Post-pandemic entrepreneurs in Omaha metro

If you asked Jazlin Contreras what she does for a living, she’d say her dream job
The wave of Americans choosing to promote their own business over punching somebody else’s clock is growing.
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The wave of Americans choosing to promote their own business over punching somebody else’s clock is growing.

The nationwide post-COVID entrepreneurship sweep is also hitting close to home.

If you asked Jazlin Contreras what she does for a living, she’d say her dream job.

“Definitely worth it. I never thought I’d be here fully booked,” said Contreras.

She’s a young entrepreneur who runs her own nail salon, a leap she took during the pandemic. She’s among so many others who decided they wanted more.

“Be my own boss and have my own schedule if something like the pandemic happened again,” said Contreras.

By now you may have heard the phrase “Great Resignation.” Well, it’s real.

Before the pandemic, there were fewer than three million people quitting per month. At the height of it, some 4.3 million said au revoir to the office.

“I can make my own schedule and I decide what days I wanna take off,” said Contreras.

Before that Jazlin was a server, working long hours with little to show for it.

Part of what Pew Research Center learned was behind the mass exodus. It surveyed 9,000 people about their decision to quit and the top reasons were low pay, lack of opportunities for advancement, and lack of flexibility.

“It was very hectic, very tiring,” said Contreras.

So Jazlin took a leap of faith and got licensed to become a nail tech and her business took off. Allowing her to travel and enjoy her other hobbies.

She fits into the 56% of people Pew surveyed who say making the switch led to more money and fulfillment.

“I’m very happy when my clients tell me they love their nails. A lot of people are insecure about their hands and I can make them feel better,” said Contreras.

Jazlin found success in her switch but there does seem to be a downside for others.

NBC News reported one in five who have left their job during COVID are unhappy with their decision now spurring something called “The Great Regret.”

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