Here's why one employee left Google for a virtually unknown startup



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The sleek interior of Google.

After four years of enjoying "free food, masseuses, gyms and guest speakers (Conan O'Brien, Lady Gaga, Senator Hillary Clinton and Arianna Huffington to name a few)," Michael Peggs decided to quit Google and jump on board with a small startup "that no one knows exists," he explained in a Huffington post article and a now infamous resignation YouTube video.

Peggs made it clear that his decision to part with Google, where he did strategic partner development, was completely intrinsic.

He used the cliché breakup line, "It's not you. Really, it's me," in his YouTube video - but it came across as sincere. Google was his home for four years.


michael peggs

Courtesy of Michael Peggs

It's been about six months since he decided to leave the tech company that ranked No. 1 on Fortune's list of best companies for the sixth time this year, and he recently revisited his experience quitting in an article for a LinkedIn series where professionals share all the right - and wrong - ways to leave a job.

Peggs, now a career coach, says the problem with his seemingly perfect job at Google was that he found himself too comfortable and needing "space to create."

He uses the analogy of a New York City subway to further explain this need for space:


Have you ever packed into a subway train during rush hour? You walk into the center thinking you're in the clear, but you're actually getting pushed and pulled from both sides. You get the better sense to sit down but you're packed in so tight that you stand back up. The decision to occupy the door becomes the obvious one, but people hit you on the way out and step over you on the way in. At that moment, the best thing you can do is get off and wait for a less crowded car.

That train is your career, and what we all need is room to re-evaluate. Renew. Breathe. Stretch. Strengthen. To come back and supply the world with our authentic art.

Quitting a job is terrifying, especially if it's a comfortable and stable position - but refusing to leave is an equally scary prospect, according to Peggs.


He urges us to escape the trap of our comfort zones, branch out, and try new things: "What I know now is that you'll never reach your potential until you assume some level of risk. It doesn't have to be your job, but leave something behind starting today. Stop holding on to what's good enough and make room for what's great."

Read the full LinkedIn post here.

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