Newly Updated: The Acclaimed Career Handbook for Working Professionals

By Rebecca Zucker
Partner, Next Step Partners

Next Step Partners is proud to announce the third edition of our highly acclaimed Career Handbook for Working Professionals. This comprehensive guide walks experienced professionals, executives, and other leaders through everything they need to navigate a successful career transition in the current market.

“The Career Handbook is the single most important business book I own. The exercises and guidance helped me take better control of my own career path. Just as important, it led me step-by-step, like a trusted partner, through everything I needed to land my current—and phenomenal—position.”
Head of HR | Financial Services Company

Initially developed to support our own Career Transition coaching engagements, the Career Handbook has become standard-issue at a variety of top MBA programs for their alumni and executive programs, including Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, the Haas School of Business and the Wharton School.


What’s New in the Third Edition

Inspired by our work in our Career Transition practice with thousands of professionals from all sectors across the U.S. and abroad, the new edition of the Career Handbook offers more than 235 pages of exercises and detailed guidance to help professionals chart a better path for themselves.

It includes sample resumes, cover letters, interview questions, negotiation strategies and other content based on almost 15 years of Next Step Partners’ experience delivering Career Transition coaching to professionals, ranging from managers to C-level executives.

This third edition has several newly updated sections and 50+ pages of additional content and exercises to bring you up to speed on current networking, interviewing, and negotiating best practices — including leveraging LinkedIn and conducting virtual interviews. There is also a new section on setting yourself up for success in the first 90 days of your new job.

A Different Kind of Career Handbook

Three things set The Career Handbook apart from other career books:

  • It is written with experienced professionals, executives, and other leaders in mind.
  • It incorporates tools developed from experience working with thousands of professionals who Next Step Partners has helped to successfully navigate a career transition.
  • It is a comprehensive handbook with exercises and detailed guidance that can be used in conjunction with coaching or in a self-directed search. It leads readers through the entire career transition process step-by-step from start to finish.

Our intention is to make career transition a more productive and rewarding experience, whether individuals are looking to change careers or are seeking a new position in their current field.

The Career Handbook details the four main phases of the job search process and covers the following topics:

Career Transition Roadmap

  • Seven types of career transitions (e.g. professionals pursuing entrepreneurial paths, career changers, working professionals seeking the next step, second-act careers, career re-entry, etc.) and practical tips for each
  • Working with and selecting a coach
  • Maintaining motivation and momentum
  • Time management, goal setting and accountability


  • Creating a personal brand
  • Developing a positioning statement
  • Defining and clarifying core values
  • Creating a professional and personal vision
  • Defining and communicating competencies
  • Using assessment tools

Career Exploration and Networking

  • Building relationships
  • Assessing your network
  • Creating a networking plan
  • Using positioning statements effectively
  • Making requests
  • Securing introductions
  • Informational interview preparation

Job Search Execution

  • Cover letter guidelines and examples
  • Resume guidelines and examples
  • Developing a career transition marketing plan
  • Using LinkedIn and other social media in the job search
  • Working with executive recruiters
  • Exit statements
  • Interview preparation and sample questions
  • Guidelines for phone and video interviews
  • Common interview challenges (e.g. salary questions, rambling, not having specific required experience) and practical solutions
  • Interview follow-up and thank you notes
  • Maximizing job search productivity and getting unstuck
  • Managing references
  • Managing timing of offers
  • Evaluating offers
  • Negotiation, including equity compensation, signing bonuses, relocation packages and severance

Get the Book Now

Available now in both print and interactive digital formats, the newly updated Career Handbook for Working Professionals can be purchased directly on our website. We offer bulk discounts for orders of 100+, 200+ and 500+.


Career Transition Experts

Next Step Partners has a longstanding Career Transition practice that provides individual coaching to an organization’s departing employees. We began this work in the Bay Area during the wake of the dot com crash in 2002 when the market was flooded with accomplished, highly educated professionals unsure where to take their careers next and how to negotiate the job search. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of professionals to secure fulfilling career opportunities.

Unlike traditional outplacement that focuses on impersonal group and web-based programs, Next Step Partners’ Career Transition programs are high-touch and customized to each person’s needs. Our expert coaches offer structure, skills, as well as partnership and support to help departing employees define, pursue, and secure their next job.

Career Transition Coaching

The career transition process, like any other life change, can be overwhelming, scary, challenging, and exciting. One moment we feel lost, and the next we are inspired by what seem like boundless opportunities that lie before us. Securing a truly fulfilling position requires profound personal clarity, an easy-to-execute job search structure, a host of skills such as interviewing and networking that are specific to a job search and steady motivation. This process is difficult and stressful for even the most accomplished people to manage on their own.

Working with a Next Step Partners coach helps people to articulate their goals and map out the milestones toward achieving these goals, no matter how high they may be. In mapping out these milestones, we help the individual determine the actions required to achieve results and hold them accountable. Our coaches also assist in clarifying and helping to overcome any obstacles (both real and perceived) to reaching one’s goals.

Organizations that offer Career Transition coaching to their departing employees build valuable goodwill, as recipients move on to new fulfilling opportunities with new career-building skills and a greater sense of optimism about their future.

“As a senior leader, leaving my prior role came with a lot of uncertainty, both personally and professionally. Next Step Partners made the process more manageable and less daunting and, ultimately, helped me land my next opportunity—and I couldn’t be happier with the experience or with the results. My Next Step Partners’ coach gave me the structure, tools and support I needed to conduct an executive-level job search—from clarifying my objectives, to preparing for key meetings and interviews, to evaluating opportunities. Just as important, my coach made helpful introductions and proved to be a true partner in the job search.”

Former CEO | Global Healthcare Company

Interested in Career Transition programs for your organization? Reach out and let’s discuss how we can help.



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