Cover Photo: Tallulah Pomeroy
Tallulah Pomeroy

When You Hate the Job You’re Supposed to Love

“Jobs are insidiously hard to compartmentalize. So is dying inside.”

Welcome to End It Now?, a narrative advice column. In each installment, Alissa Nutting and Dean Bakopoulos will address a question from a reader who is thinking about quitting something: a relationship, a job, a habit, a project. Dean and Alissa will respond with stories from their lives and the lives of others, and then deliver a verdict: Should the letter-writer end it now, or not so much, and why?


Dear Alissa and Dean,

I’m a book publicist who loves books but hates being a publicist. I’ve been at my job for several years and think about quitting every day. The problem is, I think I’m pretty good at my job. Also, I really like my coworkers; I like my schedule; I like my job security. But although we publish a good book here and there, we also put out a lot of trash, and every time I have to send a pleading email to a respected journalist, I die a little bit inside.

In a perfect world, I’d quit my job to write. But I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone would do in a perfect world.

The way I see it, I have two options: stay and accept my fate of forever sending emails nine to five, or quit and face the frightening unknown of starting over. What do I do?


A Publicist in Distress

it’s not you; it’s meshouldWhat’s wrong with me for not being able to make this good thing work?

Have a question for Alissa and Dean? Email us at [email protected] with subject header END IT NOW? Please specify in the body of your email if you'd like to remain anonymous.

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Alissa Nutting is author of novels Tampa (Ecco/HarperCollins) and the forthcoming Made for Love (Ecco/HarperCollins). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Fence, BOMB, Elle, The New York Times, Conduit, and O: The Oprah Magazine, as well as the fairy tale anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me.  

Dean Bakopoulos’s Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon was a New York Times Notable Book. His second novel, My American Unhappiness, was named one of the year’s best novels by The Chicago Tribune, and his latest novel, Summerlong made the independent bookstore bestseller list.