Certified Professional Coach, iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching)
J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
M.P.H., Saint Louis University School of Public Health (with a specialization in Behavioral Science and Health Education)
B.A., Washington University in Saint Louis
Hi! My name is Niteesha Gupte and I am a Leadership and Career Coach with Ama La Vida. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, home of the toasted ravioli, but I’ve moved around quite a bit since then, with stints on the East Coast and overseas. I’m currently living in Brooklyn, NY, though my Midwest roots have stuck with me as you’ll find that I still smile at random people I cross paths with on the street.
I’m a lawyer by training and I started my legal career in the federal government, moved into private practice, transitioned to working in-house within the life sciences industry, and spent a year in academia, teaching and doing research and writing.
With each experience, I became clearer on what I wanted out of my work and work environment. And with each twist and turn, I chose an opportunity that offered something I was seeking, whether it was an increased salary to pay back school loans, a better work-life balance, making a meaningful contribution in a way in which I could see my impact, working in a collaborative and supportive environment, or having a global view and understanding of culture and business by living and working overseas.
I didn’t realize that I was shaping my career by trying to live out what I identified as my work values. My path was not without challenges and transitions were not always smooth. I found it difficult to balance moving forward in my career while still addressing what I wanted out of my work.
In a traditional industry, such as law, we often think that there is a singular path to success. When I stayed in an unfulfilling job, in order to continue to be a high-potential employee or a viable candidate for the next job, I would feel stuck in the role, fearing that I would ruin my career trajectory if I asked for a change in role and responsibilities or if I moved on.
In the course of my career, I encountered colleagues who similarly felt stuck in their jobs because they didn’t want to veer off the path to success, they had to provide for their families, or they didn’t know exactly what else they would do for work. Additionally, during my work in academia, I realized that many lawyers just starting out in their careers struggle with the same issues.
When I made certain moves, such as from private practice to in-house work, legal practice to compliance work, or taking a short break to pursue a certificate in culinary school, I went off-path. Through my experiences, I learned to navigate the traditional norms of the field and was able to successfully make these transitions.
Because of this, I realized that I am uniquely positioned to support people through their career transitions and the decision on whether to make them. I learned what questions to ask of myself and what questions to ask of employers. So now as a coach, I am excited to bring the best of my strengths, values, and passion to my work and I am eager to work together to help you do the same but with tools and resources that I didn’t have.
Who is the right coach for you?
This is an important question to ask before you engage with any coach. Working with a coach is like being in an intimate relationship. You have to be yourself and feel comfortable putting it all out there – your fears, your joys, your sadness – without any judgment or hesitancy. Only then will you get the most out of coaching and will your coach be of value to you.
Am I the right coach for you?
My approach to career coaching is based on a Japanese concept called ikigai, which loosely translates to life purpose or what gets you out of bed in the morning. I quickly learned that doughnuts weren’t enough. What I like about the concept is that it not only takes into account your interests, but includes a holistic approach by also focusing on your strengths, your contribution to community, and your feasibility of making a realistic income. Together, those elements combine in a powerful way.
My coaching style is direct, empathetic, encouraging, and action-oriented. Through our coaching relationship, you will identify and set goals and address any barriers to them. I see coaching as an opportunity to accelerate your progress by having individualized support and a partner to cheer you on.