[Career Conversations] Paul Kim
Welcome to our employee spotlight blog series – Every other month we will feature a Q&A from one of our top employees at Educe Group. This month we are featuring Paul Kim, Manager at Educe Group.
What do you do in your day-to-day role?
Most of my time is spent in the role of an Engagement Manager (EM) – I’m responsible for both projects and relationships across multiple clients. Day-to-day, I facilitate work to make sure the projects I own run smoothly. Some days, this means I’m on the phone a lot (I’m full-time remote) or setting up meetings to get the right people working together. Other days, I’m digging deep into a specific work product with one of my Educe team members. Every day is different.
What skills does your current job require? How have you mastered those skills?
For an EM, it’s all about prioritization – knowing the difference between urgent and important things, and then allocating your time appropriately. I haven’t mastered this skill entirely, but tools like the Eisenhower Box have helped me visualize where my time is going.
What advice would you give to others working in Educe Group about how to succeed in the organization?
Get a solid base of knowledge under you before trying to advance to greater responsibilities. Ask your peers what they think you’re good at, and where you could improve. Seek out stretch goals from your manager or mentor every year. Take the time to recognize and thank your peers publicly for a job well done.
What project/s are you most proud of?
I’ve been fortunate to have had a handful of very loyal, appreciative clients over the past six years as an EM, but the one project that sticks out in my mind is the first project I ever managed, back in 2013. I pretty much bombed it and felt I wasn’t really cut out for this job. Thankfully, some of my more seasoned colleagues at the time talked me through some tough times and made sure I understood where things went wrong. More importantly, they helped me see what I would need to do in order to get better results the next time, and they gave me another opportunity to redeem myself when I was ready. I know it’s a counter-intuitive answer to the question, but without a doubt it shaped the way I do my job today. Failure has been a pretty effective teacher in my experience.
How do you successfully build relationships with clients?
I think a client engagement becomes a relationship once trust is established. And I’ve found that trust is built when the client believes you have their best interests in mind, and when you’ve demonstrated the willingness to go the extra mile to make them successful.
What do you feel sets us apart from other consulting firms?
Educe really values employee time outside of work. For a high-performing consulting firm, it is unusual to expect normal hours from consultants on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong – we work hard, and some of us are indeed working long hours right now – but overworking has never been the cultural norm around here. I believe this makes for happier people who can see themselves building something for the longer haul.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
I define the word “hobby” pretty loosely – how about anything that doesn’t involve looking at a screen? But seriously, being able to disconnect completely and spend extended time offline is how I recharge. On any given night or weekend that might mean catching up with a friend over a beer or spending “no agenda” time with my kids.