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The Key to Career Progression (Episode 166)
The key to career progression is initiative! In this episode, I am glad to introduce Chris Benson. Chris is a former USMC Field Artillery officer who attended the January 2014 Career Conference. After the follow-up interview process concluded, he received multiple offers for employment and ultimately chose to work for INVISTA. INVISTA, a company within Koch Industries, is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers, chemicals, and fibers.
Chris earned many offers through his process but said one of the main reasons he chose INVISTA was because of their guiding principles. Koch Industries operates using Principle Based Management and fosters a culture of empowering employees to build the organization and serve their customers. Even within INVISTA, Chris was given multiple job offers and chose the role to start as a Shift Supervisor because the work closely related to what he did in the USMC. The interesting thing about it is that he decided to work for INVISTA after he met them, not before. Sometimes I see military officers make a decision about who they want to work for before ever meeting them. Chris does a great job sharing why he chose INVISTA and how he arrived at his decision.
6 Jobs in 9 Years
That’s right, 6 jobs in 9 years. Some may say that sounds a lot like the military. Make no mistake, Chris is a development candidate and earned each of the promotions he received along the way. He attributes his success to a willingness to learn new things and volunteer for initiatives outside of his direct sphere of responsibility. In doing so, he said he expanded his capabilities, which led to different roles availing themselves to him. In a word, he took the initiative and owned his career. In Corporate America, companies leverage their ability to empower people who want to be empowered.
We spent time talking about the different roles he has held at INVISTA, the challenges of working through a “restructure,” and leveraging location preferences to continue to grow professionally.
Some advice that Chris passes along to JMOs is to be a life-long learner and take the initiative- as long as you take the initiative, opportunities are everywhere.
A couple of books that he recommended are What Leaders Really Do by John Kotter and Good Profit by Charles Koch.
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