Building An Authentic Career As A Strategic Programs Leader with Jean Kang

In this short series, we hear from mid-career professionals, leaders, and founders on what it takes to build an authentic career, some of their challenges and proudest moments along the way, and their best piece of advice for navigating an intentional and authentic career. Get inspired below!

What's your name?

Jean Kang

What's your title or function?

Strategic Programs Leader | Career Coach | Instructor

What led you to this career path?

It all started with me testing out different jobs early on in my career (Sales, Account Management, Customer Success, Operations). One thing led to another and it was when I was a Customer Success Manager at Pinterest where I had an opportunity to raise my hand and lead a big customer program from start to finish. That ended up being a pivotal moment for me to double down on pivoting to a program management career. The rest is history and I haven't looked back!

What would you say is your unique zone of genius?

Two things: 1. Leading with empathy 2. Getting stuff done.

What's the best part and the hardest part of the work you do today?

The best part of my job is helping leaders and teams operate better and faster. I enjoy bringing different people together to accomplish a worthwhile goal. The hardest part is dealing with pushback and not taking things personally. Sometimes we have to let go of the things that are completely out of our control which can be really hard for me!

What's a challenge you've overcome in your career (that you're willing to share)?

I've learned to articulate my wants whether it's asking for a specific project, advocating for a promotion or seeking leadership opportunities. Being my own champion doesn't come easily for me but I had learned the hard way, "If not you, then who?"

When you look back on your career what are you most proud of?

I'm so proud of how I stretched myself in each job (I had 7) so it's no one specific moment. I learned to raise my hand and present on a topic during all hands, lead big projects and always be open to trying new things. Those moments compounded over time to help me become who I am today.

What's the job or passion project you've considered but never gone after?

I wanted to be a career coach and entrepreneur and happy to say I HAVE gone after it and don't regret it 1 bit!

What is the best piece of career advice you'd like to share with others?

Be 1% better everyday.

What does an authentic life and career look like for you?

Living life based on elements that spark ME joy not anyone else 🙂 To me that is giving back, finding ways to grow and act with love.

In you're ready to get more out of your career, here are three ways that we can support you. 

1) Join Our Job Search Accelerator Membership. Our structured step-by-step process to clarify, attract, and land your ideal opportunities.

2) Get 1:1 Career and Executive coaching. Learn more and book a complimentary call.

3) Download our free career clarity guide. Download here.