Get to Know the People Science Team: Carolyn Kalafut
Title: People Science Consultant
Residence: San Francisco, California
Home town: Chicago, Illinois
Carolyn Kalafut doesn’t believe in magic. Or rather, she doesn’t believe that it takes magic to achieve incredible things.
That insight came during a moment of truth in her career as she battled nerves before a big presentation to a team of executives. A mentor reminded her that “there’s no magic,” meaning no one, not even those in positions of power and authority, is better than any other. We are all human, and everyone has the capacity to achieve great things and make meaningful contributions. Perhaps that is the real magic.
Carolyn took the advice as a call to summon her own power. “It’s easy to feel that you don’t have what it takes or you haven’t unlocked the spell yet,” she says. “But now, when something feels a bit scary or intimidating, I remind myself of that saying ‘there is no magic,’ and the fact that it’s a bit scary is likely an indicator I should do it!”
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Carolyn’s passion outside of work is both dazzling and daring. She loves teaching aerial arts—the practice of performing acrobatics in the air.
Learn more about Carolyn’s work and life:
What’s your specialty on the People Science Team? What a hard question with so many incredibly talented people on this team! That said, my passion is finding creative solutions to complex problems. I love helping customers break the mold on the way things have been done before and start thinking about how things can be done differently.
I constantly come back to the question: Are we doing it because it is the most effective, or simply because it is what has been done before? Change can be uncomfortable, but worth it.
Before joining Glint, I was a Glint customer, running a global employee engagement program. So I can truly feel for my customers’ challenges and the hurdles they face when going through change and transformation.
What got you interested in People Science? I started with every intention of going into clinical psychology, but had one undergrad professor who was an industrial-organizational psychologist, and I fell in love with the field. We spend so much of our time at work, and I was drawn to the huge positive impact I could have on others’ lives.
I was also drawn to the incorporation of positive psychology, thinking about how we can transform from good to great. Perhaps it’s the competitive athlete in me, but I’m always striving to help organizations and their people excel—constantly evolving better versions of themselves.
What’s your motivation for doing what you do? My favorite part of work is the ability to teach others and bridge the gap between research and practice. So often what we do isn’t aligned with best practice, and research on best practice is not easily accessible to those who are most likely to use it.
What’s your top tip? Create time to cultivate hobbies! I always advocate for people to have activities and interests outside of work. Not only are hobbies a great way to re-energize on your own, but they can also connect you with others and allow you to tap into a community of people with similar passions.
What was your first job? My first job was as a referee at soccer games for the “under 5 years old” league.
How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? Too many! I’m a coffee addict and love my morning espresso with a splash of oat milk.