When Michael Tuttobene was first looking for a career 25 years ago, all he knew was that he wanted to be in sales. He browsed the newspaper for jobs, as you did back then, and started applying everywhere he could.
“In the pool and spa industry, if you stick around long enough and do well at what you do, it doesn’t matter what position you’re in.”
He scored the job as an inside sales representative and launched his career in an industry that turned out to be just as fun as it sounded. Over the years, Michael progressed from sales representative to manager, then regional sales manager and director of sales. In 2018, he joined Waterway Plastics as the manufacturing company’s vice president of sales & marketing.
Michael attributes his success to networking and putting in the hours to learn about the pool and spa business from the ground up. Respecting and listening to everyone, in all positions, allowed him to quickly grow in his career.
“In the pool and spa industry, if you stick around long enough and do well at what you do, it doesn’t matter what position you’re in,” Michael says. “If you’re good, you’ll never be without a job. If you’re really good, people will create a job for you, even if there is no opening.”
In his current role at Waterway Plastics, Michael appreciates that every week is different and presents a fresh set of challenges. There is always an opportunity to meet someone new, discover a new business or negotiate a new contract, he says.
Throughout his career, the highlight has always been the people. Family businesses still make up much of the pool and spa industry, which Michael says gives it a different dynamic than other industries. He has made many close friendships through work and says his strong connections have helped him get to where he is today.
“We are like one big family in the business, and I just can’t see myself ever leaving. I’d miss the people too much,” Michael says. “You won’t find this at Fortune 500 companies. Choose your career path wisely – you’re going to be doing it for most of your life.”