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How to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone with Dorly Bouguignon

To prepare yourself to thrive in the current job market you must stay informed about your company, be tactically aggressive, nimble, and flexible, and willing to step outside of your comfort zone.  Our guest on today’s podcast tells us how he used these skills to catapult himself into a successful Mechanical Engineering career. His story is sure to inspire you to look at your opportunities in a new light.

Born and raised in Haiti, Dorly Bouguignon came to live with family in the United States after a devastating earthquake. The difficult transition from being an only child to living in America and attending American schools was difficult, but he was able to adjust with the support of family and friends.

Growing up, Dorly had his heart set on becoming a lawyer. It was not until he discovered that his strengths were in math and science, that he looked into the possibility of becoming an engineer.

“You have to know what is out there.” Dorly chimes in as he explained how he settled on Mechanical Engineering.  After studying a few different types of engineering, he found that mechanical was a better fit for his personality.

Soon after graduation, Dorly was offered, and accepted a position with the fourth largest manufacturing plant in Lima, Peru. While other new grads may have been apprehensive about leaving the country for a job, Dorly felt that it was a no brainer.

After his return to the U.S., he secured another position at a large corporation where he continued to gain new, marketable skills. Currently, he is working for a start up in New York City. He enjoys working at this start up because he can really get into the “nitty gritty” of engineering.

As part of his personal Career Development Strategy, Dorly intentionally makes friends with workers from every department to learn what they do and how they help the company function.  

With the knowledge of all of the internal functions of a business, he plans on becoming a business owner within the next 5 years.

A nugget of advice that Dorly would like to leave with everyone is to step outside of your comfort zone.

While he was still working at the major corporation, he attended a going away outing for a high-level executive. He introduced himself and when the departing executive asked how he had worked on his team for 4 months, yet he did not know his name, Dorly explained that the opportunity had never presented itself.

The executive then corrected him. In the last four months, you never stepped outside of your comfort zone to introduce yourself to me. “That lesson will always stick with me.”


About the Author

multifaceted employment professional, author and lecturer