How to Quit Your Job in 837 Easy Steps

I found myself Googling whether to leave my job — while leading PR at Google

Jessica Powell
Published in
9 min readMar 6, 2019


Credit: nadia_bormotova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Step 1: Take lots of online quizzes, looking for sudden enlightenment.

It all started with a quiz — several of them. Week after week, I’d hop on Google and search “how to know it’s time to quit your job.” I’d write it just like that, a complete sentence, wanting to do full justice to my question. The first results were always quizzes:

  • Is your boss a horrible person?
  • Would you hate to have your boss’s job?
  • Are you woefully underpaid?
  • Do you wake up each morning dreading going into the office?

I did them all. I never scored 10 out of 10. No, I didn’t totally hate my job. No, I didn’t dread going into the office each morning. My boss wasn’t a horrible person. And, as head of PR for all of Google, I would say I was over- not under-paid.

But I was unhappy. I had gotten to the top of my profession, but the truth was that I was increasingly having doubts about the content of this supposed dream job. And after all those years of wondering what it would be like to run things, I realized that having the big office meant you were on one side of the glass while all the people who had once been your friends were on the other side of it. It was more lonely than fun.

And so, I found myself with the ridiculous practice of asking Google whether I should quit Google. Every few weeks, I’d try a different quiz, thinking it would yield some new insight or that my score would gradually tick upward. It took several months before I hit on the real takeaway: It didn’t matter what my score was. The motivation for taking these quizzes was itself the answer. It was time to quit my job.

Steps 2–49: Despite your realization, don’t quit. Try to become happier in your job.

Take walks in the morning. Eat more sugar. Eat less sugar. Use those free massage credits (did I mention I worked in tech?). Avoid the executive you thought was a bully. Stand up to the executive you thought was a bully. Spend more time…



Jessica Powell

Technophile, technophobe. Music software start-up founder. Former Google VP. Author, The Big Disruption. Fan of shochu, chocolate, and the absurd.

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