MBA, Loyola University
BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Credential, ICF

This is My Story

Hi! I’m Kristin and I’m a Leadership and Career coach at Ama La Vida. I love being a coach and find fulfillment in empowering people to make decisions that will bring them closer to their professional goals and the life they want. I find that when people gain an understanding of how they can be happy and impactful in their professional life, they frequently utilize these skills to improve their satisfaction in other aspects of their life as well.

Over the course of my career, I have held a variety of roles and made several career transitions. Making these changes was never easy. I frequently struggled with looming questions such as what’s my purpose, how can I make money doing what I love and what I’m good at, and how can I work and still have time for my family. Each change, however, was crucial to my growth and development as I took on new and different roles. My 15+ years in retail management and HR roles span across a wide breadth of industries, providing coaching to leaders and their teams on a variety of business and human capital challenges including individual and leadership development. While my career journey has been a winding path, every role has in some way shaped me and provided me with the strong background for the Leadership and Career Coach I am today.

When making my career decisions, I focused on seeking out roles where I could continue to grow and develop professionally while at the same time ensuring my roles were not in conflict with my personal goals of balancing work and family. While it has not always been a perfect match, being intentional about choosing roles has helped me maintain the balance I need to keep my professional and personal life somewhat in balance.

My Coaching Approach

My style is casual and light-hearted. I tend to use humor to connect and also lighten the mood when appropriate as often coaching topics can sometimes seem quite heavy! I lead with curiosity and ask a lot of questions. I often challenge assumptions and work with clients to uncover blocks that may be limiting them from taking steps to achieve what they want. I find that the clients I coach that are the most successful in achieving their goals are those that are open to self-discovery and adapting to new ways of doing things both personally AND professionally.

What can you expect from working with me?

The opportunity to discuss the topics that are keeping them awake at night. While I will provide a tentative plan of topics to focus on, I allow the client to hold their own agenda.

A supportive, safe and judgment free environment to discuss whatever thoughts and questions are coming up for them whether it be contemplating what kind of leader they want to be and strategies to get there or figuring out what the next step is in their career pathway.

Their brain will hurt a bit. In order to get the most out of the coaching experience, clients may need to exercise their brain and think in a bit of a different way than they may be used to.

Consistent goal planning and establishment of an accountability framework.

Who are my clients?

  • You are feeling stagnant and stuck in your current role and need help figuring out what the next step is in your career path.
  • You have clarity on what role you want to pursue next in your career path but you don’t know what to do to get there.
  • You want to enjoy your life outside of work but you can’t focus because you are burnt out.
  • You are a new to mid level people manager that needs support in thinking about how to motivate and lead teams.
  • You want support in thinking about how to build and foster better relationships professionally so that you can work more effectively and efficiently to be successful.
  • You value growth and development within your career and would find value in identifying areas of opportunity and creating a plan of how to close those gaps enabling you to continue to progress toward your desired professional goals.

What my clients say

“As my sessions with Kristin progressed, it was interesting to see how what we discussed applied to both my professional and personal life, especially as a new mom. Prior to our coaching sessions, I had always kept those two areas of my life very separate, but it became apparent through our discussions that these two areas of my life are not unilateral. I never thought to consider my personal life goals when making big career decisions which is something I will do from now on and vice versa. Our conversations also helped me prioritize different goals of mine. It was interesting to see how my prioritization of items changed just by saying them out loud and talking through it. Furthermore, coaching has caused me to be more introspective on my decisions. Many decisions I made previously when it came to career were because they looked good on paper or “just made sense” as the next logical professional step. Kristin’s coaching provided me with more clarity. I felt like I was getting to the root of why I was questioning something or feeling uncomfortable. These coaching sessions with Kristin have led me to make some different career choices because they make more sense with what I want personally and even professionally whereas before I would have made different decisions because they felt right in the heat of the moment.”

“Through coaching, Kristin helped me realize the career steps I needed to take in order to transition into doing something that I not only loved, but would allow me to spend more time with my family. She was invaluable in helping me to find a balance between achieving my ultimate career goals while maintaining a sustainable lifestyle.”

“Kristin helped me work through a senior executive career move. Changing organizations and industries at a later stage in one’s career presents unique challenges, such as greater exposure and a shorter timeframe to course correct or recover from errors. Unless managed adeptly, these challenges can become paralyzing distractors that work to undermine one’s ability to succeed. Kristin helped me identify and work through potential pitfalls and put them in perspective making me aware, less intimidated, and ultimately more focused and better positioned to succeed at my new role.” – KM

“I came to Ama La Vida feeling very unclear and pessimistic about my next career steps but from the initial call with Justice, things started to shift in a positive direction. The online modules were demanding and challenging but forced me to really investigate what truly motivated me. The exercises continually highlighted what I enjoyed doing and helped me focus on what aspects of a career would deliver the fulfilment for which I was searching. My weekly sessions with Kristin were always a highlight and kept me motivated in moments of self doubt. My assumptions were challenged and my confidence was rebuilt such that I’ve arrived at a point where I am excited by my chosen path. I don’t doubt there will be struggles and difficulties ahead but the ALV program gave me the personal insights such that I can return to these as a guide. Whereas I arrived feeling cynical about coaching I leave feeling almost evangelical and will certainly come back from time to time. Highly recommended.” – HR

“Ama La Vida helped me quickly focus in on my goals and values. I loved the modules, especially the purpose module because it was reaffirming to me that I was on the right path going forward. I would absolutely recommend Ama La Vida for coaching, both personally and professionally.” – Amy M.

“My ALV coach was great! She met me where I was and supported me through a career transition. Each session was rewarding and taught me something new!” – Kaitlyn T.

Such a great decision to partner with Ama La Vida and Career Coach Kristin S! Decided to make a career change but didn’t know what industry that change might be in and needed some direction. The onboarding and coach placement was amazing. My coach, Kristin S, was so supportive and gave tons of ideas that ultimately helped direct me to the right industry and through the entire interview process. Really appreciated her help customizing my resume. I had the support of Kristin and tons of online help through the ALV module system. Would never had been able to transition so quickly and land my dream job without the personalized experience I received at ALV. Thank you for being here!” – Jamie Leigh B.

“Kristin – thank you for checking in.  I’m pleased with how the interview went and most important, I learned a ton in the process. And THANK YOU again for your coaching and guidance. Really feeling at peace with everything and mostly just so happy with how I’ve changed internally. Couldn’t have done this much without you and a few other key people who’ve been cheering me on.” – Jessica

“The coaches at ALV truly have given me so much confidence again in my own skills & experience, THANK YOU! And the whole ALV platform is amazingly done. I will definitely come back if & when I decide to get back into full-time job hunting, and recommend ALV to anyone who is looking for career support.” – Alexia D.

“I seeked career coaching through Ama La Vida at the turn of many transitions in my life- I had just moved and changing careers is something I had been contemplating for awhile. I knew I wanted to change careers but wasn’t sure where to begin or what exactly I wanted to do next. Kristin Simon and I worked together for 3 months and during that time I gained valuable insight, reflected on my gifts, and she helped me identify and define what I have to offer to a company. Each session with Kristin felt very comfortable and I looked forward to our sessions and the work in between! She asked meaningful questions and helped make connections about my career journey I had never considered. The online learning modules that Ama La Vida provides are extremely helpful and serve as a great guideline throughout the coaching journey. Kristin provided excellent feedback regarding my Linkedin profile, personal statement, resume, and she even offered to proofread my cover letter! Kristin is very speedy at replying and provided as a wonderful and knowledgeable resource throughout my career change. If you are in a career transition in your life or just need some guidance throughout the process, I highly recommend Kristin and Ama La Vida team. Thank you Kristin and Ama La Vida!” – Vanessa S.

“I signed up a bit on a whim, following a very general career coach google search in the middle of the night. I needed a change and needed help to guide my search and do some self exploration. I was looking to transition to a new career path, but I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go. The coaching turned out to be exactly what I needed to help me assess my interests and strengths, and have a method to guide my job search. It also kept me on track and holding me responsible to continue to make forward progress. I ended up applying to a few jobs, getting two job offers, and my coach helped me navigate negotiating and ultimately choosing which role was a better fit. Making an investment in myself to get some help through this huge transition in my life was well worth it and has put me on a great new path.” – Martha F.

“Helped me create a more strategic, intentional approach in my next career/job search.” – Ashley A.

“Kristin Simon was an amazing coach. We’ve been working together for a year now and I feel like she’s given me the tools to apply for and get the job that I’ve been looking for. There is nothing she could have done better, I am simply ready to start this journey on my own. I really and truly have learned so much and am in such a better place than I was when I started working with Kristin.” – Kristen S.

“Your input and coaching has been invaluable, and I feel like I’m in a much clearer spot in terms of how to plan my career.” – Sarah F.

“All in all, the work I did with you and Ama La Vida helped me to realize what was most important to me in a career and take the steps to get there. I’m very happy.” – BV

“I’m so glad I took the leap and did coaching with ALV. It was exactly the right thing for me to figure through my career pivot. Coming from a small, family business, Kristin S helped me put words and value to the skill set I have acquired. And helped me learn how to share that with the world. And from one of the homework assignments she gave me, I actually found my business partner and were now a year into our entrepreneurial journey. Thank you!” – Lindsay W.

“Kristin was very encouraging and helped me reframe any negative thoughts that were holding me back. I could not have landed my new role without her support.” – Erica J.

“I had a great experience with Ama La Vida. As a professional looking to pivot after 5 years in the same job and 7 years in the same industry my work with Kristin Simon was invaluable so I could best prepare myself for the current job market. I’m very grateful for ALV and would highly recommend it!” – Helen H.