Finding your career sweet spot can take some time, and the process can lead to one surprise after another. At least that was the case for Cox Automotive employee Zo Rahim.
Zo’s career journey really began when he was 11. That’s when he decided he would someday run his own hedge fund. After school he studied financial markets, and his passion drove him to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from Emory University.
But early in his grind to Wall Street, this die-hard “numbers guy” landed a coveted position at Porsche. This immersed him in the automotive industry, and he was surprised at how much he found himself liking it.
“I realized I wanted more exposure to the industry, to become more familiar with the sector,” explained Zo. “I figured I could easily transition into a Wall Street job or an investment job focused on auto companies.”
Zo on the Go
But Wall Street would again have to wait: Zo’s next career move landed him in industry analytics at Cox Automotive. As a senior analyst, he began performing market research and analysis, tracking economic data and metrics to understand what was happening both domestically and globally — and to help predict what’s coming next for the automotive industry.
“When I first took the job, I thought I’d be here six to eight months,” he confessed. “Now it’s five years later, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Sweet Spot Found
At Cox, Zo found meaningful work that complements his values, strengths and lifestyle.
“It’s a dynamic workplace that gives you the opportunity to expand on your abilities and grow with the company. Here, career development is encouraged and celebrated. It’s really up to you. Whatever your interest is, whatever you want to focus on next, you have that option.”
Scaling the Jungle Gym
Something that separates Cox from others is the ability to create a career path that takes you in different directions. It’s not a straight corporate ladder, it’s more of a jungle gym that lets you move around the company and learn new things.
During his time with Cox, Zo grew from a senior analyst to an associate manager and now leads his own team as a manager within the Economics & Industry Insights group.
His career even led to areas he never expected, like representing Cox Automotive as an on-camera spokesperson in the media and at industry events. Yet, another surprise.
“At Cox, your voice is heard, you’re making an impact, and you're surrounded by people who want nothing but the best for you. I wholeheartedly believe I would not be able to do what I do without the support of the team. Every day is a good day for me at Cox. I’ve never had a bad day here.”
Letting Zo be Zo
Zo enjoys his job, but there’s more to life than work. That’s why Zo values Cox’s flexible culture, which allows for quality time with his parents, grandparents and siblings. Or hanging with friends and exploring different restaurants and happenings in Atlanta. It also means Zoe can indulge his other passion: sports.
“I’m a big Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs fan. And I go to a lot of Atlanta United games. It’s such a fun environment.”
This same flexible culture threw Zo for a loop when Cox relaxed its dress code. He wasn’t quite sure what to do with all his holiday-themed suits and novelty neckties.
While many people welcomed the jeans-every day policy, Zo ultimately decided to stick with his more traditional attire. It's just who he is. At one point, he even joked: “If I could wear a tuxedo to work every day, I would!”
And to his co-workers, that may be the biggest surprise of all.
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