Chris Bussing grew up in a “bubble” in Naples, Florida. He went to Georgetown University to grow his mind and increase the diversity around him. He now lives in Boston, Mass. and works in Sales for Oracle. Chris made his way up the East Coast as he made his way up in his career, but is going North the answer? No. Chris attributes his career success to creating connections, personality traits, and guidance from mentors. These three staples have allowed him to be honest, decent, and still has a great career. In fact, they've helped him get promoted faster and work for a company he really enjoys supporting. He went against the usual themes of deception and “only one of us at the top” in order to not lose sight of who he is, what he wants to accomplish, and where he’s headed.
Starting in college: “I think college is great; you need a degree, and having a Georgetown degree really helped me network and is a large part in why I am at Oracle.” says Bussing.
On listening to others: “Perhaps there are some insights that can come from friends or family on what your strengths are. Grant it you want to take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt.”
Being 100% authentic can pay off. On TV you oftentimes see the manipulative, scheming co-worker get ahead and leave everyone behind as they enjoy their new corner office. While it makes for good TV, Chris used his authenticity and adaptability to get ahead fast.
Thanks Mom: “My mom always called me Honest Abe, I have a disarming sense of honesty, and it’s helpful in sales because I can take off the sales hat and come across the fellow human being.”
Quirky and proud of it:“I also have this really heightened level of positivity and that’s a quirk because most people think I am a little crazy, and you know what I am a little crazy but most people that are successful are a little insane.”
Be yourself already: “One thing we talked about was being yourself. If you realized how little people think of you then you wouldn’t really worry about what they think. The worst thing is if you are doing something that is not really true to yourself in fear that you might not get the validation of others.”
Having more than one mentor brings well-rounded viewpoints, diversity of perspective, and more insights into how to solve your career problems. With help from his mentors, Chris has practical advice that he uses constantly.
Help now, get helped later:“I have had a lot of mentors. It is crucial to being to successful to talk to people who have been through it. The best advice I received came from a trusted coworker when I interned with a medical device company: help people even when you think they can’t help you. It’s so important to build those connections and bonds. You never know that person could actually end up helping you.”
Be flexible for more career opportunities: The idea of being flexible is especially important in IT and life. When I was hired to Oracle out of college I started out as a business development representative. You aren’t paid out of commission you’re just looking for opportunities. I had a mentor that was in the role I have been promoted to in the past year and he would take the time to invest in me and take me out to lunch.
Remember, you can always find a connection, especially if you attend events for networking (which can be found on TMM's Facebook), you can work on personality and leadership traits at events like Un-network: Women’s New Leadership Bootcamp, and you can certainly always find a mentor using The Mentor Method’s trusted and dependable services. Learn from Chris and follow The Big Three to lead to new level in your career satisfaction (& The Mentor Method is always here to help!).
Many thanks to Chris, for your time and your sage advice.