My name is Rashmi, which means a single ray of sunlight in Sanskrit. I wanted to be a journalist when I was younger. My family thought that wasn’t very sensible, so I ended up studying medicine and specialised in Psychiatry instead. Though I did well, I wasn’t happy. In hindsight, this discontent set me off on a journey to find a career that felt more me, more aligned with my values a.k.a what matters most (to me).
Living in alignment with our values at work and personal lives is vital. Why?
- Life is short and, change is inevitable. How we live is a choice we need to revisit regularly.
- We spend most of our adult lives at work. Not showing up to work as who we truly are takes an enormous toll on our health and well-being.
- Personal values are like a fingerprint – everyone has one, but each is unique. Getting clarity on my values, with a coach, was a true a-ha moment.
So, what did I do next?
I left Psychiatry and joined the American Red Cross, worked across India and Nepal setting and running programmes to enhance personal and community resilience in regions affected by disasters.
I was drawn to assessing these programmes for effectiveness. So, I came over to London to do a master’s in public health. I then moved to King’s College, London to teach resilience and related topics to British Military personnel. I got restless with the slow pace of academia and moved to management of large scale, international research projects at the Institute of Child Health and the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science. At one point in this role I was co-ordinating 5 key partners and a team of 800 staff – it was a period of intense growth and learning.
My next move was linked to a desire to move into more senior leadership roles. I juggled my job at the LSE along with doing my MBA at Imperial College Business School. A chance meeting with a co-founder of a tech start-up led me to move to the business world. For the last 8 years I have held leadership roles in tech start-ups and managed, clinical, R&D and regulatory functions.
I hired a coach 3 years ago to gain clarity over a difficult period in my career and it was transformational. I have since used coaching to manage teams and seen a significant positive impact on morale and productivity as assessed by independent company surveys. I have also had a ringside view of fast growth tech start-ups and experienced the impact of not having a “people and team first” strategy in growing a business. These experiences and my desire to facilitate and influence change led me to completing my coach training from the Co-Active Training Institute.
What do I do today?
- I run my coaching practice.
- I support a female tech CEO in running company operations.
- I support founders in early stage tech start-ups to identify their personal values and translate it to company values.
- I am proud to be in a group of 28 international leadership coaches on the TRIUM EMBA programme and a coach on the Imperial College, London Coach and Coffee programme.