In the last twenty years, over ten million Americans have grown up in blue-collar families but have chosen to pursue white-collar careers. Changing Collars is a fascinating and instructional memoir focused upon helping and enabling these and future blue-collar Americans to succeed in their white-collar careers.
Drawing upon his own experiences growing up in a blue-collar family, and in his 35 years of gradually learning the ropes and eventually climbing the corporate ladder in a white-collar world, Daniel Muller provides extremely valuable insights and lessons to help millions of ‘blue-collar root’ employees on their career journeys.
The son of a locomotive engineer, Muller grew up in a typical blue-collar small town in Ohio. There he learned the importance of hard work, honesty, and ethics. He became the first in his family to attend college and graduated Summa Cum Laude in his undergraduate and graduate business programs.
However, upon beginning his first job in the professional white-collar world, he quickly realized that his blue-collar background and ways of thinking were more obstacles to success than enablers. Unfamiliar with the expectations and social norms within the white-collar world, during the first decade of his career, Muller floundered in achieving the success he desired.
Due to his ability to adapt and learn from self-study and from others, he was able to transcend his blue-collar background and achieve career success, albeit as a late-bloomer. He ended his career as a Senior Vice-President / CIO, and also held other executive roles such as leading corporate strategic planning, and P&L leadership roles as President of several operating divisions.
Combining personal experiences and observations along with those of highly respected peers in his industry, Changing Collars provides deeply insightful and practical lessons about the significant differences between blue-collar and white-collar cultures and mores, as well as highlighting the common misunderstandings that blue-collar candidates have about the white-collar world. The lessons here are further enhanced by the organization of these lessons into early-career, middle-career, and late-career examples. This extensive set of lessons was gathered, researched, and peer-validated over a nine-year period.
These examples and lessons are rarely discussed in college coursework, or in other texts, simply because many of these lessons are held dear and shared only with a select few, mainly others who have grown up in white-collar families and backgrounds, and those on the fast track to senior positions.
The lessons shared here are meaningful, readily applicable and entertaining for anyone who is employed, or will be employed, in the white-collar world, and who is searching for keys to future white-collar career success.