The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Transcript: The Great Resignation with Molly M. Anderson, Anthony C. Klotz, PhD & Elaine Welteroth

MR. JORGENSON: Hi, I’m Dave Jorgenson. I’m a video producer at The Washington Post, but you probably know me as the Washington Post TikTok guy, or just some guy on TikTok that does some pretty funny newspaper clips. But today, we’re talking about the great resignation. It’s a catchall phrase acknowledging the millions of Americans who have been quitting their job during the pandemic.

And we're joined by Dr. Anthony Klotz. He's an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University;

And also with us is Molly Anderson, a lawyer who started her own firm during the pandemic, which sounds insane. So, I'm ready to learn more about that in general.

Welcome to you both.

DR. KLOTZ: Thanks, Dave.

MS. ANDERSON: Thank you for [audio distortion].

MR. JORGENSON: Yeah, I have so many questions for you and we have about 20 minutes. So, I'm going to do my best to get through it. And again, just thanks for being here with me.

Dr. Klotz, I want to start you. You coined this term, "the great resignation." What's driving that trend and what makes it unique to the pandemic?

DR. KLOTZ: Well, I think there are four trends related to the pandemic that led me to coin the term, and that we're continuing to see, along with some other trends, now.

The first is pretty basic, it's a backlog of resignations. In 2020, because of the pandemic, a lot of people who might have otherwise quit their jobs stayed put in their jobs. And so, as the economy improves and we hopefully reach the end of the pandemic, some of those people will probably enact their plans to leave. There's also heightened levels of burnout across the economy, from frontline workers to the executive suite, and we know that burnout is a predicter of turnover. And so, again, heightened levels of "burnover" leading to heightened resignations. The third one is probably the most difficult, and that's the shift in identity or the pandemic epiphanies people have had and decided to make major shifts in their life during the pandemic. And so, in many cases, that may lead to them switching their jobs. And then, finally, the one that gets a lot of the attention which is individuals who have been working remotely for the last year-and-a-half. Many are excited to return to the office, but a number of them are not. And so, there is some percentage of those employees who are going to quit rather than go back to the office.

And so, observing those four trends, they sort of came together for me as sort of a coherent theory and to predict that there is a great resignation coming.

MR. JORGENSON: Well, I want to ask you more later about the people that don't want to go back to the office.

But first, what industries are seeing this burnout the most, you know, this big exodus? Is there a specific type of job or industry itself that it is happening more?

DR. KLOTZ: Yeah, so, it's a little bit varied, but we're definitely seeing it higher, especially from a burnout perspective, individuals who are frontline workers. And you can imagine those in food service during the pandemic experienced a lot of stress. And so, elevated resignations in those industries. And there are some reports coming out that in the tech industries and financial industries, there are higher levels of turnover, as well.

But just to be clear, the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show the elevated resignations compared to 2019 across all industries, even if it is a bit higher in those that I just mentioned.

MR. JORGENSON: Great. And Molly, one of the main reasons people quit their job is for better compensation, but 44 percent do it to start their own business, and you did that. So, what made you take the leap to start a law firm during the pandemic?

MS. ANDERSON: I'm learning new terms from Dr. Klotz, but I think it must have been a pandemic epiphany.

I was working at home for my firm that I was employed at for a long time and realized--I mean, I just knew immediately--I had this moment, I guess, where I knew that it was the right time for me to start my own firm. And part of that was because overhead during the pandemic was going to be so low. Nobody was meeting in person. I did not need a brick-and-mortar office. Student loan payments had been deferred. All I needed in order to start my own business was a computer and a few software subscriptions, and some insurance. That's really all I needed. I had the expertise, I had the experience, and I was able to jump right in.

There were a lot of factors that had been leading up to it previously, and it just--I just knew at some point it was the right time. I had that epiphany moment.

MR. JORGENSON: Yeah, I remember when the pandemic started, I was talking to my grandma on the phone and I said, "Well, at least this is happening when I have Zoom and I can talk to everyone and I have these resources in front of me."

Do you think that if this had been ten years ago, would it have been as easy to, you know, basically build your own office within your home?

MS. ANDERSON: No. I think that it was absolutely the right time, the right place. And I'm sure that's true for a lot of different professions, not just in the legal profession, but professional services that don't have to be in person. I think without Zoom, it would be very difficult for me to have started and to have created my own firm the way that I did ten years ago.

I could have done it in different ways, but usually when you hear about people going off and starting their own firm, they're saving a year's worth of overhead. They're saving backup salary for them. And I didn't have to do that, which is good, because I couldn't have done that during the pandemic, either.

MR. JORGENSON: Right. So, we actually earlier this week, I made a TikTok asking for other TikTok creators and users to make their own TikTok asking questions for this event. If you're still following me, then that's amazing. Her name is Julia Kathleen [phonetic]. That's the person who asked us the question. And she had kind of a different experience. She feels like the great resignation is not playing out in her world. So, let's take a look at that clip.

MS. KATHLEEN [on TikTok]: As someone who is job searching and wants a job, I'm finding it just as hard as it was two years ago. It doesn't feel like anything has changed in my job search experience. I'm not getting offers right away and stuff like that. But hearing that so many people are quitting their jobs and stuff, you'd expect there to be, I don't know, a difference in that. So, I'm just wondering why that's not happening.

MR. JORGENSON: So, great question from Julia Kathleen on TikTok. She was specifically looking for a role in publishing and communications. Dr. Klotz, do you think that that's the industry alone that's making it more difficult, or is it just kind of different for some people across the board?

DR. KLOTZ: Yeah, so, you know, I cannot speak to that that exact industry, but it does stand to reason that, in that industry, the jobs carried over fairly well in the pandemic to a virtual setting. So, maybe there aren't quite as many resignations, as many job openings, there.

But this speaks to a disconnect that was there before the pandemic, and it really feels frustrating now. I think I've heard from people like her who have said, you're out there talking about how many people are quitting their jobs and I'm having trouble finding a job. And I think there is still a bit of a disconnect in terms of companies' hiring practices. And in many cases, they have artificial intelligence set up to do the initial round of screening. And so, there have been some articles written in the last few weeks about this big disconnect between a record number of job openings in the U.S., many people quitting their jobs; and yet, millions of job seekers, who are saying, I'm applying everywhere and I'm not getting a job.

And so, I think organizations are probably going to have to return to the selection practices and say, what are we doing that we're sort of missing a number of individuals who are really eager to enter back into the workforce.

MR. JORGENSON: Great. And shifting a little bit from the jobs themselves to the people that are doing this, Molly, what role did privilege and socioeconomic status play in being able to quit your job during the pandemic?

MS. ANDERSON: It absolutely allowed me to do that. I was privileged enough that we--you know, we didn't have a lot put aside to--for me to start my own business, but we survived without a paycheck from me for a few weeks. And I would not have been able to do that if I had not been working in a law firm for seven or eight years prior to starting my own firm, or having the privilege that I do have. It's something also that is--that opportunity is not necessarily available to people that are not working in a position where they are working virtually, working remotely, people that have to be in person at their jobs. That's not necessarily--they can't really translate that into opening--like, you may not be able to open your own restaurant if you were working on wait staff somewhere. So, there's that sort of socioeconomic element, as well.

MR. JORGENSON: Sure, and you know, that all said, I'm sure there were many challenges. So, could you tell me what your biggest challenge was when you experienced not only leaving your job, but then starting up the firm.

MS. ANDERSON: It--there have been plenty of challenges, and I knew that there would be going into it. It was just a matter of figuring out what those were going to be.

The biggest one throughout the first year and some change that I've been--that my firm has been open, is that my whole family, despite being careful, we got COVID in January and I essentially had to shut my firm down for three or four weeks. And there's no safety net for that. There's no, you know, steady salary. If I'm not out there working to get clients, then I'm not bringing income to my family.

So, that was a huge challenge. I essentially started my law firm twice: Once when I left my previous firm and once again after my family recovered from COVID and our quarantine was over, because we were basically stuck at the same house for four or five weeks where my kids couldn't go to school. And you know, I was really the only person at my house that felt well enough to take care of them. So, that was the biggest challenge, just not having that safety net.

And then, the other challenges have been adapting to this new type of economy, essentially. The way I see the traditional private law firm, I don't see that model being effective, you know, 20 years in the future. I think there needs to be some change. And so, I've been working very hard to make sure my firm is adapting as quickly as possible to what I see as changes coming down the road.

MR. JORGENSON: You said you started the law firm twice. That's two more times than I've started one. So, congratulations, there.

But speaking of adapting and being flexible, you know, something, as you mentioned earlier, Dr. Klotz, the freedom to work from home and whether or not they want to come back from home. How are you reevaluating the traditional 9-to-5 hours, 40 hours a week, could that become obsolete? Can someone like me who wants to walk their dog ten times a day be able to do that, or how are you sort of adapting as that goes?

DR. KLOTZ: Yeah, so, I think people who like to walk their dog ten times a day will have many more opportunities for jobs where they're able to do that in the future.

I don't know if 40 hours or 9-to-5 are going to become obsolete, but they're definitely going to become a smaller percentage of the work arrangements that exist out there. So, one of the main ways that organizations are reacting to the great resignation, to the pandemic, is by questioning the traditional work arrangements they've had employees work. And that's obviously really difficult to do, because employees have different opinions and constraints on what they want to do. Organizations have their own sets of constraints.

And so, what I see a lot of firms doing right now is talking to their employees, having one-on-one conversations, what do you want going forward, and then thinking about their organizational culture and thinking about their organizational constraints and coming up with work arrangements that fit for their company and their employees.

And you see companies like Kickstarter experimenting with four-day work weeks. You see lots of organizations experimenting with hybrid work, with work in the office or from home, whatever you want. And then, they're looking at their performance and their innovation numbers and saying, is this sustainable or not? But I definitely foresee a future where jobseekers have far more options than they've ever had before, in terms of, I want the work schedule and the work arrangement that fits my lifestyle, whether that be frequent dog walking or whatever it is.

MR. JORGENSON: That's good to hear. I'll make sure to let my dog know, who has been let out for this, because that would be too much for her.

So, kind of, we talked a little bit about how the pandemic, of course, affected your law firm, Molly, but you know, one other thing about this is vaccination mandates.

So, we actually have another audience question. This one is from Eric Norenberg from Pennsylvania. He asks, "What impact do you anticipate from vaccination mandates on the resignation trend?"

Dr. Klotz, what do you think about that? Is that something where that is directly lined up with all this, the great resignation? Do you think vaccination mandates could really have an effect on this overall trend?

DR. KLOTZ: Yes. And I don't have data to back up that yes, other than anecdotes of talking to--I've talked to a number of senior HR managers, and I've heard from some who have said, we do not have a vaccine mandate in our organization and we're losing employees who are quitting because we don't. And then, I've heard from another set of CHROs who have said, we do have vaccine mandates and we're losing employees because of that as well, who disagree with that.

And so, I don't know if it's really a huge percentage of the great resignation, but I'm sure there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of employees across the country who may be deciding this organization's values don't fit with mine because of their decision on vaccine mandates and are opting to go do something else.

MR. JORGENSON: In that same vein, Molly, you mentioned you had to shut down a few weeks in January. Do you feel that, you know, related to the pandemic or otherwise, or maybe as a result of it, that the employee/employer relationship has changed?

MS. ANDERSON: I do, absolutely. I--part of my practice is to represent businesses, small- and medium-sized businesses in the State of Georgia, and one common factor that I'm seeing is that they're having a very difficult time finding the type of talent that they want to hire, and that is keeping up with the demand of businesses opening back up and restrictions easing a little bit.

And when I counsel them, I am letting them know that they are going to have to adapt their benefits, their schedules. They need to look at the places that they can make changes. Some things you can't. Some businesses have to be in person. If you have--you know, if you're a dental office, you have to open up in person. But there are other ways that you can make your atmosphere, your company culture, more beneficial to what people are looking for, now.

And also, I do think employees have more power, because they have seen--I think there's a shift in attitude. They have seen--or they have measured themselves, what they are willing to risk for their job. They've had to go through that process and that consideration in the past 15 months. And having already gone through that, they're consciously making that decision every day. And I think that changes--whereas before, you know, it wasn't necessarily front-of-mind for everybody, what people are willing to sacrifice for their job. You're going to work, you're working hard, you're coming back home. But now, it is--it's something that people think about. I think that definitely has changed the relationship.

MR. JORGENSON: Dr. Klotz, Gen Z and Millennials are leading the great resignation, and Baby Boomers are kind of less-inclined to do so, unless you're talking about my dad who just decided to retire and kind of expedited that for him.

But why is it that older employees--they're valuing the workplace more? What's keeping them at their jobs?

DR. KLOTZ: So, I believe--I'm not sure if that's completely going to be the case by the time this is all over. We are seeing an increase in early retirements, which is what you just mentioned. But, I mean, you can imagine older employees, on average, have invested more time in a single organization than employees earlier in their career. And so, the switching costs are higher. So, they've got a bunch of capital built up with this organization, a bunch of knowledge built up with that organization, and honestly maybe less options because they haven't been to school for a while and so their training isn't up-to-date.

And so, I think part of it is probably individuals who have been in organizations for longer periods of time. Their heart is more connected to the organization, but also they probably have less options, as well, compared to the folks earlier in their careers.

MR. JORGENSON: So, another I would say sort of a generational thing; it's something that didn't exist 10, 20 years ago, even 5 years ago, companies like Mozilla, Bumble, Citigroup, they all had these wellness weeks, reset days, things that are in place to prevent employee burnout.

Molly, are there any sort of wellbeing interventions that you're considering incorporating into your business?

MS. ANDERSON: Yes, I have just started the process of beginning to hire employees. So, this is something that I have had to look at recently, but I think, you know, to me, a wellness week or a wellness day, or even, for attorneys, we have continuing education classes on attorney wellness, and it will be six hours of class. That is not enough to prevent burnout.

So, I think changes that we have to make and that most businesses are going to have to make to prevent this sort of turnover is they have to make long-term changes. From week-to-week, day-to-day the work environment, you don't have to cater to your employees' every whim, but you do have to take into consideration that they have lives and that, you know, they may have to go to the doctor and take off two hours from work in order to do that. Being more flexible in that regard to employees' schedules and needs, that's going to have to factor in for businesses. And certainly, that's something that I'm looking at as I begin the hiring process.

MR. JORGENSON: So, I'm not burnt out from talking to you all; I could talk to you all day. But we are out of time for this segment, so I'm going to take a little wellness break, myself.

But Dr. Anthony Klotz, Molly Anderson, thank you so much for joining me, today.

MS. ANDERSON: Thank you.

DR. KLOTZ: Thank you.

MR. JORGENSON: And to our audience, please stay with us. We will be back with journalist and TV host, Elaine Welteroth after this short video.

[Video played]

MR. JORGENSON: And we're back. And if you're just joining us, I'm Dave Jorgenson. And we're so excited to be joined by journalist, author, television host, and all around multihyphenate, Elaine Welteroth. I think it would have been easier to say the things she hasn't been. Elaine, welcome to Washington Post Live.

MS. WELTEROTH: Thank you so much for having me. This is--I'm really looking forward to this conversation.

MR. JORGENSON: Yes, and I have so many questions and 20 minutes is not enough, but I'll do my best. So, I'm going to get right to it.

We saw in your intro video that you're doing--that you just made this Masterclass, which I watched. And I was even looking into designing my own career at this point, but now, I--afterwards, I thought, oh, these are some good points. So, what inspired you to create this Masterclass?

MS. WELTEROTH: Well, I have to tell you, I've had one too many people tell me that I may or may not have inspired them to quit their jobs since watching the Masterclass. So, I can really--I'm a testament to this great resignation trend.

But you know, I really thought this was the perfect time for a class like this, because you know, gone are the days when you're going to spend your entire career on the same career trajectory, you know, in the same job, in the same company, in the same organization. You know, when I was working on this Masterclass, my mom was preparing to retire from a company that she's worked for for 43 years, which is unfathomable to my generation and also sort of the American Dream that her generation was sold on.

And we know the world has changed ten times over since then and especially with the pandemic [audio distortion] themselves in this moment of reckoning, trying to design a life that incorporates more fulfilling work, that doesn't necessarily center on work. I think for a long time, especially you know, in my generation, I think we've been raised up in this hustle culture. And you know, we've been conditioned to believe that our entire identities, our core friendships, all of our fulfillment should come from work, and I think that the pandemic came along and sort of disrupted that, and it introduced us to new ways of working. And it showed us that, you know, working from home and all that comes with that offers certain flexibility and freedom, and honestly gave us an opportunity to reevaluate our lives and how we want to spend our time.

So, I think having the opportunity to partner with people in this really pivotal moment in their lives and help to build frameworks together and share tools that can help them navigate this transitional period, hopefully, you know, with the goal of really living more fulfilling lives and doing more fulfilling work that is, you know, at the intersection of what I call your zone of genius, you know, that sweet spot where your sort of--your values, your talents, your passions, and your skillset really intersect.

MR. JORGENSON: I have many questions about the zone of genius, as well, because I want to get into my own genius zone.

But first, going back to the hustle culture, you just mentioned that. You also said in an interview with hustle culture, that it shouldn't be glorified. But in watching your Masterclass, you said something that--along the lines of you're a big proponent of having side hustles.

Can you help me understand the distinction between, you know, not glorifying hustle culture, but also making sure that--or having these side hustles that might help, you know, keep you interested and really keep you moving.

MS. WELTEROTH: I think that's a great question. I think for folks who don't have the economic freedom or maybe even the courage or confidence yet to take a bet on themselves, to pursue a purely entrepreneurial path, being able to dabble in a hustle, for a lot of people, helps bring in some of that fulfillment that might be missing from their day jobs.

You know, a lot of people didn't do the soul-searching and digging deep to find out what is their zone of genius, and they didn't let that inform their career path coming out of college. So, a lot of people find themselves in these--you know, at that mid stage in your career where you're really working for a paycheck and you're working to sustain a lifestyle that you--you know, that you've become accustomed to, but maybe it's not necessarily fulfilling your passions. You know, and there might be other things you want to explore, but you're not really ready to take the leap into that entrepreneurial path, yet. So, I think that side hustles are a great way to just kind of test out what else you might be good at.

And what I find is, when you are operating from a place of passion and purpose, it's actually energizing. That work is energizing. While your day job might be draining--more draining and exhausting than it is energizing, this is sometimes an opportunity to have an outlet that refuels you and can even become, you know, ideally, enough of a cushion--to create enough of a cushion and build your confidence enough that maybe one day you can consider making your side hustle your main hustle and leaving the job that is no longer as fulfilling for you.

MR. JORGENSON: Well, let me just say, my internet has been--it was a little bit choppy earlier. It's not in its own personal zone of genius, but hopefully it returns.

But for both my internet and people looking to find this, when is the right time to explore that concept? Is it when you're switching careers? Is it when you're, you know, just graduating from college? And you know, I saw something on Twitter the other day that was like, when you're 23, it's the worst year of your life because you don't know what to do. Is that the time? Like, what is--where do you start looking at the zone of genius and trying to find out what that intersection is for you, personally?

MS. WELTEROTH: Well, I will tell you, I wrote an entire chapter in my book about the year of 23, and it is the worst year of life categorically, but I--

MR. JORGENSON: It is, yeah.

MS. WELTEROTH: Yes, I'm glad to know that's a universal thing. I certainly feel that on a personal level.

MR. JORGENSON: When I saw that tweet, I was like, thank goodness. I had no idea. I thought I was alone.

MS. WELTEROTH: Right, right. I feel seen! Meanwhile, I feel like there's a lot of 23-year-olds living their best life these days. It was a different time. I was 23 in the middle of the Great Recession, so--looking for a job.

But here's what I'll say, there is never a bad time to stock an inventory of your life and dig a little bit deeper into discovering what your zone of genius might be. So, I guess, in other words, now is the right time. No matter where you find yourself in your career, I think we'd all be better off if someone told us this at 23 or, you know, before we entered the workforce, because I think we'd do it with a greater sense of mission and intension and purpose. I keep using that word. But for a lot of us, we just have to pay the bills. We really haven't had time to figure out who we are and what drives us, and we're motivated by, you know, getting out of our parents' house and off their payroll and making them proud.

And I think, you know, sometimes folks don't realize until much later in life that maybe they should have done a little bit more soul-searching earlier on, because it seems like there's other people out here who are getting more out of their careers. So, I think that my Masterclass really is for anybody who is looking up during this sort of--this moment in time that we find ourselves in, sort of after having experienced, you know, these really dark days of the pandemic where we all found ourselves at home with our lives completely interrupted.

You know, we've all had to grapple with a greater sense of living with uncertainty, which has fundamentally shifted our relationship to risk-taking, and I think that a lot of us have a greater appetite for risk-taking, but we might not have a game plan to help us be successful in taking those risks. So, that's what the class is really about.

MR. JORGENSON: Well, I want to show a clip from the class, too. And I think one thing that hopefully you have in mind while you're watching this is the word "intention" that you keep using. I think that really is kind of what speaks to me about having intention and really look--directing your career that way, without just kind of like living in this sort of autopilot zone.

So, let's go ahead and take a look at that clip.

[Video played]

MR. JORGENSON: Amazing clip. So, I understand what a "no" is, but I have to ask you, what distinguishes a "yes," from a "hell, yes"?

MS. WELTEROTH: Good question. It is very hard watching yourself on video, but what I will say is I've heard a lot of times throughout my career people say, follow your gut. Follow your instincts. Follow your heart.

And I'm always like, what does your heart sound like, exactly, you know? And what is my gut telling me, I mean, other than I'm hungry. These, like, sort of cliches never really landed for me. And so, I was always left--you know, if I felt lost, I still felt lost after I got that kind of advice. And so, what I had to realize, for me, what helps me clarify whether I am making the right decision or not is that I am able to tap into and be led by my enthusiasm. For me, enthusiasm is my compass, and it is unmistakable. You know, you can breeze in your way into pretty much everything. I love a good, like, pro and con list. I'm very heady. And you know, sometimes your heart and your gut could actually be more influenced by fear than you even consciously recognize. So, for me, that's not always the best, you know, filter or compass. For me, it's enthusiasm.

So, you know when something makes you feel dread, even if it is a big payday and it's going to look great on your resume and it's going to sound awesome when you tell your friends. You're going to want to put it on Instagram. That is--but in your inside, you feel like you are going to wake up and dread doing that thing, that is [audio distortion] say no.

MR. JORGENSON: Well, luckily, I can say that--

MS. WELTEROTH: --filter sort of helps folks--oh, go ahead, please.

MR. JORGENSON: Luckily, I can say I didn't have dread waking up talking to you; I was actually very excited. It was the opposite. Today was a "Hell, yes," kind of day, so that's good.

MS. WELTEROTH: Oh, great. I love that.

MR. JORGENSON: Great. I'm going to save that clip, too, where you love it, and that will be my rally call.

So, one thing I had to talk about though is, from your Masterclass, is you talk about financially reaching a place of comfort that enables you to reach that dream. But you know, not everyone has that luxury. So, what do you say to the people who are trying to reach that place of comfort but it's very difficult for them to do that financially?

MS. WELTEROTH: Well, you know, one thing that we talk about in the Masterclass is building a plan for your financial--we build up your financial confidence. So, your financial confidence is not the same as your financial security. I actually don't really even believe in the concept of financial security. I think that is gone with the old American Dream that we were all sold. You know, I think we all have realized now that when you are working for a company, the company's best interests will always be prioritized, right? No matter how much of a value add you believe you are and you might be--you are disposable, at the end of the day.

And so, I think we have had to loosen our grip on any sense of control or stability that comes from external [audio distortion]--factors, because I think that's actually always been true. We just lived in a myth. So, I think now it's about figuring out what is it--what are the financial goals that I need to create to feel a sense of financial security, a set of financial confidence in order to take that bet on myself. And it might not be today. It might be not [audio distortion]--

MR. JORGENSON: To our audience at home, we're currently trying to reestablish the connection with Elaine Welteroth. We're having some technical difficulties, but we're working to get that back up as quickly as possible.

Elaine, hopefully you can hear me right now. I'm going to go ahead and go with the next question, which is an audience question. It's along the same lines of what we're talking about, and the question comes from Tracy Massey from Virginia, and she says, "What is the number one thing we can do to not only survive but thrive during the great resignation?"

MS. WELTEROTH: I think that's a great question. Can you all hear me?

MR. JORGENSON: I can now, yes.

MS. WELTEROTH: Okay, great.

MR. JORGENSON: I'll start waving wildly, if not.

MS. WELTEROTH: Okay. Well, I can hear you just fine. You know, I think that's a great question. I think that's really the question that a lot of us are grappling with.

I hope that before you join, you know, the great resignation [audio distortion] have a sense of what it is that is calling you. You know, I feel like it's really important to know your why when you are walking out of your job and to be really clear about what it is that you want and it might [audio distortion] next step in your career, but it's important to be clear about what it is you want to experience more of, and that just might be in your life and what your priorities are.

So, I think taking time to get really clear on your intentions, on what will feel more fulfilling on designing some framework for the kind of life that you want will help you feel like you're thriving as you're taking these really scary steps into making a big transition in your career [audio distortion].

MR. JORGENSON: And Elaine, I have one more question for you. So, one thing that we mentioned at the top is that you've had a million careers. I'm just trying to keep up. The rest of my life, I'm just going to try to check the other boxes of things that you've been. But what were the turning points for you when you were deciding to pivot and try something new? You know, what was the inflection point where you said, this is what I'm going to do now?

MS. WELTEROTH: Well, I always go back to this moment when I got a piece of advice from one of my mentors, who said that you have to identify the point of diminishing return.

And I'm going to break that down, because it really is a concept that changed my life, because I do think that a lot of us find ourselves just on autopilot. We're hard workers, we'll stick it out, and sometimes we don't even know why, but this is the path that we've chosen. So, we're on it and we're committed. But I think it's really important to always have an eye towards, you know, am I still growing; am I still learning; is this getting me to the next level that I want to be in my life and in my career, or have I reached the point of diminishing return.

I think that [audio distortion] an honest conversation with ourselves, we realize that we actually lose more momentum, sometimes even, you know, earning potential, et cetera, by staying put than we do just [audio distortion] taking that risk on ourselves. And so, sometimes--it is scary to make a big transition. I am not going to understate that. It's extremely, I mean, gut-wrenchingly scary, especially when you are an ambitious person and a lot of your identity is rooted in your work, okay?

I mean, that [audio distortion] but when it is time for you to move on because you have more to learn outside in the world and, honestly, more to earn--more earning potential, you have to push yourself and say, now is the time. But you do need a game plan. And so, again, that's why I did this Masterclass, because I really wanted to partner with people in those vulnerable and pivotal movements and say, like, listen, if you're feeling the call, if you're feeling that tug, don't ignore, but don't jump before you have a solid game plan that will set you up for success. And [audio distortion] after [audio distortion].

MR. JORGENSON: Well, Elaine, unfortunately, it is time for us to move on, and it is a scary transition for me, but I have to make it happen. Elaine Welteroth, thank you so much for joining with me today to talk about the great resignation. It was definitely a hell, yes; hell, yeah; hell, everything yes day for me. So, once again, I appreciate it.

MS. WELTEROTH: Thank you so much for having me.

MR. JORGENSON: Thank you. And to our audience, we’ve got a full slate of programming coming up for you next week. You can head to to register and find more information about upcoming shows.

I'm Dave Jorgenson. Thank you so much for joining me today.

[End recorded session]