The Forte Factor is focused on helping our clients discover, develop and live their strengths. This means equipping them with knowledge and tools to help them make informed decisions about what is the right fit for them. To do so requires intentional learning – learning who you are, understanding your strengths and passions and recognizing your liabilities. Having a better understanding of each of these pieces gives you the opportunity to get a more complete picture of yourself.
When you truly know who you are, what gets you excited, what you shy away from, what fires you up – that’s when you are fully capable of identifying the right fit for you in work and life. You’re better able to define happiness and success and work toward achieving it.
Kristin Allaben is an example of this approach to finding her fit. You may know her as a Certified Greatness Zone Coach and COO of The Forte Factor, but she followed an interesting path to get here.
Q: What did you go to school for?
I went to Bentley University and got my degree in Information Design and Corporate Communication with a minor in Psychology. I absolutely loved every class I took specific to my major and minor. I always looked forward to class, and never thought of homework or projects as work. I knew this is what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know what it could look like for a career until I stumbled on a PR internship and fell in love with the industry.
Q: What did you love about it?
The fast-paced days. The need to always be on and capable of thinking creatively and strategically. The need to be able to do things quickly and efficiently, to shift gears at a moment’s notice, if needed. The importance of being organized to ensure things always ran smoothly.
Q: What made you leave?
I worked at Schwartz Communications for the better part of my career and absolutely loved every moment of it. Sure, there were hard days – I certainly won’t pretend that’s not the case, just like at any job – but I was passionate about the work and was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of a number of opportunities there. I moved to a different agency shortly after the company was acquired and started to think about the future, beyond promotions and career status. My husband and I just bought a house and we were thinking family, dog, etc. I started to think the demanding role I was so passionate about might not allow for the future I had envisioned. So, I considered other options, including how I could keep doing PR but on a less demanding schedule. I took a job doing in-house PR, working for one company instead of managing multiple client engagements at a firm. It was perhaps the best move I made because it was most definitely a bad fit situation. It forced me to reflect on what it was that I loved about the PR world, and if it was something I really wanted to keep doing.
Q: How did you decide what to do next?
Believe it or not, I actually turned to The Forte Factor and took the Talent Assessment. I felt like I had been so focused on moving my career forward that I needed to reconnect with myself, to be sure I was staying true to what I really loved to do and what I was really good at. That last part played a big role in every decision I made from that point forward. I had forgotten to combine what I loved to do with what I was good at.
Q: When did you discover that your calling was doing something else? What did you do about it?
The work I did to reflect and reintroduce myself to me helped me realize something big. One of my greatest strengths is organization. Working in the PR world, organization was critical to ensure clients showed up to where they needed to be on time, and that you never forgot the key details from any conversation you had, among other things. But often, my organization became a joke. I was often told that my need to keep things organized kept me too bogged down, preventing me from being truly strategic or creative, and that it would hinder my opportunity to grow any further. And that’s when I realized that I needed to find something that combined my talents (being organized, being focused) with my passion (helping people, communication, telling stories).
And that’s when I discovered being a Coach was the right fit for me. This, combined with my role as the COO at The Forte Factor, brings together so many of my strengths, talents and passions.
Q: Who are your role models?
I have a variety of role models for different reasons. Though I know it’s cliché to highlight my parents as role models, they really are. My Mom is a huge role model; she raised my sisters and me as a single mother and somehow we all made it out alive (and each of us credit her for the independent women we have become). I look at my Dad as a role model who bravely followed his true self and made big decisions to be happy in work and life. I see my kids as role models because they remind me that feeling every emotion is ok and good, and they remind me that life goes by too fast to worry about the small things (all the time). And my husband because he consistently amazes me with the ability to balance an extremely high-demanding and stressful job with being an amazing husband and father, and making it look easy.
Q: What is one thing you are still working on that you know you can do better?
I’m quick to judge and quick to react. I’m working hard to remember to respond instead of react, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s a work in progress! Some days, it comes much easier than others.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who may not feel like they’re in the right fit job or position in life? What can they do to find their right fit?
Take some time to get to know you. Reflect on the things that are working right now and the things that aren’t. Are there areas where you feel stuck? Why do you feel that way? Are there areas where you are genuinely happy? Why? Reintroduce yourself to you. You’ll be amazed what you can uncover.
Could you benefit from some life coaching? Contact us to get started with a free, 15-minute introductory call.
Consider reading Are You The Great Pretender?