Magic Johnson Says Goodbye to ESPN

Should I leave or Stay?

Should I leave or Stay?Earvin “Magic” Johnson said he is leaving his job as ESPN Sports Analyst because he is currently over-committed. Johnson recently stated in a news release that he just doesn’t feel confident that he can still thrive in his current role given the nature of his schedule and other things he’s committed to.

Johnson joined the ESPN team in 2008 and expanded his role on ESPN to join “NBA Countdown” in 2011. He said he loves the ESPN family, has really enjoyed working with them and will always feel a strong connection to ESPN.

Since retiring from a very successful basketball career, Johnson has transitioned his success to other business ventures such as a production company, movie theaters and restaurants. He also became part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in March 2012. Since being diagnosed with HIV in 1991, Johnson has become a major activist in the HIV fight. As you can see he is a very busy man.

Unlike many people today Magic has multiple streams of income, so leaving a job may not be as difficult of a decision for him as for the average person. In today’s economy most would think that a person would have to be crazy to leave any position with benefits just to delve into something else.

However, there still are some people who love taking risks and feel the economic climate couldn’t offer a better time to launch out and get busy with their own start up. Regardless of your stance on this I’d like to offer some foundational principals that can help anyone that is considering making a career transition from the cubicle to entrepreneurship.

  • Be clear about your motives: Being unhappy at your current job is not the best reason to launch your own business. The reality is, everywhere you go you will be there; hence the potential to be unhappy. Just because you don’t like the people you work for or with isn’t reason enough to take the dive. Once you become an entrepreneur you will then work for customers; who have been trained to believe that they are always right. The motive for leaving a job to start your own business should be to release your potential; not escape management.
  • Include family and your inner circle in the process: Too often spouses are left angry because their partner walked away from their job without conferring with them. It causes a sense of betrayal when decisions this serious are made without the value of the spouse’s opinion. This type of decision affects the entire family structure and will cause major sacrifice from all involved. These are big decisions that often require the balance of our family and/or inner circle’s feedback.
  • Develop a strategy complete with timelines: Once you’ve decided it’s time to leave the next thing to do is strategize the “how.” When possible you should allow yourself at least ten months to transition out of employment. Don’t start slacking and don’t burn bridges. Be upfront with your current management team if possible. Hire a business coach that can help establish or evaluate your business plan. They can also help you prepare your family for the necessary adjustments that will need to be made due to the financial change. Take your time; this should be gradual process.
  • Keep your head on your shoulders: Don’t get so distracted with where you’re headed that you fail to perform your current responsibilities well. The transition period will really test your level of integrity and ability to multitask. The goal is to successfully handle both aspects while making the transition. A successful transition will require skill and commitment but never compromise.

Deciding what to do with your future can be intimidating. There are no definite outcomes; you might stay in the cubicle only to get laid off or you might start a business and go broke. Either way, life is full of risks and both decisions require a plan. Ultimately the decision is yours but with these tips you can encounter a smoother transition.

Johnson didn’t leave before thanking multiple ESPN workers for allowing him the wonderful opportunity to talk about the game he loves so much. He said his ESPN family is the best in the business.

ESPN’s executive vice president, John Wildhack, said they appreciate all that Magic has contributed to the network and wish him well in his future endeavors. ESPN has announced that veteran broadcaster Doris Burke will also join “NBA Countdown” in a different capacity.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson has announced that he is leaving his job as ESPN Sports Analyst due to his other commitments.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
OP-ED

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