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CHANGING COLLARS: Lessons in Transitioning from Blue-Collar Roots to White-Collar Success by Daniel Muller

CHANGING COLLARS: Lessons in Transitioning from Blue-Collar Roots to White-Collar Success

by Daniel Muller

302 pages
In CHANGING COLLARS, Daniel Muller shares lessons about how to transition from blue-collar roots to a successful white-collar career. The book contains valuable and practical insights which can be readily applied by white-collar workers at any age or career stage. Muller shares key lessons extracted from his career as well as other respected peers.

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Category: Self Help:Success
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About the Book
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.


“If you didn’t grow up in the corporate world, but want to succeed in it, this book provides a must-read career guide full of sage advice.”
- Mike Arnold, Retired President and CEO of Ryerson Steel
"Growing up, my next door neighbor and best friend finished high school and became a tool and die maker. He was a good one and earned enough respect to be invited to weekly plant manager meetings. He once observed, 'I'm the only one in the Monday morning meeting wearing a plaid shirt.' I wonder how his career might have changed had he the opportunity to read Dan Muller's engaging, insightful Changing Collars. It could serve as a template for any blue-collar worker considering navigating the sea change to the white-collar world."
- Mike Johnson, author, Long Journey To Destiny and A Season Forgotten.
“Loved the book! The rules for ‘blue-collar’ workers and ‘white-collar’ workers are very different. Dan Muller explains these differences with wonderful stories that make the lessons fun to absorb. I wish it was available when I was starting my career. I plan to teach these ‘lessons’ to my college students and hope they will change their lives like they did for Dan. A few critical things can make a huge difference.”
- Ryan Conlon, Kent State Adjunct Professor and retired CTO, Progressive Insurance


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About the Author
Daniel Muller Daniel Muller, MBA is an author and retired business executive. Raised in a blue-collar family, he was the first to attend college and achieved white-collar success over a 35-year career, retiring as a senior vice-president for a Fortune 500 company. His passion is to help others achieve success in the white-collar world.



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