Being true to herself is key for Kristen Gradney.
During her career coaching partnership with HerNature, Kristen was able to land her “dream job” while also embracing who she is and what makes her tick.
Time to Level Up
A registered dietitian, Kristen had worked in healthcare operations for 10 years. Her past position had her managing the health of 40,000 children through school health programs. But she reached a point where she wanted to make some changes.
“I wanted to move up,” she says. “I’d been a senior director for about three years, but on a track to move on to the next level of leadership. I was uncertain of what that looked like.”
Kristen began to embark on soul searching journey. While underway with an internal assessment of herself, she decided to do an online search for a professional career coach for women.
“Carole was the only person I contacted,” she says. “I just enjoyed her brand.”
Finding Her Nature
Kristen found a great deal of clarity through her work with Carole.
“I go back to this day where we were defining my strengths and my values,” she says. “It was very helpful to me.”
“I am a person who is hypercritical of myself. Can I do what I think I want to do? Am I good enough to do that? Do I really have the skills?”
Trust building can only be done through authenticity.—Kristen
Kristen says through coaching sessions with Carole, she was able to define what she wanted out of her professional career as well as what she needed to do to be successful personally.
“I keep [the work we did] in a folder on my desk to remind myself: you can do this, here is what you say you value, stay true to those things,” she says.
As she worked through the self-discovery process with HerNature, a job opportunity—the one she would ultimately take—popped up on Kristen’s radar.
“Here I was defining who I am and what I wanted,” she says. “It became a very natural evolution.”
In her new role as chief wellness officer for LCMC Health, Kristen is creating a culture of wellness across nine hospitals. Her goal is to positively impact the lives of 15,000 employees, including clinicians, health professionals, and staff.
“It allows me to make the best impact on as many people as possible at both work and at home,” she says. “I strive to reduce barriers to mental, physical, and financial health and improve workplace environment and empower our employees to live extraordinary lives each day.”
Trust Through Authenticity
Kristen believes being authentic means being “transparent and honest, true to yourself and those you serve as a leader, true to your values.” And in her new role, she believes her own authenticity goes a long way.
“Being authentic is essential to creating programs that are built on the needs of our employees and truly hear their voice,” she says. “Trust building can only be done through authenticity. And being new to this role, that is paramount since we address many of the most personal challenges of our employee population.”
Kristen says she feels satisfied personally when she is succeeding professionally. Through her work with Carole, she learned it was more authentic to be that way—to be herself.
“Who I am is not only self-perception but reflected through my values and professional development,” Kristen says. “That empowered me to continue my journey personally and professionally for a role that aligns with both.”
See HerNature’s Authentic Career Roadmap to learn more about the steps we took to help Kristen unearth her nature, clarify her personal brand and craft a roadmap for her chief-level leadership role.