Before Day One

A Personal Onboarding Plan to Launch Your Extraordinary Career

You can reach proficiency in your new position up to 35% faster if you prepare and follow a personal onboarding plan before “Day One” on your new job. Arrive looking good and demonstrating the right attitude. Prepare yourself by completing activities to accelerate your performance early on the job. Get Ready Get Set Go! takes you through a step-by-step method (with active templates) for creating and implementing a plan customized for you. It’s easy to do. It’s fun, logical and powerful. Your managers will be surprised and pleased with your preparation. Get started now!

From Day One

CEO Advice to Launch an Extraordinary Career, Pearson Prentice-Hall, (2005)

From Day One reveals the pragmatic wisdom and career-defining strategies that every college student should learn and that all young professionals must have on the first day and early on in their careers. From Day One is based on the tried-and-true experiences of the author, a former Chairman and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company and now a professor at Northwestern University and Kellogg School of Management. His corporate and academic achievements uniquely position him to speak directly to the target audience comprised of college students, recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals. The book contains unique and unconventional advice and strategies that college students, recent graduates and young professionals won’t find anywhere else.


Further, From Day One is based on the proven wisdom and real-world experience of top executives and business leaders based on exclusive interviews with the author. Based upon market research conducted by the author, college students and young professionals who want to learn from the best will invest in this book. The key message of From Day One is that success in business, and in life, does not come from focusing primarily on one’s own goals of getting ahead, climbing the proverbial ladder, out-maneuvering the competition, and being the survivor. Rather, success comes from putting the goals of the company or organization first, and making a measurable and meaningful contribution to achieving those goals…


Anyone approaching Day One would be hard pressed to get a better locker room-style pep talk than that offered by former CEO and current academic Bill White…

SSP Perspective Newsletter

From Day One: Reader Reviews

Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2020
I read this book before I started my latest role. It has completely reframed the way I approach my career, the steps I’ve taken to prepare for my first 30, 60 and 90 days. It helps you evaluate not only what strengths to leverage, but also when to leverage them. Highly recommend

Very concise, practical approach


I was lucky enough to take a class with Professor White at the Kellogg School of Management. One of the exercises we did was to, using the book “Before Day One”, create a personal onboarding plan for our first post-MBA role. While it may seem a matter of course to prepare for a new job, I found that mapping out a structured attack plan was a huge value add in getting started in the right way. It is very easy to get lost in the weeds and lose sight of the bigger picture – having a “master plan” to refer back to ensures this does not happen (in my case, staying on track ensured I was promoted within 2 months of my start date). I highly recommend this book for anyone starting a new job – it is well worth the effort.

Fantastic thought exercise pre-“Day One” on the job


Bill White’s enthusiasm and expertise are evident in this highly readable book, which adds a conversational element to a topic that could–in lesser hands–become preachy and dry. Real-life anecdotes, experience and cautionary tales make for an interesting edge that keeps you turning the pages!

Cari Lynn

Amazon Books

This was DEFINITELY worth the read. It zips by and before you know it, you’ve finished the book with three pages of notes full of invaluable tidbits of advice that will help you throughout your career. What I liked most about it is that the author doesn’t waffle. He tells you what he thinks should be done in each circumstance. It’s direct, justified advice that we can all afford to hear. If you aren’t just starting out after college or grad school, it is still valuable, but not as much as if you are starting from the beginning. Great read.

B. Olds

Amazon Books

“Excellent, practical advice and wisdom-based counsel from someone who has been both in the trenches and at the peak. The perfect graduation and career kick-off gift.”

Stephen R. Covey

Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit, From Effectiveness to Greatness

Bill White’s book should be required reading for anyone starting a career, and a must-read for anyone after they have started their career.

Warren Bennis

Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California and co-author, Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Shape Leaders

From Day One is not a book of pie-in-the-sky platitudes. This is reality-based, advice-tested, tempered, and proven by life experience–a ‘toolbox’ that will provide young professionals with the fundamental habits for career success. It’s must reading for anyone who aspires to career success in business, industry, education, or government.

Jack Rayman

Director of Career Services and Affiliate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Education, Penn State University


Do you have passion…for your profession?

AdvantEdge Magazine, May 2006

How to Get Ahead by Going Backward

Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2007


Creative Collective Bargaining, Prentice-Hall 1965

Co-authored with J. Henderson, E Hintz, Jr., J Jarrett, and R. Marbut