The Great Resignation Record: How Are Workers Who Quit Their Employers Faring Now?

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Have you ever wondered what happened to all the people who were part of the first wave of the Great Resignation?

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GOBankingRates caught up with three workers who quit their jobs to see what they do after quitting and what life is like in their new career. Funny enough, every single person we spoke to has decided to become an entrepreneur and is pretty happy with where their journey is headed!

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“I’m a totally different person.”

In August 2021, Chenadra Washington retired from her former career as a financial services leader in corporate America. This particular chapter ended on a toxic note. Washington said she had hit a plateau in her career and was battling severe burnout. She wasn’t sure what kind of business she wanted to start, but knew there had to be an exit strategy.

Today, Washington is CEO and founder of Black Orchids PR, which helps minority women build awareness and grow their brands through high-converting storytelling. Washington describes life as good but busy, but it’s the kind of activity she’s always dreamed of.

“My business has created a new life for me and allows me to create freely. I’m more connected with my family and have met some truly amazing people and opportunities on this trip,” Washington said.

Speaking of a new life, Washington is still settling into the fact that being a business owner is his life. Making the decision to quit your job meant more than just quitting. Washington knew she had to make the choice to live a more purpose-driven life and figure out what she could do to serve more people.

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“I haven’t even been gone a year and I’m a totally different person. My thoughts are different. My view of the world is different and, more importantly, I see myself differently,” Washington said. “I’m grateful to have taken the leap and hope many more people will figure out what they really want in life and take the steps to make it happen.”

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“Being an entrepreneur is by far the most intense, satisfying and fulfilling thing I’ve done.”

Jeet Mehta is one of the founders and CEO of Swift, an early-stage B2B SaaS company that develops software for sports facilities. Prior to Swift, Mehta was a former data scientist and product manager at Shopify. In July 2021, Mehta left Shopify in the midst of the big resignation.

Mehta said his time at Shopify was great and he had nothing to complain about. However, he began to feel the effects of being such a big company.

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“I always wanted to start my own business, so when we found a problem worth tackling, I took the plunge,” Mehta said.

Getting into entrepreneurship has been full of incredible changes. Mehta’s responsibilities as one of Swift’s founders and CEO vary widely from day to day. Any given day can include investor meetings, client talks, headlong development, sales calls and more. It’s also a leap from the old e-commerce space since Swift is a company in the sports facilities industry.

“Being an entrepreneur is by far the most intense, satisfying and fulfilling thing I’ve done,” Mehta said. “It’s very difficult, but seeing real customers use and rely on something you’ve built is worth it.”

“The pandemic has shown me there is another way.”

During the Great Resignation, Chelsea Kellogg left her position as spokesperson for the mayor of Seattle. Kellogg started Pollination Communications and Public Affairs, where she owns her own communications and public affairs consultancy.

Nearly a year after owning a business, Kellogg has doubled his take-home pay and takes Fridays off to spend time with his son.

The decision to quit as spokesperson, Kellogg said, was not made because she hated her boss or the industry. She left because the COVID-19 pandemic showed her there was another way for her to be in the industry she loves and have more control over when and where she works.

Leaving remains the best choice she has made in her career. “I wouldn’t go back or give up on what I’ve built,” Kellogg said.

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