for? Do drivers get much choice of what they drive or is it more they drive what they are told to drive? ?
    I’d say it’s a realistic enough to at least be brought up in the interview of what you’re looking and hoping for.

    What are your thoughts on some of these ideas? Have I thought of everything relevant at this point? What could I do to present myself in a more positive way?
    I think you’re doing okay; but improving yourself is a work in progress, right?

    If I happened to live in your area, (hypothetically) would you be interested in hiring me as a chauffeur?
    I’d like to think so... but it the meanwhile, good luck to you!
    Karl Jones

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Stuff
    Thanks for the detailed reply. By the way since this is the introduction thread, I'm Zack.

  4. #4
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    Zack welcome to the forum, I am going to be honest with you, I would probably not hire you, that's quite a background in a few short years. Now with that said you do seem to have and this is based on what I have read an interest in this business. I think if you go out and be sincere when interviewing and show an interest in the busines ands be willing to accept another job in this business, it could be working in reservations or dispatch or detailing and learn the business and prove your value to someone. But honestly I would be very reluctant to send you out to represent my company without really knowing what type of person you are. But if you worked for me in a supervised position and I can observe you for sometime maybe then I would be willing to put you out on the road. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. In the past I have hired a few people with records but they worked in a supervised position and just about all of them turned out to be great employee's.
    I want to die while asleep like my grandfather,
    not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Welcome. A couple of great posts already! Karl really hit in on the head on how to develop your approach (to any employer in any industry, really). It seems like you really understand the concept of service. Maybe you should try contacting Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I really do not know how they pay, but I do know they offer their own transportation. Here is their website: http://www.cancercenter.com/about-us...DOC&c=EMPOWDOC. Like Limo Wire mentioned, if not in transportation at first, maybe there might be something there that could spark an interest (although I believe you would be fine in transportation). Good Luck!
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member MrQ45Limo's Avatar
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    Give American Limo a call they are always looking for drivers down there in Chicago they are a pretty big out-fit.
    Badger State Limousine Service
    "When nothing less than perfection will do"
    (414)-GO-GO-RED (414)-464-6733
    www. BADGERSTATELIMO.com

    http://www.Badgerstatelimo.com
    http://www.MILWAUKEEWISCONSINLIMO.com

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