Jay-Z, Michael Jordan and Adele have also flip-flopped on retirement, but it should really be a last resort.
So much for career, interrupted.
Angelina Jolie is ready to return to acting following her high-profile split with Brad Pitt.
“Right now, I don’t have anything to direct that I feel passionate about like this, so I’ll do some acting. I’ve taken over a year off now, because of my family situation, to take care of my kids,” she revealed during a Q&A at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.
But personal drama wasn’t the only reason she switched gears to go behind the camera, instead. The superstar of “Maleficent” and “Girl, Interrupted” told DeJour in 2014 that she was “absolutely” quitting acting. “I’ve never been comfortable as an actor; I’ve never loved being in front of the camera,” she said at the time.
Now she’s planning a comeback. “When I feel it’s time for me to go back to work, I’ll be able to go back to work,” she added in her recent Q&A. “I hope [to work again] in the months to come.”
She’s not the only celebrity flipping the script on her retirement.
Jay-Z threatened to quit music in 2003, and actually retired for three years, but now is back. Basketball legend Michael Jordan signed off from playing professional basketball three times before finally retiring in 2003. Grammy winner Adele has repeatedly speculated about taking a lengthy break to be a full-time mother to her young son and look after her health, but shortly thereafter, rumors abound that she’ll be working on the theme song of the next Bond movie.
In each case, the decision to quit, or at least talk about it, was met with fan disappointment and then delight when the comeback came about.
The difference however is that you probably aren’t a boldfaced name. “Celebrities have far deeper pockets and many more options,” says New York career coach Roy Cohen. “Don’t presume you have the same freedom they do.” Indeed, MJ went from NBA star to baseball slugger, while Jay-Z has made $42 million so far this year and recently announced the dates for his “4:44” tour, which are expected to sell out quick. And Adele of course, is Adele.
But if you aren’t a boldfaced name, such flip-flopping can give you a bad rap.
“With an ultimatum, ego gets involved. Instead, tell your boss there’s something weighing on you that you really want to talk about,” says Debra Benton, co-author of “The Leadership Mind Switch.” “Tell them you have some options outside but that you’d like know if your boss sees you in the picture. You should have the courage to be straightforward” without resorting to a threat.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that an ultimatum is never appropriate. “If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, at some point you have to hold out the prospect of leaving for another opportunity,” says Cohen, author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” “But it should be the option of last resort because it has the potential to be inflammatory. Bosses don’t want to feel backed into a corner.”
If you are in such a position though, your body language and timing are key. “Your tone should be on an even keel and relaxed,” says Benton. “Remember that in an ultimatum is a threat and that in today’s workplace, everyone is on edge. You don’t want people to be afraid you’re going to pull out a gun.” To increase your odds, she recommends practicing what you’ll say with a trusted partner before you actually do it with a boss.
And threatening to quit at the right time can also make it more likely you’ll get what you’re seeking. For instance, a landmark study from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that prisoners who went before parole boards right after breakfast and lunch were statistically much likelier to get favorable decisions. So “be smart about it,” says Benton. “If you come up with a demand after a hellish week and everybody’s drained, that’s just stupid on your part.”
This story was originally published July 12, 2017, and has been updated to include Angelina Jolie.
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