Going digital with Juan del Busto
Juan del Busto never intended to work in digital. After receiving a graduate position with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) he had intended to apply his commerce degree in a more traditional business and finance role. However, while he was working in a business management area he found himself working on digital projects, and has now created a successful career within that space.
Juan del Busto originally studied commerce, and it was his interest in business and finance that attracted him to the ATO graduate program. However, after completing a rotation that saw him working on digital projects he found himself more drawn towards information technology (IT), and with the support of his colleagues and mentors, he was given the opportunity to pursue that interest.
Having committed himself to the digital space, Juan quickly made the decision to move from Canberra to Victoria to pursue career opportunities with the ATO’s Melbourne office. As a part of that, he enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Business Information Technology at RMIT. “I felt that I understood the business side [of my role] but I didn’t know the IT side, so I wanted to go to RMIT and build my knowledge up," says Juan. “It gave me a great foundation to build on … I was able to apply those skills directly to my job.”
According to Juan, the “diversity and flexibility” he has continuously been offered is one of the reasons he has stayed with the ATO. But another plus is the incredible support system they offer their employees, particularly through mentorship. “I was lucky that when I first joined the graduate program, I was provided with a quite senior mentor straight away,” says Juan. “I also had a previous graduate [as a mentor] and she was very impressive. She rose through the ranks very quickly and passed on a lot of her knowledge to me.”
Relationship building has been key to Juan’s success. His current role as an Assistant Director involves managing a team of three, however his entire team sits within a larger telephony project that relies on the ability of senior managers like Juan to know how to handle people and communicate effectively. For Juan, he sees this management as a way to fulfill one of his initial goals in joining the ATO.
“I signed up to give back to the community. And though I’m more internal facing now, I help the people who directly help the community,“ says Juan. “Really, the thing I like the most is working with all the people. You couldn’t do this job if you didn’t love working with people. Over the years I’ve built quite a large network of relationships within the business areas through all the various projects that I’ve done. It makes it a lot easier just being able to pick up the phone and ask people what they need.”
For those aspiring to follow Juan’s career trajectory, or something similar, an ability to stay present and focus on the job at hand is critical. “Once you find [a] job, devote yourself to it. Don’t think ‘where do I want to be in one to two years?’ Put yourself in that position and build your networks ... that will turn into progression,” says Juan. “I made the mistake myself of being too focused on climbing higher, but I had good leaders who got me to slow down and build the foundation. You need to have advocates in your work life … you need to build those relationships with your team, work hard and then they’ll reward you."