Closing The Gap

The 2 best pieces of advice to have a happier, more successful career, according to these co-CEOs

Sarah Lee and Christine Chang of Glow Recipe
Photo Courtesy of Glow Recipe

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's co-CEOs Christine Chang and Sarah Lee. The pair quit their jobs as global marketing executives at L'Oréal in 2014 to pursue an even bigger dream: launching their own skin-care brand inspired by their Korean heritage and K-beauty trends. 

Chang and Lee pooled together $50,000 in savings to start Glow Recipe and ran it as a two-woman operation until they could afford to hire more employees. Although that meant late nights spent packing shipments and testing products, the early days of Glow Recipe also taught them priceless lessons about how to grow a successful business and career. 

Now, Glow Recipe is one of the buzziest brands in skin care, closing out 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 for how to land — and win at — your dream job.

'Always think two or three steps ahead'

It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind of working, but no matter what 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 at the start of 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 vision of what you want your career to look like, start mapping out what it would take for you to get there. 

"Have a final vision in mind and work your way toward that," Lee explains. "It's helpful to break it up into more manageable goals, then plan what small steps you need to take to get there." 

'Never do it alone'

Chang can attest to the importance of a support system in chasing your dreams: Hers includes Lee and a tight-knit group of other start-up co-founders the duo has befriended on their journey. 

Although Chang calls herself "very independent" and has "found it hard to ask for help sometimes," she quickly learned the value of having encouraging, non-judgmental colleagues and mentors in her corner after launching Glow Recipe. 

"Being able to share your ideas, wins and also not-wins, as well as honest conversations about running a business has been an incredible source of mental support," she says. "It's okay to ask for help … never do it alone!" 

To follow Chang's advice, reach out to people who have embarked on a similar path as yours, or have your dream job, and ask for their professional insight and advice on your unique situation. 

She adds: "You want to constantly think about how to build a community of people that can support you, and who you can help in return."

Check out:

How Glow Recipe's co-CEOs turned their friendship and $50,000 into a $100-million business

At 25, SuChin Pak became MTV's first Asian American news correspondent—here's her best career advice

The reasons for the $3.2 trillion gender investing gap, and how to bridge it

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How this 21-year-old earns and spends $93,000 a year in Chicago
How this 21-year-old earns and spends $93,000 a year in Chicago