At his press conference today, Derek Jeter said his 19-season career with the New York Yankees went by “in a blink.” It did for the rest of us too. The five-time World-Series champ has decided to throw in the towel — the 2014 baseball season will be his last. In an odd move, he made the announcement on Facebook last week before he talked to Yankees management. He told reporters he did so because he was forced to leave a message on Hal Steinbrenner’s voice mail — and Steinbrenner hadn’t got around to returning his call.
One suspects that Jeter was glad he got caught up short with Steinbrenner’s voicemail, and that he immediately ran to Facebook to spill the beans — because he wanted his decision to be immutable. He didn’t want Steinbrenner or anyone else to try to change his mind.
What is there to say about this legend that hasn’t been said? He’s the all-time leader in hits, stolen bases, and at-bats. He’s the all-time MLB leader in hits by a shortstop, and the 28th player to make 3,000 hits.
Few of us will attain the glory in our careers that Derek Jeter attained in his. Even fewer will even approach his net worth, which celebritynetworth.com fixes at $185 million. Still, there are some tips we can learn from Jeter — tips we can apply to our own careers and retirement strategy.
You Can’t Do this Job Forever — The superstar knows when to fold. What about you? Are you kidding yourself about how much longer you can keep on working? Are you able to face up to change when the time comes? Sports and entertainment stars can’t indulge in the luxury (or nightmare?) of coasting. They get immediate feedback the rest of have to search for, if they get caught not doing their best. Look at your own performance at work. You know what the story is, why you’re no longer the superstar you once were.
Regardless of what the world thought, Jeter took a look in the mirror, and made a decision about what he was able to do. All of us would be wise to emulate him in looking at our own careers.
Great Players Never Lose Sight of the Team — In his press conference, Jeter said “I’ll always be a Yankee. He didn’t offer this sentiment in a maudlin way. He was matter-of-fact about it. He knows he achieved great things. But he knows too that his coaches and teammates played a huge role in his success. If you’re making your exit as a prima donna, maybe it’s time for a checkup from the neck up. Staying in touch with friends and key employees where you work will help facilitate your post-retirement success. These are people who know your abilities, and can recommend you for other work and volunteer opportunities when you retire.
Now’s the Time to Focus on Family – During his press conference, Jeter made a point of wanting a family. This seems an odd thing to say, for a man who’s had more than his share of celebrity girlfriends. But I believe him. Physical injuries can make you feel vulnerable. They can throw your values into perspective. During your own retirement, you’ll have an opportunity to visit your adult children more often, or to be more active in raising your younger children. Hello! Did we mention you’ll have more time for your spouse or significant other?
Focus on the Job You’re Doing , Not Your Next Job – Sorry, this is where you need to part company with Derek Jeter. As a baseball player, he still needs to – well – keep his eye on the ball during this last season. When reporters asked him whether he was contemplating returning to the Yankees as an instructor, he told them he didn’t want to look ahead that far. The only thing on his mind right now is being the best player he can.
You, on the other hand, have other fish to fry. As we've stressed many times here at RedTea News, now is the time for planning your retirement. It doesn’t mean you can’t focus on your work. But you’ve got to get ready for the 9th inning.