I have a secret I’ve been keeping from you guys. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s something that I’ve never mentioned on here before, and now that I am starting an amazing new job in New York City, I feel like it’s time that you know.
For the past two years, I have been working at Google.
I’ve kept it from you mostly because I had this recurring nightmare where my blog got famous and the headlines about it read “GOOGLE EMPLOYEE USES CURSE WORDS IN BLOG/ OCCASIONALLY TALKS ABOUT SEX/ DEFAMES COMPANY.” Because these are the kinds of really awesome dreams that I have.
Google was my very first full-time employer. Yes, I am spoiled. Yes, I understand how lucky I am. And yes, I quit. But before I talk about my experience and the reasons I left, I’m going to go over some answers to the questions every guy at a bar ever asks me after I tell them where I work.
How did you land a job at Google? Honestly, it had a lot to do with luck and timing. I worked hard in school and at my internships, then I applied on the website like everyone else. I went through a few rounds of interviews, and the rest was history.
Can you get me a job there? No. This is precisely why I didn’t tell you until after I quit, ya little mooch.
Do they really give you free food? Yes. There is so much free food it is unbelievable. I am actually not sure how I am going to operate in an environment where the world isn’t my personal vending machine and there isn’t a chef waiting for me with bacon when I get to work. It’s going to be an adjustment. On the bright side, perhaps I’ll finally get rid of “the Google 15.”
Did you just play shuffleboard and ride bikes and scooters around all day? I was ALWAYS down to play shuffleboard, but the problem was finding teammates. We have a lot of cool stuff, but everyone was pretty busy, so it was hard to coordinate time for fun. I had one really epic scooter race around the office, but other than that I was just afraid of crashing into a wall of cubicles. Also – fun fact, I can’t ride a bike. I did it once on at Google HQ, and I actually ran into a person. He was literally the only person on the sidewalk.
So yeah. Google. It’s an interesting place. At the beginning, all you do is walk around in awe of the cool stuff you get to dogfood and the fact that you can make yourself a soy chai latte every day for free. You talk about work to anyone who will listen, or anyone who makes the mistake of standing in front of you for more than thirty seconds. You beam as you explain the cool benefits and the nap pods. It’s all very exciting.
A year in, a bit of the lustre has worn off. You’ve gained a little weight, gone through a few really terrible days at work, and potentially run over a fellow Googler with a multi-colored bicycle. You talk about work less, and only tell people you work at Google when specifically asked.
By the end of your time, things get weird. You wake up one day and realize that you have more electronic devices than a third-world country, and you have no idea what to do with them all. You tell people you work in “tech sales” to avoid ever having to talk about Google or being asked if you can get someone’s niece a job. You find yourself standing in front of a cart of free food. thinking things like: GOSH, we always have the same 70 free snack options… would it kill them to change it up once in a while?
And then you realize that it’s just your time.
I got wonderful experience working at Google, and made many of my best friends there. I would never trade it for the world. But for me, there was a point I realized that the rest of the world was far more excited about my company than I was, and that was a problem. So when I set out to find a new job, I made damn sure that it was with a company that gives me the same kind of awe the rest of the world gets from Google. And that’s precisely where I ended up.
I start a new chapter on Monday morning. Wish me luck, kids!