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Advice / Career Paths / Exploring Careers

How I Went From Being a NBA Publicist to an Author and Podcast Host

Ahyiana Angel
Ahyiana Angel

If you’re feeling stuck in your career, Ahyiana Angel—author and podcast host—has one major piece of advice for you: switch, pivot, or quit (which also happens to be the name of the podcast she created).

“In the simplest of forms, switch, pivot, or quit means being proactive and taking action to see the change you desire in your life,” Angel explains. And make no mistake—Angel practices what she preaches. Five years ago, she made the jump from NBA sports entertainment publicist to podcast creator and author of a few books—her first being Preseason Love. (Which, um, she landed a publishing deal for in just four months.)

Unlike many who switch careers, Angel was not unhappy. She just knew it wasn’t her forever gig.

“I had a front row seat to all things spectacular in entertainment,” she says. “I managed everything from red carpets at the All Star Games to exclusive shoots with Jimmy Kimmel Live during the playoffs. But, eventually, I started to wonder what was next.”

In order to figure that out, Angel spent a lot of time exploring her interests.

“I took all types of classes and read all sorts of books,” she explains. “I began to pay attention to what people consistently gave me positive feedback on, and it was always my writing. I’d been overlooking that talent for years. Once I decided writing would be the next field to explore, I began formulating my plan to leave. I saved money, decreased my spending, and did in-depth research on the publishing community.”

And while she was more than ready to move on by the time she quit, Angel did have some concerns. She feared what others would think of her and the potential lack of security she was setting herself up for.

“To combat that apprehension,” Angel says, “I sought out the approval of my parents. They’re both very practical and logical people, and they just wanted me to find my happy again. So, once they confirmed my idea wasn’t crazy, I knew I could handle anything else that came my way.”

Read on to learn more about Angel’s story and how she’s empowering others every day.

OK, Let Me in on the Secret: How’d You Land a Book Deal in Four Months?

I was determined to be a traditionally published author, so I did as much research as I could and learned all about the publishing industry. I took meetings with literary agents, talked to friends about my plans, and went to a writing bootcamp. Turns out, the woman who led the bootcamp actually ended up publishing my book. I’d made a point to introduce myself to her director and get her contact information. From there, I just kept in touch until I was ready to send her my manuscript.

Tell Us More About Switch, Pivot, or Quit

Switch, Pivot, or Quit happened because I wanted a way to reach more women and to open up the dialogue about feeling stuck.

The results have shown me that this work’s needed and that the women in the community really appreciate it. It’s helping people get clarity, understand issues better, gain professional development tactics, and walk away with actionable items for improving their personal and professional lives. I receive messages daily sharing the impact that the show is making on thousands. It’s a bit unreal at times, yet so rewarding.

What’s Your Favorite Piece of Career Advice to Give? Any Good Advice You’ve Gotten From Other Women on Your Podcast?

Allow yourself to explore. Exploration is sometimes frowned upon because some think it gives the impression that you have no direction and don’t know what you’re doing. However, I feel the exact opposite. By exploring, you’re better equipped to make sound decisions and be clear about what you want, expect, or need.

I’ve been fortunate to have so many amazing women appear on my podcast and all have had such valuable insight. Recently, a guest said that you should never make decisions while you’re emotional. It’s so simple, but it’s so very, very true.