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How to Reach Your Potential: An Interview with Kulwant Bangar

· Interview

Kulwant Bangar, program manager at John Howard Society of Peel-Halton-Dufferin, took part in the "How to Reach Your Potential" initiative, a series of 100 interviews with leaders who inspire Alex Rascanu and whose insights can help you reach your potential.

About Kulwant

Kulwant Bangar serves as Program Manager at John Howard Society of Peel-Halton-Dufferin, and is the recipient of First Work's Central Region Award of Merit and Maplehurst Correctional Complex's Volunteer Service Pin. Kulwant arrived in Canada as a foreign-trained Microbiologist, and faced the hardships encountered by countless newcomers and inexperienced job searchers. While getting her credential accredited, adapting to the Canadian culture and starting a family, she discovered that she has a passion for helping people connect to the resources they needed to progress in their lives. The world of science is still in her heart, but now it sits beside the world of employment coaching!

Kulwant has established and maintains outstanding relationships with a broad range of service providers in the Greater Toronto Area to help clients through seamless and empowering referrals to various programs, while also coordinating pre-employment training, skills training, as well as job placements and other on-the-job experiences. Through her calm and determined attitude, she has helped countless clients establish fulfilling careers.

Kulwant is an inspiring leader to her team and an active member of front-line and management networking groups.

Connect with Kulwant on LinkedIn.

Kulwant Bangar, Program Manager at John Howard Society

Alex: What is your life’s purpose?

Kulwant: To persevere come what may! My overall purpose in life is to balance my personal and professional life while making small differences in lives of those I cross paths with. To remember to be grateful and practice mindfulness.

Alex: What are the three things you’re most passionate about?

Kulwant: My family, personal development and empowering youth.

Alex: How do you stay healthy? What’s your main health-related goal?

Kulwant: I'm a vegetarian so I'm obviously healthy. Lol… no. I learned about the need to be healthy the hard way two years ago, when I started having some health issues and my body's message to me was "you can't pour from an empty bowl". I came to the realization that what I’ve been taking granted is my greatest wealth, so I must practice healthy living. So yes, I'm a vegetarian (by choice - I believe this is my only salvationJ) and it forces me to make everything from scratch, while exploring what this mother nature has to offer. My health-related goal remains to eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and practice yoga and meditation in order to accomplish my daily responsibilities.

Alex: How do you build wealth? What’s your main financial goal?

Kulwant: I build wealth through my work income, as well as investments. My financial goal is to have enough revenue to support others. I am strategizing to practice minimalism, which refers to living a simplified life that’s based on needs not wants. One day, I want to build a social enterprise that supports at-risk-youth by engaging their creative imagination. The organization would build better communities and cause a ripple effect that makes the world a better place, where we respect humanity more than material things.

Alex: How do you balance work and family life?

Kulwant: I must say it’s challenging, but I’ve learned to remember to turn my work switch off when I’m with my family. I continue to stay mindful of not mixing the two, whenever and wherever I can. My work is my passion and my family is my life, so I can’t function without either one of them. My energy comes from my kids, and I feel rejuvenated and recharged every morning when I walk into the office for another productive workday. Between me, my husband and extended family members’ contribution, we share a lot of responsibilities that help me stay on track.

Kulwant Bangar

Alex: How do you enjoy spending time with family and friends?

Kulwant: I enjoy getting together with family and friends over food, especially when we’re exploring new food joints. With family, I go on week-end getaways, bike-riding and long nature walks. Given that my background includes both the Canadian and the Indian culture, we’re big on watching TV shows, Bollywood movies and playing games together.

Alex: What has been the most fulfilling role you’ve ever had, or the most fulfilling project you’ve been involved with so far?

Kulwant: I have two very fulfilling roles: that of a Program Coordinator at the John Howard Society of Peel-Halton-Dufferin and that of a mother.

At work, I’m passionate about serving the people I work with, my clients and my co-workers. I’m surrounded by supportive leaders who help guide my path, show me the light at the end of the tunnel, and remind me not to give up. We serve a diverse range of clients who face a board range of challenges, which helps me keep grounded, stay humble, and appreciate what I have.

At home, I take joy in being a mother. It’s fulfilling to see yourself grow in front of your own eyes and getting glimpses of yourself through your kids. I absolutely love hearing their imaginative stories and ideas, and seeing the world through my kids’ eyes. Some days are truly challenging, and I need some alone time, but I am truly blessed to have my family.

Alex: What’s one career planning lesson that has made a significant difference in your life?

Kulwant: It can be summarized in three quotes but I’ll elaborate more:

  • “Life is all about the choices we make!”
  • “Dwell in possibilities”
  • “What we think we become”

These quotes drive my everyday life. Early in my career, I worked as a Microbiologist, which was all about the evidence, logic and reasoning; it was all calculated. Then my career took a turn and I started dealing with real people, which is when I realized that sometime you get to know the reasoning behind a decision and you just have to let things be.

I still struggle at times between “everything happens for a reason” and “this must be a coincidence,” but by going with the flow I’ve learned not to pressure myself to be perfectionist. I now practice being the best I can be with what I have!

I’ve created my own definition of contentment, and I’m learning and practicing resilience every day.

Alex: What would you like your legacy to be?

Kulwant: To be remembered as a person who helped make a difference, inspire and uplift others to help them live to their maximum potential.

Alex: Kulwant, thank you for taking part in this interview! Your insights are much appreciated.

Did you find one or more of Kulwant's thoughts helpful? Are there any ideas or resources that came to mind as you read the interview?

Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below, and consider sharing the interview with a friend via social media or email.

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