When I told people I was quitting my job at Google, the inevitable response was: But why?!
Surely tearing myself away from the most powerful company in the world, with its coveted benefits package and endless buffet of free food, would be impossible. Faced with that question, I thought I would stand like Peter Pan, hand on hips, feet planted firmly apart and state proudly, “I'm leaving because I was offered the position of editor-in-chief at DailyWorth. I'm going to run a site about empowering women. Huzzah!"
But I did not do that.
What I did do, to my surprise, was explain that I’m leaving Google to work for DailyWorth because I'm passionate about the company's mission. I sounded like a politician explaining why I was running for office. I’ll be doing good. It was as if someone gave me a bunch of talking points and I kept spouting them. It's the passion, I'd say. Women, I’d campaign. When prodded, I’d add ... and I’ll be editor-in-chief. Talk about burying the lede.
Here I was, about to take the helm at a company whose mission is to empower women in the workplace and I'm mumbling my fancy-ass title — the irony.
I hate admitting this — to DailyWorth readers, to my new coworkers, to myself — but I wasn’t owning my new title. I had always thought myself immune to impostor syndrome, but there it was, creeping up. After all, editor-in-chief is serious, the top of my game. I wear a ponytail, hate PowerPoint and swear like a sailor.
Which leads me to the answer to that inevitable question: “Why quit?” To prove to myself that I could. To take a job that challenges and ignites me.
Here’s another reason: money. DailyWorth offered me more money. (If you think negotiating is anxiety inducing, try doing it with a company that teaches women to negotiate.) So, MONEY. It's awesome. I love it. I love to invest it and save it and spend it. But we never say that, do we? So I'm saying it here — loud and proud — another reason I quit Google: money.
There’s another reason that’s even dirtier. I quit because I want more power. At Google, like most big corporations, decisions are made by committee — after meetings and more meetings, and testing and more testing, and then circling back and meeting again. And what does all that consensus birth? Zero accountability. No one can be held responsible. Is it safe? Yes, very. But it's not exactly titillating. This new position puts me in charge of DailyWorth's voice. No safety net. Is it daunting to be given the reins, to trust my gut, to be in charge? Absolutely. I'm beyond excited.
As I peeled back the layers of why I was quitting, a question kept popping up in my mind: Why are people asking? I was thinking that while watching “The Good Wife” recently. In the episode, Alicia Florrick, a high-powered lawyer, is considering running for State’s Attorney. When she tells the people in her life, they all respond, “Why would you want to be State’s Attorney?” (Her mother even follows up with this doozy: “Why not just take a trip? You’d love Bali.”) Alicia never really answers. The subtext is clear: She shouldn’t have to. A man wouldn’t be asked that question. We assume his answer: ambition. I would never dare to compare myself to Saint Alicia (though we drink about the same amount of wine), but we are both ambitious.
And that is why I quit Google. Because I'm ambitious. And I want more. Of everything. Passion. Confidence. Money. Power. Influence.
I want to shout that women who care about their finances are not a niche. DailyWorth is not for a niche audience. There’s a misconception that successful, powerful women are a “type” that look and behave one way. But for many women, myself included, this image feels forced — like dressing up as Career Woman Barbie. And why should you have to? Taking yourself, your career and your finances seriously does not mean you have to fit any particular mold.
Personal finance isn’t an interest or a hobby. It’s the often unacknowledged undercurrent that fuels your life, whether you’re a stay-at-home-mom, a trust-fund baby, a woman embarking on her career or the big boss. Money touches us all. And she who holds the money holds the power — and freedom.
I want DailyWorth to be that voice encouraging women, of all types, to harness that power.
Brooke Siegel is the new editor-in-chief of DailyWorth. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two-year-old son. You can find her here and on Twitter. Today is her 6th day.