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Cover for The Career Playbook

The Career Playbook

Essential Advice for Today's Aspiring Young Professional

James M. Citrin


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Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (10/20/2015)


Are you about to graduate and begin your job search?


Or are you a young professional trying to choose the right field or looking for that perfect position that will catapult your career?


Figuring out a career and getting a great job has never been more difficult. On top of that, today’s graduates are looking for not only good jobs but positions that will help them launch careers in which they can grow and prosper. But knowing what to look for and how to actually land a great job is exceptionally challenging when you’re trying to get an interview, make enough money, and position yourself for advancement.


Based on an in-depth survey of thousands of graduates and young professionals, and hundreds of interviews with the world’s top business and nonprofit leaders—not to mention James Citrin’s decades of experience as a senior partner at the premier executive search firm Spencer Stuart—The Career Playbook offers recent graduates and aspiring young professionals actionable advice for excelling. From his practical tips on generating valuable introductions, nailing interviews, and negotiating compensation to strategic advice on the arc of a career, the importance of relationships, how to cultivate a mentor, and knowing when to change jobs or industries, Citrin provides an invaluable guide to the most urgent questions that are at the heart of every person’s career deliberations.


Packed with first-person advice from graduates and young professionals themselves, as well as the perspectives of seasoned CEOs, entrepreneurs, leaders, and experts, such as Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Third Point Advisors’ Daniel Loeb, author Malcolm Gladwell, and US Navy SEALs’ Admiral Eric Olson, The Career Playbook is an essential resource for landing, launching, and thriving in your career.

Praise For The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today's Aspiring Young Professional

"The Career Playbook is a fantastic starting point for any new grad or person early in their career.  Jim Citrin clearly lays out the trade-offs you face in any career, with a concrete roadmap for how to navigate them on your path to professional success and personal satisfaction."
-- Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President, People Operations, Google

"In The Career Playbook, Jim bridges enduring career principles with relevant, tactical actions for today’s social networking workforce. He articulates the important questions to ask oneself in the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, offering readers a brightly lit path towards a life of purpose and contribution."
— Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
“After an exciting but exhausting 30 year career of doing M&A deals at Morgan Stanley and Blackstone, I never consciously  thought about taking concrete steps to pursue what really made me happy until I read The Career Playbook.  Now I’m following Jim’s advice and focusing each day on activities that really give me pleasure as well as purpose instead of merely doing what needs to get done.  That’s a real life changer!”
-- Mary Anne Citrino, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Group
At Microsoft, we believe that we spend far too much time at work for it to not be meaningful. Jim’s advice and guidance promises to help any young professional progress and ultimately make an impact with their own life and career.
-- Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

"I wish I had The Career Playbook 30 years ago. I'm keeping a stack of them at hand as my new favorite give-away!"
-- Keith Ferrazzi, CEO Ferrazzi Greenlight, author, Never Eat Alone

Jim Citrin brings decades of experience and his unmatched exposure to the most successful business leaders to help recent graduates and young professionals who are searching for the right career path. If you are looking for a first job or navigating the early years of your career, there is no better book to read.
-- John Donahoe, CEO, eBay, Inc.
“A terrific, highly practical read for early to mid-career professionals.  It’s going to be mandatory reading for my college age daughters and all of my young colleagues at Domino’s!”
-- Patrick Doyle, CEO, Domino’s Pizza

"Over several decades, Jim Citrin has helped corporations recruit CEOs, watched executives grow, and worked with young adults as they have embarked on their careers. He has combined his experience with sound research to develop an incredibly insightful set of principles and practical advice to help shape and guide one's career. An incredibly powerful tool for anyone seeking to steer his or her career in the right direction."
--Hubert Joly, president and CEO, Best Buy

Jim’s extensive experience guiding and mentoring everyone from new grads to CEOs really shines through in The Career Playbook. Full of great perspective, actionable insights, advice and stories, The Career Playbook is essential reading for all new grads preparing to launch their own career adventure.
-- Lori Goler, Vice President of Human Resources and Recruiting, Facebook

"I think EVERY college student should be given a copy of The Career Playbook as a graduation gift.  I surely could have used it when I got out of school!"
-- Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group

"An invaluable resource full of practical steps and wise insights - a must read for any Millennial trying to figure out what to do and how to get there."
 -- Noreena Hertz, Author Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World
"Jim is clearly an expert on careers.  He weaves in leadership perspectives, illustrates key points with powerful stories, and provides specific tips that aspiring leaders can immediately use.  This is a must read playbook for those looking to build their careers."
-- Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach, Duke University Men's Basketball Team and USA Basketball Men’s National Team, and Executive in Residence, Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) at Duke's Fuqua School of Business.

 “The advice in The Career Playbook is spot on. After reading it, I immediately gave it to my 24 year old daughter, who is finding it to be invaluable.  It's a must read for any young person entering the job market, and it will most certainly help demystify the complex process of seeking employment and succeeding in the workplace.”
-- Gail McGovern, CEO, President & American Red Cross

“We spend the majority of our adult lives working.  The sad fact is, if we play the career game badly, we risk regretting it for years.  On the other hand if we play it well, it will pay us dividends forever.  This book tells us how to play it well – it is nothing less than a game-changer.  The section on the six phases of a career is worth the price of admission alone.”
-- Greg McKeown, Author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

“Reading Jim Citrin's The Career Playbook is like spending time with a really knowledgeable friend who has your interests at heart! His advice is spot on, whether he’s talking about the big picture of one’s career trajectory or the nuts and bolts of preparing to ask for a raise. Give the book to somebody who needs a mentor. Great stuff.”
-- Michael S. Roth, President, Wesleyan University
"Sage, practical, actionable advice and inspiring career stories immediately helpful for young people and professionals at any stage of their careers to successfully navigate the rapidly shifting sands of today's workplace environment"
-- Clara Shih, CEO and founder of Hearsay Social, Board Director at Starbucks, and author of The Facebook Era

“This is the one book every young professional should read.  Practical, wise, full of often counter-intuitive insight - you won't find a better roadmap for planning a modern career.”
-- Mark Thompson, CEO, The New York Times Company

 “The Career Playbook is grounded in job hunting realities.  Pragmatic and engaging, it blends sharp insights and sage advice with encouraging optimism—offering confidence that motivated job seekers can succeed in today’s ‘hyper-competitive, fast changing and confusing world’. Any young professional contemplating their career or a future job search will benefit enormously from reading this special book.”
-- Thomas J. Tierney, Chairman and Co-founder, The Bridgespan Group and Chairman, Harvard Business School Initiative on Social Enterprise

"Jim truly knows this audience and speaks to them in a language that they will hear.  Too many books on this topic are vague and preachy in the advice they give; this one is different and offers engaging and practical advice that a recent college grad or young professional can put to use immediately.  I am sure my students at Harvard Business School would benefit from reading it too; I’ll be recommending they do so!"
 -- Kristen Fitzpatrick, Managing Director, Career and Professional Development, Harvard Business School

Currency, 9780553446968, 256pp.

Publication Date: April 21, 2015

About the Author

JAMES M. CITRIN is the leader of Spencer Stuart's CEO Practice and a member of the firm’s Worldwide Board of Directors. His diverse client work includes leading media, technology, communications, and consumer companies, as well as other multinational corporations and private-equity firms. A noted expert on leadership, governance, and professional success, Citrin is the author of six books, including bestsellers Lessons from the TopThe 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, and You're in Charge--Now What?