The COVID-19 pandemic has led millions of Americans to change their career paths.
It’s been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation.’
A record 4.4 million people quit their job in September 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic.
A trend that is expected to continue in 2022.
A North Texas couple turned their layoff notices into an opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream.
“I’m happy that I’m working for myself. Happy to be working with my family,” said Carla Delgado. “Happy to see my happy customers. Happy to come to work!”
You can find Jessie and Carla Delgado serving up a taste of Peru and Puerto Rico in the parking lot of the Grand Prairie Outlet Mall.
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“This is my food truck. This is what we dream for so long,” she said of their food truck ‘Mi Peru Borinqueno.’
It is a successful business venture that grew out of loss and a time of uncertainty.
Husband and wife were laid off at the start of the pandemic. Her kitchen manager position at Southwest Airlines and his chef position at a private school were cut.
The Delgados then joined millions of Americans in deciding not to return once their positions were open again.
Instead, they opted to take a chance at operating their own food truck.
“I’m not thankful for the pandemic, but I’m really surprised that I was able to make my own business,” she said.
Career strategist Julie Bauke, founder of The Bauke Group, explained what’s behind ‘The Great Resignation’ and how the pandemic shifted workers’ thinking.
“It caused them to really think about what was most important to them in their lives,” said Bauke. “We saw an awful lot of introspection going on with people saying: I was really miserable in this job. There was a little bit of a value shift and people said: Do I really want to go back?”
Texas led the nation in the ‘quit rate’ last fall, she said.
“From October to November, the quit rate jumped from 380,000 to 489,000,” said Bauke. “It was the biggest jump month-to-month of any state in the country.”
Bauke says those 55 and older left the workforce in droves, many choosing to retire earlier than expected or return on a part-time basis.
Bauke has some advice for anyone looking to make a career change in 2022.
“The first thing you think about is what’s not working in your current career,” she said. “We always advise people to see if you can fix it where you are. Maybe you like your organization, like your leadership team but don’t like what you’re doing. So, try to fix it where you are instead of throwing the baby and the bathwater out.”
Consider what you want more of, less of and never again, she added.
“The biggest mistake job-seekers make is beginning a search without having an end in mind,” said Bauke.
The Delgados hope others will take the risk and go for their dreams.
“Just follow your heart if you have something in mind you want to accomplish,” said Jessie Delgado. “There’s always going to be that questions ‘what if’ but we don’t know if we don’t do it.”