Innovation Series – New Business: Next Phase Network, LLC

By Maureen Jenson
Published on: January 20, 2017

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Can this LinkedIn on steroids help you land your next gig?

Is your career growth stagnating? Or maybe you are in the midst of being unceremoniously laid off? The last 10 years have been tumultuous times for many senior level professionals, finding themselves in unstable companies or roles, or worse downsized or outsourced completely. These cost cutting times often hurt senior level employees hardest. Navigating career uncertainty for high-performing professionals can be complex, stressful and isolating.

In the fall of 2015, two experienced, former colleagues found themselves in the midst of career transitions. Linda Passaro had separated from a mid-sized company as a COO and phoned her friend Petro Shimonishi to review her transition plans. Petro and Linda had worked together in the Consumer Electronics industry on different brands. Over the next two months, Linda received multiple calls from former work colleagues who found themselves in transitions without a real plan for their next career moves. One of those calls eventually came from Petro herself who now also faced an unexpected layoff at her company.

“It was surreal how people were phoning and reaching out to us asking for networking guidance, advice or just someone to brainstorm ideas with” said Passaro. “It struck us that we could help people facing the stressful time of career transitions in a way that provides discretion and privacy”; words sadly missing in today’s mega open society.

Shimonishi and Passaro together wrote the business plan to launch their new endeavor while they navigated their own career next steps. Next Phase Network, LLC is a digital networking and educational platform for mid-stage career professionals in the midst of a transition, preparing for change or seeking to diversity their income streams. In addition to exclusive targeted content, members enjoy the unique ability to connect professionally and anonymously as they navigate next career steps. brings this group of professionals into a confidential supportive community that works together to leverage their skills & experiences to create new job opportunities and income streams.

“LinkedIn and its 433 million members has become cold and impersonal with users feeling the once professional tool had become too much like Facebook, “ claimed Passaro. “We heard from our initial insight study that 87% of people were searching for a more supportive, helpful career community. It is not about how many contacts you have. It is about having meaningful contacts who can really help you.”

Most reports focus on the 95 million Americans not participating currently in the workforce, but ignore the growing trend in senior level underemployment and involuntary job changes.

“Based on our findings, we found that over 46% of workers believe they are under-employed,” stated Shimonishi. “No generation has been more affected than Gen X, who has been squeezed between Boomers and Millennials.”

The comprehensive platform includes:

  • ACTION PLANS – create a Plan B, manage new financial status, start or buy a business
  • COACHING – holistic approach to advisors, staying financially fit and physically healthy
  • ARTICLES – relevant topics written by contributors and members
  • EVENTS – Seton Hall Continuing Education seminars and more
  • FORUM – set up an anonymous profile, engage on range of topics, exchange job leads
  • JOB BOARD – senior level professional openings from corporate roles to start ups

“We’re excited to launch Next Phase Network with a strong and growing roster of career service partners – coaches, financial advisors, and continuing education providers who are committed to supporting our community to successfully transition careers and explore new paths,” said Shimonishi.

Join. Connect. Create.

For more information, to sign up for Next Phase Network membership or to become a professional service partner, please visit:

Contact Information:

Linda Passaro



Maureen Jenson

Maureen Jenson

Maureen is editor-in-chief for the Technology Insider Group. She has been the editor-in-chief of Audio Video Interiors, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Home Theater, Technology Integrator, E-Gear and CEDIA’s Electronic Lifestyles Magazines. She is a CEDIA Fellow and IPRO Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.

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