Real People & Real Results

feedback, outcomes, & praise from folks just like you

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Hear from Pivoters

People who change careers without a demotion or a pay cut

Sarah Campbell pivoted from higher education / ed tech student success into fintech SaaS customer success.

Lena Cherian

One post pivot, from retail pharmacy to pharmaceutical

“The greatest thing Cristin did for me during my time with her was build up my confidence.”

For context, I had recently made a pivot in my career to the pharmaceutical industry after over a decade in retail pharmacy. I was very new to the pharma industry and in a consulting position, so I knew this role I had taken to exit the retail (pivot) world would be short term. I started looking and applying for new jobs on my own, with some “no thank you,” no interviews, and mostly no response at all. Around the same time, I was seeing some of Cristin’s fb posts about how she had helped people land their dream jobs. As much as I wanted the help, I was not keen on the idea of spending money on a career coach because I was pretty confident that I could still somehow find something on my own.

Fast forward a few months and I still had no interviews and I’m still coming across Cristin’s posts, so I decided to reach out. She was very quick with her responses, and I was able to set up something that was affordable. At that point in time, my goal was to land a dream job like Cristin had mentioned she had helped others do, but in reality, I was skeptical that it could happen for me, due to me being a recent pivoter.

Cristin did a lot for me in the time we worked together. She helped me build up my resume so it could work well with an ATS system and for the human reviewing it. She gave me strategies on how to apply, where to apply, and motivated me to keep going when I felt like I was getting nowhere. In addition to all that, the greatest thing Cristin did for me during my time with her was build up my confidence, she helped me believe in myself in the midst of getting hit with a lot of rejection from employers.

Everyone likes stats, so here’s some of mine – I applied to over 300 jobs, was invited to interview with 2 companies, and received one job offer. The numbers don’t look like they were in my favor, but the good news was… the one offer I received was my dream job! Cristin did it!! Just like I had read on her fb posts all those months earlier, she helped me get my dream job. Things that seemed like a lofty impossibility became reality for me with Cristin’s help… so what are you waiting for??

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Michelle Wooten Everett

From Admissions to Program Management

I reached out to Cristin, rather hesitantly at first since I’d never engaged a coach before. Cristin met me where I was, LISTENED intently to what I needed, and did not pressure me in any way. After our initial consultation, I knew she was the person I needed to help me move into my next career.

Working with Cristin was such a pleasant experience. She is an authentic and professional person who brings her whole self into her role, and works so hard to help! She pointed out areas of my resume and cover letter that needed tweaking that I’d never have noticed, and she coached me on things to say and ask in an interview to make sure that the employer really saw me. One thing that helped me was that Cristin looked at my credentials, listened to my stories of my experiences, and truly encouraged me. She pointed out strengths that I hadn’t focused on and that I needed to bring to the fore when speaking with interviewers. Cristin also helped me to know what job titles to search for in my job searches which would be most aligned with my goals, and empowered me to ask for the salary that I deserved. That may seem simple, but in my state of mind having been in education for decades, I couldn’t think outside of the box and I was in a bit of a rut. Cristin opened that box right up for me!

While I know this may not be the case for everyone, the very first job that I applied for after having been coached by Cristin, I was offered an interview. After the interview, Cristin and I re-convened and she asked important questions and gave insight as to what to do in a second interview–which I ended up being offered! At every step in the process, Cristin was there to offer guidance. Ultimately, I was hired and have been in my role as Program Manager for three months now.

I can honestly say that I do not believe that I would have gotten the job without Cristin’s help. Her help with word choice, formatting, and interviewing skills was instrumental in my success. Her encouragement, positive attitude, and genuine interactions with me were invaluable. I am grateful and I highly recommend Cristin to folks going into their first jobs, and especially to folks who are trying to pivot mid-life like me. She truly is an expert at what she does and is phenomenal in her ability to communicate her expertise.

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Eileen Brumitt

from higher ed to SAAS customer success and starting her own business

“Due to Cristin’s guidance in the Pivot Process, I feel like I am in control of my own future and career.”

I was very fortunate to meet Cristin just as I decided to look into changing careers from higher education to something (anything) else. I found the Pivot Process an important part of my transition from a 15-year career in higher ed to a new understanding of my identity as so much more than my career or job. The PP supported me in figuring out a new direction at a crucial time after higher ed work led me to burnout, frustration, and financial stress.

The Pivot Process gave me a framework to reimagine work and what I actually want. Due to Cristin’s guidance in the Pivot Process, I feel like I am in control of my own future and career. I feel confident that I can apply for, interview for, and get jobs, but I also know I have the ability to choose and make changes if I need to. This is an amazing gift. In higher ed, my path always seemed predetermined. Now I feel like I am able to pivot as many times as I want to and chase any career that interests me. I now have a new remote job in a new field and a new business that I am growing.

For me, the Pivot Process is not just getting a new job. It was also figuring out what I actually want to pursue and how to best use my skills. Authenticity is the key to the process. After a career in higher ed, finding out what I authentically want in how I am treated at work, how I work, and how I want to be paid was not obvious or easy. It is a process that is well worth the time and effort.

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Jennifer Irwin

from higher ed to technical program management

“In the end, I accepted a fully-remote position, above my target salary range, doing work that I enjoy and wanted to do more of – all the major points I had hoped for but didn’t think would be possible.”

Cristin is simply amazing! I had been thinking about looking for a new job and possibly changing careers for awhile, but I was unsure if I actually wanted to do so. Sure, there were some things missing, but I was actually pretty happy in my previous position and was scared I would regret leaving. On the other hand, I had some big changes in my personal life (like a new baby!) that made me feel a change was necessary. Plus, I was starting to feel a bit stagnant after being at my previous organization for a decade and felt my only future opportunities there would be another lateral move, so the idea of something new was intriguing. I made some half-hearted attempts at applying for jobs, but between working full-time and caring for a new baby, I just didn’t have the time or energy to put in the effort I needed.

I reached out to Cristin after speaking with a friend who had worked with her and had nothing but glowing reviews. From our very first meeting, I felt seen, understood, and encouraged. She assured me that the things I wanted were not unreasonable and were actually very possible. I was also so impressed at how well she knows her stuff – Cristin really understands today’s job market! I felt I’d be in good hands if I worked with Cristin, and I was right. She was with me every step of the way – from figuring out exactly where I wanted to pivot to to resume revamps to interview prep and more. On my own, I was barely receiving rejection emails, much less any interviews, but after I started working with Cristin, the interview requests came rolling in. And even though I hadn’t been on an interview in 10 years, I felt confident and prepared on interviews, thanks to Cristin. While job hunting is rarely considered fun, Cristin makes the whole process exciting and enjoyable. Working with Cristin is like working with an expert, coach, friend, and cheerleader all in one.

In the end, I accepted a fully-remote position, above my target salary range, doing work that I enjoy and wanted to do more of – all the major points I had hoped for but didn’t think would be possible. I thought all I wanted was too much – too much to ask for or more than I “deserved” – but not Cristin. She encouraged me, believed in me, and expertly coached and guided me the entire time. I cannot sing her praises enough. Working with Cristin was, without a doubt, one of the absolute best investments I could have made in myself!

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Christie Nadratowski

from ed tech to it customer success

“Cristin helped me secure a 60k overall raise in my earning potential from the first search to the second. It’s hard to imagine doing that on my own!”

I was stuck in a low energy, low motivation space that made it hard to do anything to help better my situation. My work environment wasn’t terrible, but many promised promotions had fallen through during the pandemic, and I was feeling trapped. I knew that I needed to do something to change my life but couldn’t bring myself to put the effort into it. Cristin is the best organizer, motivator, and friend you can have through this process. Every time you tell a casual story about a time when work made you feel worthless or icky, she’s right there reminding you that that’s not normal or acceptable, and you don’t have to tolerate it. In her Executive Coaching process, she’s amazing at giving tips and helping you develop techniques to mitigate or manage, but she can also quickly help you pivot to job searching, if that’s ultimately what’s best for you. She’s flexible, kind, and supportive, and you get far more than your monetary investment in your sessions out of working with her. I couldn’t be happier! Cristin has helped me see the value that I bring to organizations, and has given me strategies for how to continue to have those conversations moving forward. I feel very seen and heard by her!

Cristin worked with me through not one, but two back-to-back job searches. I had originally accepted a role that sounded too good to be true, and indeed, it was. So I reached out to Cristin again and within two days, I had a new working resume and cover letters. Within two weeks, I had secured a new offer! On top of that, Cristin helped me secure a 60k overall raise in my earning potential from the first search to the second. It’s hard to imagine doing that on my own! I have been referring her to everyone I know because she is so worth the investment in yourself!

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Christine Palmer

From Admissions to Customer Success

“Cristin took the time to dig in and truly understand my goals. She is absolutely hilarious and easy to talk to. She has a way of empowering you through simple conversations.”

Before working with Cristin, I felt stuck in my career. I worked in my career for 20 years and I have helped to develop many people, which I love, but I wasn’t pouring that same level of energy into myself. I was at a point where I didn’t feel like I was progressing and I was definitely not getting compensated enough. I didn’t have a clear path forward that I could see.

A friend of mine referred me to Cristin and I kept the referral for 3 months. I kept visiting her page and started following her. Her posts were interesting and informative so I decided to give her a call. I loved her title, Possibilitarian. There’s always a way! It resonated with me and I booked my first consultation. My decision was solidified as soon as we met! I loved her energy, her questions and the clear expectations she set for our journey together.

Working with Cristin was an absolute joy! Don’t get me wrong, I had to put in the work, but Cristin made it our journey manageable. I came in with the expectation that she would help me, but the level of assistance she provided exceeded my expectations. She kept me on track. She helped me remember all the successes and accomplishments I had over the years. She took the time to dig in and truly understand my goals. She is absolutely hilarious and easy to talk to. She has a way of empowering you through simple conversations. Each conversation lead to more development, goal setting and homework. Patience in this process is key, but doing the work is even more important. Cristin makes the work feel possible!

The result was that I got everything we worked to achieve. I was able to pivot from my 20 year career and take my skill set elsewhere. I increased my salary by 38k. My confidence soared and I am currently working for an organization where my expertise and talents are respected. I was able to remain working remotely, along with the benefits that were important to me.  Every goal we set from our initial conversation, was achieved 100%.

And now I feel amazing! I finally buckled down and poured into myself. I focused, set a goal and worked my plan. I took my own advice that I have shared with others over many years and it feels incredible to realize where I am today. Happy, excited and challenged! All the goals I set out to accomplish have been achieved. There were days where I was exhausted, but always looked forward to hearing those words, ‘Hello Captain, How’s it going?’ I knew that if I stayed the course working with Cristin I would achieve what we set out to do and we did just that! Many times we feel stuck and sometimes spin our wheels thinking we’ve exhausted all possibilities. If you do not take the time to explore your path and where you want to be, you will be in the same spot this time next year. If you don’t do anything else today, reach out to Cristin Downs for a consultation. Just talk to her and I am proof that there is always a way.

Cristin, I cannot thank you enough for the encouragement, the work and the inspiration you provided during our time together. We did it! I cannot thank you enough!

Your extremely satisfied client,
Christine Palmer

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Viola B.*

from small business owner to working for someone else

“Cristin helped me sift through everything I’ve done and organize the info in a way that would reflect me well.”

I contacted Cristin when I happened across a job posting that looked like a great fit for me. It had been years since I’d even thought about my resume and I didn’t know how to best articulate my unique work experience for a “regular” job. Cristin helped me sift through everything I’ve done and organize the info in a way that would reflect me well for this particular job. She also helped me understand what to do so that I could utilize this for any future applications if that one didn’t work out. Thanks to her, I feel so much more confident in the process of how I represent myself to potential employers.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Joanna Novelo

from small business owner to working for someone else

“Thanks to Cristin, the process was quick and actually fun.”

After owning my own business for the last 5 years, I made the decision to re-enter the corporate world. I had a lot of work to get ready for this process…or so I thought. Cristin was able to help me sift through hundreds of job listings and identify the perfect opportunities for me. She helped me prepare my resume for the automated systems it was going to go through, and also highlighted my work experience in a concise and powerful way. Cristin held my hand through the interview process and acted as my cheerleader the whole time. Had I not decided to work with Cristin, I would probably still be putting in multiple applications and hoping for a callback. Thanks to her, the process was quick and actually fun. I landed the perfect job for my skill set. Both I and my family are very grateful for Cristin.
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Tammy Bean

from higher ed to human resources | global environmental non-profit

“Cristin pushed me to do the hard work to see the skills that I had taken for granted were skills that others wanted and needed in their organization.”

Having the opportunity to work with Cristin was the best gift I could have given myself and my family. Cristin pushed me to do the hard work to see the skills that I had taken for granted were skills that others wanted and needed in their organization. She helped me figure out how my values could still align with my work even if it was in a different industry. In addition, she helped me to see that moving out of the position that I held for almost two decades was a way to move forward instead of living in the comfort and ease that I had grown accustomed to. The work was not easy and at times there were tears, frustration, and laughter and through it all she helped me to look deep into myself for what I wanted my future to be; stuck in the mud of what I knew or flying toward possibilities. Some days I was totally comfortable with the mud, but I am so grateful that she pushed me to fly toward possibilities. I am now in a new position that aligns with my values and is challenging me to use my skills in new and different ways. While I knew that Cristin was good at what she does before I took the leap to work with her, she was hands down better than I could have hoped for, and I can never express in words the positive impact that she has had on my life.
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Nicole Greene

From performing arts to media operations

“A cheerleader, a sounding board, and a teacher, Cristin encompasses all the things you need in a coach, wrapped up in a friend.”

Everyone needs a Cristin in their life! She will challenge the way that you think about yourself and push past your internal limitations to bring out the very best of who you are. Cristin has the innate ability to take the preciousness out of our work, making it infinitely simpler to refine the items in our resumes and cover letters to tell the best story of ourselves. This is invaluable, as it is NOT something that you can do for yourself. Cristin helped me to pivot the knowledge I already had toward a new field and encouraged me to define my skills, even when I was hesitant to do so. She helped me package myself into a product that others could understand, and she did so with a combination of encouragement, praise, and pragmatic advice.

Cristin is as invested in your success as you are, if not more so. A cheerleader, a sounding board, and a teacher, she encompasses all the things you need in a coach, wrapped up in a friend.

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Victoria Ng

from performing arts to higher ed to recruiting ops

“Cristin’s a wonderful human being and easy to get along with – essential when you’re looking for someone to take you to the next step!”

Cristin is by far the most thorough, engaged, and encouraging career coach I’ve worked with. Her attention to detail and patience puts her on a completely different level. On top of that, she’s a wonderful human being and easy to get along with – essential when you’re looking for someone to take you to the next step! I cannot recommend her enough if you’re serious about moving forward in your career.

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Kyle Fowler

one post pivot, from entertainment to account management to customer success

“She made the “not easy” easier. Cristin was my cheerleader the entire time. And one of the greatest lessons Cristin taught me was to value myself. She has completely changed my perspective on so many things which I can’t thank her enough for.”

I had been a professional performer in the entertainment industry for well over 15 years when Covid hit. Seeing the challenges the entertainment industry was facing at that time, I, along with many others, decided to pivot into my first “corporate” role in the fintech/startup space. And while I did my best in this role, and excelled, it wasn’t something that necessarily brought me joy or fulfillment; although, it did open my eyes to many possibilities. But even still, I couldn’t clearly see where this new career of mine was going. 

After only a year-and-a-half, I was laid off from my new corporate position due to downsizing. This left me and my newly-expanded family in one of the most difficult situations we’ve ever faced. I had enjoyed the fintech/startup space but didn’t want to pursue the field I had been in, nor did I want to jump to yet another lilypad and start all over again, at the bottom of the corporate ladder. I wanted more. And what’s funny about that is searching for a new job made me feel I didn’t deserve it.

While reaching out to connections on LinkedIn, I ended up reconnecting with a friend from college who had spoken very highly of having just worked with Cristin, and who had successfully transitioned into a promoted role herself. So, I decided to schedule a consultation. In just that meeting alone, Cristin had shown more empathy and guidance than anyone else I had worked with, guru I followed, or article I had read. She laid out a clear plan of attack – something I desperately needed. 

Immediately, I knew this was my coach. 

As someone pivoting into a new career from 15+ professional years in the entertainment industry and a year-and-a-half in the corporate world, I was initially very confident in my ability to secure a new fintech job [that I actually liked]. Boy, was I misguided. Before working with Cristin, I had been out of work for almost three months, modified my resume and cover letter multiple times, worked with three other executive coaches, read incredible amounts of content online, had taken a couple courses, and had already applied to around one hundred jobs. And even after all of that, I still didn’t have a clear trajectory for my career. I was burning out. I felt lost.

From my very first session with Cristin, I felt incredibly seen and heard. Cristin took all of my skills and experience and began to suggest some options. One of those suggestions was a path towards being a Customer Success Manager – a role and career I wasn’t initially aware of and now had a new-found interest in. In one session, Cristin had helped me to finally point my compass! This reignited my motivation.

As we continued working together towards our new goal, I was being educated on so much at the same time: the job-search market, interview prep, resume refining, project/assessment questions, LinkedIn, tips, advice, etc. Cristin is a wealth of knowledge and has such a great way of, what I call, “spiking the Kool-Aid” when it comes to explaining the world of job searching. Her ability to inspire and encourage you while still being honest and realistic is something I appreciated and admired so much. 

I’ve always been a fan of the saying, “You don’t hire someone for the 99% of the time that things go right. You hire them for the 1% of the time it goes wrong.” And this is where Cristin helped me the most. In a perfect world, I would have found a new job immediately. But that’s not what happened. My job search lasted a total of 8 months (roughly 5 of those with Cristin). There were times I was convinced that I didn’t have enough of the “right” experience to secure a CSM position. And even when I brought up changing our gameplan to Cristin, she encouraged me to stay the course, as that was still what I wanted. She always prioritized MY goals (while spiking the Kool-Aid, of course). 

I’m sure most would agree with me saying that searching for a new job is not “easy.” And pivoting into a new industry/career without prior experience is also not easy. So, while my search lasted about 5 months with Cristin, there’s nobody else I would have rather had by my side. She made the “not easy” easier. Cristin was my cheerleader the entire time. And one of the greatest lessons Cristin taught me was to value myself. She has completely changed my perspective on so many things which I can’t thank her enough for.

And then, just as Cristin said it would, it happened. Five months and over 850 applications later, I successfully transitioned into a Customer Success Manager position at a fintech/startup. I feel confident. I feel proud. And I am genuinely excited for my career’s future.Working with Cristin was so much more valuable than I ever anticipated. And now, I am proud to call her a friend. If you’re looking for your next career move, more I cannot wish you than to have Cristin by your side. I’ll refer her to anyone I can. And when the time comes for me to look for my next career move, I’ll be asking Cristin to join the crusade and work with me again. And that genuinely excites me.

On behalf of my family and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything, Cristin.

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Jennifer Cole

from higher ed to learning and development

“Cristin helped me see my strengths and what opportunities are out there for me and helped me develop a plan.”

I serve in a coaching role myself, so I always thought that I could coach myself on whatever I needed to work on. But I got to a point where I felt overwhelmed and confused and didn’t even know where to start. I needed someone else to help me see things outside of my own perspective, and that’s exactly what a coach can help with! I had a session with Cristin that felt so empowering and energizing. She asked all the right questions that I didn’t even know I needed to be asked! Then she helped me see my strengths and what opportunities are out there for me and helped me develop a plan. I came away from the session feeling motivated, organized, and in control.I’m so grateful for Cristin’s approach. She is encouraging, realistic, and inspiring without resorting to toxic positivity and platitudes. The homework she gave me was the perfect balance of tasks that advance my goals and tasks that support my own personal development.

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Carolyn Ansley

from K-12 Education to Learning and development

“Cristin helped me set attainable, yet lofty goals and held me accountable to those goals throughout the process.”

This whole process has given me such a heart for those who are seeking a career change – I’ve gained a perspective I didn’t understand or appreciate until going through this myself. I know the feeling when the last check is deposited in your bank account and you have a mortgage to pay, the e x c i t e m e n t of what you would do if ANYTHING was possible, and the self-doubt that begins to creep in when your application efforts are quashed with the dreaded, “thanks, but no thanks” email. There is so much great information that is available for free on the internet, and I certainly took advantage of that resource, but soon found I was drowning in information and not spending precious time in action. A key person in my support network was my Executive Coach, Cristin Downs.

I’m a huge fan of the coaching model and knew that working with the right person could shorten my out-of-work time gap by helping me stay in motion by working on the right things. I chose to work with Cristin Downs because of her expertise in partnering with career pivoters and found I really appreciated her candor and humor while doing critical work! Cristin has a vast array of resources that I utilized to baby-step through each phase of the career search process and I especially loved that I could work with her at my pace. She helped me set attainable, yet lofty goals and held me accountable to those goals throughout the process. The investment in Cristin’s partnership was invaluable for the skills I gained and for the outcome of our work together – an exciting, new career!

For those who are in the midst of career changes or contemplating a change, I want to encourage you to not do this work alone. Surround yourself with a positive support network and remember that your worth is not tied to your job. You are amazing and worthy and there is a very fortunate organization that will be rewarded with your talents soon!

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Mike B.*

From Freelancer to full time employment

“I more than doubled my income and found the work-life balance I had been seeking for years.”

Going from freelancing into full time employment while increasing my income seemed unattainable until I worked with Cristin. She completely flipped what I thought I knew about the job hunting process and gave me strategies, tactics and guidance that no one else I talked to could give me. And it worked! I felt so confident submitting specifically crafted resumes to targeted job postings and knowing exactly what to say (and what to leave out) in interviews. I more than doubled my income and found the work-life balance I had been seeking for years. Cristin’s expert advice and genuine support have changed the trajectory of my life and I am forever thankful.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Amy D.*

from K-12 Education to environment / sustainability

“Cristin has been empowering. I thought that my dream of working less hours and making significantly more money might be too high an expectation, but Cristin encouraged me, saying that this is absolutely a possibility, while remaining realistic about the skills and experience I have.”

I was working as a middle school teacher while constantly feeling like teaching wasn’t right for me. I frequently looked up jobs online that paid better, involved working less hours, and felt more “me” but I wasn’t sure how to begin switching fields. I applied for a few jobs, but never heard back. I was feeling lost and unsure of what was next, all while working too much to be able to breathe and to think of my own needs. A friend who knew of my situation recommended Cristin and bought me a session with her as a gift because she was so sure it would help me.

Cristin has been empowering. I thought that my dream of working less hours and making significantly more money might be too high an expectation, but Cristin encouraged me, saying that this is absolutely a possibility, while remaining realistic about the skills and experience I have. She gave me guidance to update my resume and cover letter, including follow up editing tips, and suggested what online courses and changes I could make to become more marketable. It has been beyond helpful to have someone to check over the resume and cover letter changes I’ve made as I’ve applied to different jobs.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Tina M.*

University Professor

“I purchased a package to continue working with Cristin, because she was able to look at my 20+ page academic CV and help me identify and highlight translatable skills.”

Before working with Cristin, I felt pretty lost and confused regarding my current career choice in academia. A colleague recommended talking with Cristin. We had a brief first conversation, and immediately I felt her positive “vibes.” She listened to my concerns, and thoughtfully helped me identify other options to explore while validating my feelings. I purchased a package to continue working with her, because she was able to look at my 20+ page academic CV and help me identify and highlight translatable skills. She helped me identify industry options, and a clear search strategy. She shared resume tools and gave concrete feedback on my resume and application materials. Throughout our time working together, she continued to be positive and supportive – during a time when I was really doubting my effectiveness and abilities, I really needed that. Because of her extensive experience working with clients, she also talked about what worked with other clients, which helped me see more options for myself. Talking with her helped me feel much more in control of my future and career. While I decided to stay in academia for now, Cristin helped me identify ways to set boundaries, which has greatly improved my sense of work-life balance. I would definitely recommend working with Cristin.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Hear from Job Seekers

People who are looking for work in their current industry

Tara Bosler

copywriter & communications manager

“I wouldn’t have been able to embark on another job search with confidence if I didn’t have Cristin’s support. She is top-notch and absolutely wonderful at what she does.”

Coming off of my second layoff in two years (once from mortgage and once from tech…it’s been a brutal couple years, fam), I knew I needed to amp up my application materials. I also knew I needed different versions for different roles. But I was exhausted and didn’t know where to start. Cristin made it easy by scheduling out 3 sessions, asking me a few questions, giving me her phenomenal insights into the job market, and making me laugh along the way. In under two weeks, I had 4 versions of a resume, 4 templates of cover letters, a LinkedIn profile audit and optimization, and Cristin’s best job search tips. I wouldn’t have been able to embark on another job search with confidence if I didn’t have Cristin’s support. She is top-notch and absolutely wonderful at what she does.
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Nela Abey

Development and Communications Coordinator

“Cristin is empathetic, compassionate and approachable – she is truly your advocate.”

Cristin changed the way I approached and understood the job market. She helped me better understand the hiring landscape, and guided me through the application and interview process. She helped me improve my interview skills which allowed me to walk in to an interview with greater confidence. Cristin is empathetic, compassionate and approachable- she is truly your advocate.
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Cathy C.*

returning to work after being a caretaker

“Cristin helped me understand the skillset I used to manage my parent’s illnesses. I went from viewing that period of time as a weakness in my work history, to having great confidence in being able to speak to how I was able to perform under stress, pressure, and in difficult circumstances.”

When I first came to Cristin for help, I was unemployed, overwhelmed, and hopelessly stuck staring at a blank page that should have been my resume. I had left my last job to be a full time caregiver to my parents, and had no idea how to account for my absence from the workforce. I was also looking to pivot into a new field, and was uncertain how to translate my previous career in the arts into terms and phrases more relevant to a business world. Cristin took the time to talk to me and really understand where I was coming from, as well as where I wanted to go. She helped me understand the skillset I used to manage my parent’s illnesses, and parlayed that into attention grabbing bullet points for my resume. I went from viewing that period of time as a weakness in my work history, to having great confidence in being able to speak to how I was able to perform under stress, pressure, and in difficult circumstances. This definitely became one of my interview strengths! Cristin was easily able to reframe my artistic work history, and coach me in ways to represent that in the most attractive way possible to prospective employers. 

After only a couple of one on one sessions, Cristin provided me with an extremely professional, attractive, AI/search engine/filter friendly resume. To pair with that, she also crafted a polished cover letter that can be tailored to prospective employers. I came to Cristin to help me overcome my personal roadblock of resume writing, and she was very successful in tackling that task. What came as a pleasant surprise, was the confidence boost I received regarding my work experience and marketable skills. Cristin is an excellent hype woman! She clearly cares about her clients, and is passionate in helping them reach their true potential. I whole heartedly recommend Cristin in helping you achieve your dreams.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Jim C.*

Law Enforcement

“Everything with Cristin was natural; it flowed like we’d been friends for years. The feedback I was getting was critical and within a short period of time proved to be more beneficial than I can express. She was a stranger. Now, she’s my go-to.”

So, I was hesitant to have an executive coach from the get-go and thought I had all the answers. I was getting interviews left and right, but after 14 years of not having been the interviewee, there was a skillset I needed to dust off. Being in law enforcement, you need to be confident, quick minded, and correct 100% of the time; it’s a mindset you must have to thrive. Well, my wife decided to sign me up for Cristin’s services, it was decided that I’d give it a go! I never do anything less than 100% effort, and this wouldn’t be any different. I had four interviews within two and a half weeks – so its time to polish off my interview techniques and get back to that grindstone. Well, Cristin immediately impressed me with her knowledge, responsiveness, openness and dedication to me as a client. Her insight into what I was doing correctly, and what I could improve was key. I loved working with Cristin and would highly recommend her to anyone having issues from deciding what path they want from life all the way to polishing off those squeaky interview responses.

Everything with Cristin was natural; it flowed like we’d been friends for years. The feedback I was getting was critical and within a short period of time proved to be more beneficial than I can express. She was a stranger. Now, she’s my go-to. If there’s anyone on the fence – take my advice – make that leap. Sign up!

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Tim Losee

Marketing Director

“On top of all the little tweaks that Cristin made to my resume, she also was able to sit down with me and figure out what was lacking in my experience to move my career forward.”

Cristin changed my life! I always had a “good” resume, but with Cristin’s insight, my resume went from good to GREAT! On top of all the little tweaks that she made to my resume, she also was able to sit down with me and figure out what was lacking in my experience to move my career forward. In my case she determined that I lacked proof of knowledge so she suggested that I earn as many certifications that related to my career goals as I could and within a few weeks I got a promotion and a few months after that I was offered an even better job. Thanks Cristin!!
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Elisabeth Ng

Senior Project Manager

“Cristin is honest and kind, and I always felt like she had my back throughout the job search process.”

Cristin is a positive and very supportive coach. She is honest and kind, and I always felt like she had my back throughout the job search process. Cristin helped me to navigate the job market, understand the recruiting process and be better at interviewing (which I was struggling with before) – leading to multiple offers. I got my dream job thanks to the skills that Cristin taught me!
Elisabeth Ng

Amy Scaglione

On Air Talent & Lead Spokesperson, Formerly QVC for 18 years, now JTV

“Communicate your story and Cristin will take it from there!”

Partnering with Cristin to craft my resume was an excellent experience from start to finish. I was at a loss with how to approach it all after resigning this past December from a eighteen year long career, and considering a complete career change. My former position was unique, and thus challenging to capture for potential employers outside of my field. Cristin captured the essence of me and beautifully highlighted my strongest skill set by teasing out my core strengths, which can now be more universally applied to a variety of roles. Coupled with this she created three versions of a resume to utilize in various roles as I explore where I want to go next.

Communicate your story and Cristin will take it from there!

Amy Scaglione's Headshot

Jared Bordin

business development

“Cristin’s positive outlook and spirit was contagious and had me feeling hopeful before we even got started.”

Before I worked with Cristin, I was at my wits end. I was laid off from my job and was stuck at a dead end retail job and was extremely unhappy. I had literally applied for hundreds of positions and wasn’t getting anywhere, I couldn’t get an interview or even a response. I knew it had to be something with my resume.

I decided to work with Cristin because of her dedication and her willingness to help. Her positive outlook and spirit was contagious and had me feeling hopeful before we even got started.

Working with Cristin was great. Very professional, always willing to help and always has her clients in mind. She was always available to help me and answer my questions and give me tips. Not only did she help me with my resume, she would give me pointers on jobs to search and how to trick the algorithms on the job boards to show you jobs you’re interested in.

After working with Cristin and seeing how much better my resume looked and sounded, I couldn’t have been happier. Thanks to her, I was able to get a much better job then what I had when I started working with her and even before I started. There is no doubt in my mind, that without Cristin’s help, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now.

Jared Bordin

Melissa Creamer

it project coordinator

“Cristin completely rewrote my resume and I had interviews fast! I ended up getting the second job I applied for.”

Working with Cristin was absolutely amazing! In the past when I was looking to switch jobs I felt like I was screaming into the void. Putting in applications and never getting a call for an interview. I met with Cristin and we discussed my experience. She completely rewrote my resume and I had interviews fast! I ended up getting the second job I applied for. I now work for a company I love and I hope to be here for a long time.
Melissa Creamer

Katie Hilbert

Analytical Chemist

“I will always be grateful for Cristin’s expertise, guidance, kindness, and empowering spirit.”

I found myself in the unique position of having to apply for and subsequently interview for a promotion within my current reporting structure. Having no experience in this scenario, I attempted internet research to find advice on how to approach my current plight. Unfortunately, I had very little success as most interview resources focus on positions outside of one’s current reporting structure. Luckily, I recalled that a fellow alumnae was a coach that advocates for work and worth in the workplace while collaborating with individuals to ensure they obtain their seat at the table. I reached out to Cristin for any guidance she was willing to share. Cristin graciously offered key tips on the types of answers that would be favorable and outlined a strategy to answer multilayered questions. I feel that Cristin was a critical asset to the development of the technique that I utilized during my interview. The application of said technique resulted in a successful interview, which culminated in the receipt of an offer letter. I will always be grateful for Cristin’s expertise, guidance, kindness, and empowering spirit.
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Julie A.*

school counselor returning from medical leave

“Cristin, my life changer! She was so calm and inviting when we met. She made me feel heard and helped alleviate my fears of being stuck.”

To understand how amazing Cristin is, you need to understand my story. In 2017, I had a craniotomy to remove a brain tumor. This changed my life drastically! I barely hung on for another year of work before staying at home for nearly 4 years. This Fall, it was time to reenter the workforce. I was not interested in returning to my former career of school counseling: responsibilities have changed, not to mention Covid. I was attempting to find work in community counseling, but wasn’t hearing yes. I felt disheartened. Going back to work was overwhelming enough. Add in rejection- I was crushed! I felt completely lost and drowning in my inability to move forward. That’s when I reached out to Cristin, my life changer! She was so calm and inviting when we met. She made me feel heard and helped alleviate my fears of being stuck. She opened up doors of opportunity that I would have NEVER considered. One job she suggested is my current job. I am now a remote school counselor and am loving it! It’s pretty much my dream job- direct counseling with kids. Compared to when I worked full time in schools, I work half the time I did before, from my home, and make similar money. I would highly suggest working with Cristin if you’re needing support with your career. She is absolutely amazing! She gave me exactly what I was looking for without me knowing it. I know that she’ll do the same for you.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Pat Canale

licensed real estate salesperson

“Working with Cristin is fun and challenging – her method, laced with lots of good humor and real charm, is constructive.”

I was really in a state, blocked and unable to move forward in any meaningful way with my resume and cover letter but my angel, Cristin, came to the rescue! Knowing she was there walking the walk with me gave me such comfort and her way of extracting relevant information from my many words is truly a skill. I feel such relief; the work was time-consuming but effective. Working with Cristin is fun and challenging – her method, laced with lots of good humor and real charm, is constructive – I’m never disappointed but always really, really happy I spent my time with her, an intelligent, generous and kind person who can make me laugh and make me do the work to get what I need done, done!

Pat Canale

Mira Zaki

small business owner

“She was so easy and fun to work with and most of all, I felt empowered! On a personal note – Cristin is truly one of the nicest and most knowledgeable people I know.”

I’m a small business owner in need of health insurance – and Cristin worked with me to create a resume that was a perfect match for a dream company. She was so easy and fun to work with and most of all, I felt empowered! On a personal note – Cristin is truly one of the nicest and most knowledgeable people I know – she was extremely kind and informative throughout the process of helping me revamp my resume. I was stunned to find out that I do not have to fill in personal info such as gender, race, etc. I thought for certain it would lower my chances of finding a gig, but she gave me the ultimate freedom by sharing that it is not a requirement. Thank you Cristin!

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Amanda Johnson

event content program manager at amazon

“Cristin helped transform my LinkedIn profile from weak and confusing to powerful with a few helpful suggestions.”

Cristin helped transform my LinkedIn profile from weak and confusing to powerful with a few helpful suggestions. Before her help, I was embarrassed about my page and didn’t know how to best represent myself in a professional way. She took the time to create a video for me that pointed out the areas that needed work and actionable ways to pump up the volume. For example, I had no idea I could add anything more than the college I attended in my education section. Now that section is robust with all of the additional trainings and courses I’ve taken over the years. I now feel super confident when sharing my page to prospective employers.

Amanda Johnson

Hear from Leaders

People stepping more into their own leadership

Christie Nadratowski

Vice President

“I went from being stuck in a Sr. Manager role for three years to a Vice President position. In TWO YEARS. It wasn’t a matter of capability. It was a matter of confidence and strategy.”

Two years ago, my career had completely stalled…

After getting hired to work internationally, in a Director role, I lost my job to the Brexit aftermath, and with it, the majority of the career progress that I had worked hard for over the prior seven years. It was a massive blow to my life, and had the consequence of keeping my earning potential low for another five years. (Cristin tells me that this is par for the course with layoffs, particularly for women, but I digress.)

I was frustrated that being an approaching-middle-aged, single woman was becoming increasingly financially untenable, and that no matter how hard I worked, or how good I was at my job, I couldn’t seem to recreate the forward momentum that my career had previously had. So I decided something needed to change, and after a failed and miserable matchmaking experience, I took my refund and invested in myself in a way I had never fathomed before. I hired Cristin and it has continued to change my life ever since.

I went from being stuck in a Sr. Manager role for three years to a Vice President position. In TWO YEARS. It wasn’t a matter of capability. It was a matter of confidence and strategy. Cristin helped me reevaluate my relationship to work, money, and the skill set that I bring to the table. I’ve never felt more sure of my decisions and more empowered to do what feels right for me than I do now.

She’s the ultimate Career Therapist (TM). If you don’t think you know how to handle a really weird situation at work, you talk to her, and you figure out what to do. Sometimes she’s reinforcing that your gut is right, sometimes you’re working together and discussing pros and cons of a few different approaches… and sometimes she tells you a hard truth that you need to hear and are better off for knowing. That kind of honesty is rare to find and far more valuable than the fee she charges.

So what I’m saying is, if you’re really ready to change your life, hire her. Invest in yourself. This is the third time we have worked together on a career search, and each time we do it all over again, I’m better off than I was before.

You absolutely will not regret it.

Christie Nadratowski's Headshot

Alison Wofford

Director, Student Experience & Success RMIT University Vietnam

“What most impressed me was Cristin’s deep inquiry to help me self identify my true needs and expectations.”

As Director in student affairs at an international university abroad, I worked with Cristin for 2 months when I needed to reassess my position, career and longterm strategy during an extremely challenging year. I wasn’t sure at the time what was next for me, but desperately needed someone to bolster both my confidence and energy levels to initiate meaningful change in my working life. What most impressed me was Cristin’s deep inquiry to help me self identify my true needs and expectations. Not only did I receive incredibly human and therapeutic advice, I received a whole portfolio of professional deliverables to help me launch my future job endeavors and ambitions. Masterful work compiling my experience into tangible and compelling formats. My portfolio arsenal is now fully loaded, and I’m greatly appreciative of the steadfast support and career boost. She has a gift for championing women as well as education-sector leaders, and is deeply committed to her clients and their success. Worth every penny and a total game changer for helping me solidify my own career identity and my relationship to my work. Hire her immediately!

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Kelley Rainey

Director of Domestic Violence Programs, aFamily and Children’s Services of Central Maryland, Inc.

“My time with Cristin allowed me to really think about what I wanted, and what each potential job opportunity could lead to.”

I am so grateful for the coaching I received from Cristin when I was at a part of my career where I was choosing my next steps. I had been drowning in administrative work—which I was good at, but no longer enjoyed. I was missing client interaction. During this time, I had several opportunities, some of admin and some direct work, and I was really torn. My time with Cristin allowed me to really think about what I wanted, and what each potential job opportunity could lead to. I would highly recommend Cristin’s coaching expertise for anyone seeking change and the inspiration to make that change happen.

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Erin Ollila

Fractional Marketing Consultant, EO Copy Co.

“Cristin’s able to distill (my problem) down and reflect it back in a way that shows me that I actually had the answer all along—and this makes me feel really confident in moving forward with my decision.”

Cristin is the person that I lean on when I have something that I’m trying to figure out, but the answer just isn’t clear to me. I can go to her and present the problem, and she asks all the right questions to get the right information out of me. Then, she’s able to distill it down and reflect it back in a way that shows me that I actually had the answer all along—and this makes me feel really confident in moving forward with my decision. I gain so much clarity from Cristin’s executive coaching process, and I highly recommend working with her. And trust me here. As an SEO copywriter, I know how to track down the right people on the internet for the job—Cristin is the right person.

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Jenn D.*

Director at a SaaS

“I feel more prepared, confident and excited than I ever thought possible in this new high pay and high responsibility role in corporate life.”

Cristin has helped me transition from a freelance work life where I could manage my own time and have a more direct interface with clients to a corporate job where I have to “manage up,” anticipate workplace dynamics and resolve issues with a long term view in a way that is best for me and my employment. I could not have made this transition seamlessly and stress free without Cristin. She knows exactly what my brain needs to make the transition and where I should and should not focus my efforts. I feel more prepared, confident and excited than I ever thought possible in this new high pay and high responsibility role in corporate life.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Elisabeth Ng

Senior Project Manager

“Cristin is a positive and very supportive coach.”

I came from a theater background and felt like I needed help and advice on how to navigate the corporate working environment. Cristin is a positive and very supportive coach. I was new to a management role and worked with Cristin on how to manage, train and mentor someone – and received positive feedback from the person I was managing.
Elisabeth Ng

Megan K.

Senior Manager at a SaaS

“Cristin saved me with her detailed knowledge about what a corporate structure really expects from a review and how I could meet their expectations.”

My first yearly review at my job was intimidating because they had a much more strict process than I had experienced in other jobs. Cristin saved me with her detailed knowledge about what a corporate structure really expects from a review and how I could meet their expectations while ensuring my target goals worked to my advantage. I felt confident going into the process and I’m relieved to have no worries about meeting my goals by my next review.

*Client chose to remain anonymous.

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Hear from Business Owners

People starting or running their own businesses

Julie Lieberman Neale

Founder, Mother’s Quest

“Working with Cristin is like having a best friend, comedian and business consultant all wrapped up in one.”

Working with Cristin is like having a best friend, comedian and business consultant all wrapped up in one. With heart, humor and honesty, she will help you identify the gaps in your work dreams and plans, put tangible strategies in place and stay focused on the steps to take to reach them. Her commitment to social justice and the ways she lives her values is a constant inspiration and guide for how to do this in your own notable life and work.
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Katie Hanus

Founder, The Handmade Life

“Cristin’s One of a Kindness framework gave me the space and structure I needed to get clarity on my values, my strengths, and the content I want to create and share.”

Cristin’s One of a Kindness framework gave me the space and structure I needed to get clarity on my values, my strengths, and the content I want to create and share. Investing time in her process provided a tool I will come back to again and again to recalibrate and adjust the way I am spending my time and energy.
Katie Hanus

Jody Smith

Founder, Courageous Girl

“It’s hard to capture my attention and this framework was a bit intimidating at first, but I continue to refer back to it time and time again now that it’s done.”

I recently completed Cristin Downs Path to One-of-a-Kindness and I LOVED it! As a visionary and creative, I have a hard time nailing down specifics. It’s hard to capture my attention and this framework was a bit intimidating at first, but I continue to refer back to it time and time again now that it’s done. It helped me narrow my focus and get clear on what makes me unique. My favorite part was reaching out to close family and friends to ask what they saw as my strengths. We all forget what comes naturally to us that may not be effortless to others. I thoroughly enjoyed this and cannot recommend it enough. Take the time and then go out into the world and shine.
Jody Smith

Tia Shearer Bassett

Founder, Theatre Wolf

“Cristin is a fun, clear, and utterly relatable guide. Cristin brings no ego to the table and no showcase of harmful perfectionism.”

Cristin is a fun, clear, and utterly relatable guide. I have been part of online workshops and seminars before that felt more like an advertisement for that person’s lifestyle and brand. Cristin, on the other hand, brings no ego to the table and no showcase of harmful perfectionism. She is truly working to just share practices that have helped her, and to create a cozy communal space where everyone’s questions, thoughts, struggles and suggestions are welcome and honored. Cristin is about empowering women to see how capable and powerful they already are. The tools she offers are there to help clear the way for that capability and power to shine.
Tia Shearer Bassett
Cristin in a black shirt and black glasses, pointing her finger up to the viwer's right

Hi, I’m Cristin!

Cristin Downs, as a person and as S-Corp C Sweet LLC, is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging across race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, religion, economic status, education, and experience.