Global Career Coach & Trainer
Most of us yearn to reinvent ourselves with our changing interests, age and circumstances. But few do it as successfully as Nitya Rao-Perera, who reinvited her career thrice before consolidating all that experience to become a leading global career coach and trainer.
Being a Diplomat’s daughter, life has been a constantly changing formation. “I learnt to adjust to constant changes and appreciate culturally enriching experiences and meeting wonderful people,” she says. Nitya lived and worked overseas most of her life. In 2003, she joined her parents on a diplomatic assignment in Sri Lanka, where she met her life partner, Angelo. He was working in Vietnam and was on a holiday in Colombo. A year later she moved to join Angelo in Ho Chi Minh City with just one suitcase. She says the “one piece of luggage was symbolic; it summed up my life of 25 years. I was ready to make more memories with him. He continues to be my strength, respecting my professional journey and passionately encouraging me and our girls – Anaya and Nevah, forward.”
In 2010 they embraced Singapore as their home. Contrary to popular belief, Nitya’s initial years in Singapore wasn’t a bed of roses. “Moving to Singapore meant I was putting my career on hold for that of my better half. I did accept a role within four months, but it was different to what I had ever imagined myself doing,” says Nitya echoing most trailing spouses.
After seven years at a startup, she founded Global Lumen HR. Nitya has dedicated her company to facilitating professionals and business owners to rethink their goals to stay productive, relevant and effective in today’s ever-changing and volatile world of work.
“Life is too short to be unfulfilled. I am here to help my clients achieve a more self-supporting outlook on life and provide them with all the tools necessary to get there,” says Nitya. Topics around capability building, career strategy, personal development and psychological wellness are her focus areas.
In a short span of time, Nitya has had the opportunity to coach managers and executives with international companies like Airbnb, Wunderman Thompson, Grey Group and INSEAD, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. She has facilitated workshops for Human Capital Singapore (HCS) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) on mental wellbeing to corporates in Singapore like Knight Frank, Pan Pacific and others.
In addition, she also provides volunteer coaching to non-profit social organisations and run workshops for People with Disabilities at Enabling village.
An enabler for women in the workforce, Nitya is heartened to hear productive conversations around diversity and female leadership, which in the past were so often unspoken. Detailing strategies to encourage women in the workforce, she shares, “Women need to publicly and privately advocate and support one another at work, without feeling any unease. Conversations around flexible work, part time work, contract work should be met with openness and not cause any hindrance with future progress.”
Nitya also feels grateful to be surrounded by strong, progressive and decisive women. “I have learned so much from these four women – my mother-in-law, mom, sister-in-law and sister. To each I owe for my personal and professional progress. My sister Anu, a PhD and entrepreneur, founded a cyber wellness training company in Singapore. My sister-in-law Asangi is a General Manager in Colombo. My mother-in-law Romanie and my mum, Sheilaja are the two women who have shown profound love, courage and kept our families together.
A shout out to the four main men in my life – my dad Pratap, my husband Angelo, my father-in law Tony and my brother-in-law Andrew who have supported us along the way, been the ying to our yang and encouraged us to be our best self.”
A solid foundation has helped Nitya stay true to her course. So much so that even in as dismal a year as 2020, Nitya has moved from strength to strength. Last year, she joined INSEAD Singapore as a Career Coach, supporting their MBA students. She was mentioned as one of the best coaches by Best In Singapore. She was also commended by Honeycombers in Singapore as a self-development and coaching resource to support people during Covid.
A true woman leader, we ask Nitya what her strength is, and she reveals, “I am energised by solving issues and taking on new challenges. My daughters are my inspiration – I want them to know their self-worth, to be brave, and cherish beautiful, meaningful relationships in their life.”