It can be difficult to define your dream career, let alone pursue it – the path can be fraught with risks and self-doubt.
Just ask Glow Recipe co-CEOs Christine Chang and Sarah Lee. The couple quit their jobs as global marketing executives at L’Oréal in 2014 to pursue an even bigger dream: launch their own skincare brand, inspired by their Korean heritage and K-beauty trends.
Chang and Lee collected $50,000 in savings to start Glow Recipe and ran it as a two-woman business until they could afford to hire more employees. While that meant spending late nights packing shipments and testing products, the early days of Glow Recipe also taught them invaluable lessons about how to grow a successful business and career.
Now Glow Recipe is one of the hottest brands in skincare, closing 2021 with an estimated $100 million in sales and counting celebrities like Lizzo and Lili Reinhart as fans.
Chang and Lee sat down with CNBC Make It and shared their best advice on how to get — and win — your dream job.
‘Always think two or three steps ahead’
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of work, but whatever career stage you’re in, you should always have a clear goal of what you want to achieve, Lee says.
A human resources director at L’Oréal Paris gave Lee this advice early in her career, and it’s stuck with her ever since: “Always think two or three steps ahead, not just your immediate next step.”
Once you have a clear idea of what your career should look like, start mapping out what it will take to get there.
“Have a final vision in mind and work towards it,” explains Lee. “It’s helpful to break it down into more manageable goals and then plan what small steps you need to take to get there.”
Chang can attest to the importance of a support system in pursuing your dreams: Hers includes Lee and a close-knit group of other start-up co-founders the duo befriended on their journey.
Although Chang calls herself “very independent” and “has found it difficult to ask for help at times,” she quickly learned the value of encouraging, non-judgmental colleagues and mentors in her corner after launching Glow Recipe.
“It’s been an incredible source of mental support to share your ideas, wins and non-wins, and honest conversations about running a business,” she says. “It’s okay to ask for help…never do it alone!”
To take Chang’s advice, you should reach out to people who have gone down a similar path to yours, or have your dream job, and ask for their professional insight and advice about your unique situation.
She adds, “You want to constantly think about how to build a community of people who can support you and who you can help in return.”
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