How Asking Questions Changed My Career Path

You never know when your career is really going to take off. I certainly didn't - I came from a family of engineers, so I grew up expecting to become an engineer, too. However, a chance encounter wound up completely changing my career path. I was working as a design engineer for a firm on Long Island. The job gave me the opportunity to meet and work with clients from Wall Street and Hollywood. We were developing a mansion in the Hamptons for one of those famous people when my career epiphany took place. I knew nothing about the client who had commissioned us to build the estate, and I only met him at a series of meetings where I represented my firm. But, without meaning to, that client totally altered the rest of my career. The client in question was Ron Perelman, a billionaire private equity investor and philanthropist. We met a number of times to discuss the house he wanted built, and after a few meetings I worked up the courage to ask him some questions about the deals his company (MacAndrews & Forbes) was doing. He was surprisingly warm and inviting; even though I was only a novice in the world of finance, he took the time to listen and respond to each of my questions in turn. Not only that, he challenged me to come back with even stronger questions - and I did. When Ron asked me what had sparked my interest in the markets, I told him that, because of my family's engineering background, I had never really considered pursuing a career in finance. But he pointed out that I had a skill set that would translate well to the corporate world - that I was bright, worked well with others and had a creative streak. While I didn't yet have the skills I would need to thrive on Wall Street, he said, I had all the basic tools necessary for a successful finance career. Our talk inspired me to think differently about the direction I wanted to take with my professional life. It also demonstrated to me the importance of being both curious and willing to ask disruptive questions, even when you think it's not your place to be a questioner. Usually, there are great people right in front of you whom you have to give yourself a chance to just talk to. Asking questions of those people can open up a galaxy of opportunities for you. But you have to be unafraid to speak up, and be open to the possibility that what you hear can completely reorient your life and your priorities. That's what happened when I met Ron Perelman, and it could happen to you, too. Want to learn more about Rich's career path (or have him help you secure YOUR dream job)? You can connect with Rich - and more than 200 other professionals in finance, consulting or the corporate world - through Blue Chip Career. Visit BlueChipCareer.com to get started - and enter the coupon code BCC at checkout to save $10 on your first purchase! Blue Chip Career is an online mentor network that levels the job search playing field by making top executives accessible. Through their platform, any job seeker can connect with an experienced mentor for personalized job search guidance. Question career direction image from Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less