Nisha Harichandran, Joy Coach, Bohem Notes is Malaysian-born, with a Sri Lankan heritage.
I thrive in rich cultural diversity, food, and flavour – and nurture this in my day-to-day life experience. Coupled with courage, curiosity, and a joyful spirit, I enjoy exploring cultural perspectives, which supports my understanding of my purpose and empowers me to share this with myself and others authentically.
Before coaching, I practised law for fifteen years (private practice and in-house combined). Now, I am a JOY Coach. I partner with clients to explore ways to embrace joy as a habit through the daily routine without toxic positivity and to be kinder with their self-talk as they chart their journey forward.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
It has been more of a walk-and-talk kind of plan. I have wild ideas and ambitions, which I discuss with my confidants for feedback. This has been supportive for me to understand areas of strength, develop skills to develop, and balance priorities.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Yes – some key themes were around following the timeline or doing things in a set way. However, it felt quite limiting because falling short meant you were unsuccessful, which was incorrect.
What has been your most significant achievement to date?
Looking at this question today, I would say having the courage to start. I have lived and worked in many places, and one of the greatest blessings is having friendships and experiences worldwide. However, it also means doing many things repeatedly (e.g., taking your driving test, making new contacts, and all the admin/logistics with localising in a new place). This part is not fun, and it takes more than willpower.
Also, the courage to draw your timeline and not let it be defined or dictated by societal norms.
Our journeys are so personal to us, and we should feel free to set milestones and celebratory markers to honour our journey.
What one thing do you believe has been a significant factor in your achieving success?
Self-belief and having quality self-talk. This is a solid foundation, and you must find ways to nurture this through a continued stream of empowering thoughts. I am grateful to be surrounded by well-wishers who root for my success. My loving mom, my biggest cheerleader, cheers me on for small and significant achievements. My former manager and mentor kept calling me a rockstar, which has become my favourite affirmation – I am a Rockstar! A quote from my favourite poet, Rumi – “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.”
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone, or are you someone’s mentee?
Mentoring is a supportive, assisted way of learning for personal/professional growth, and I am all for it. I have mentored people in my earlier roles and now receive mentoring as part of my continued professional coaching development.
Establishing a good relationship is essential–and respectfully offering feedback without ‘blame’ and identifying growth opportunities.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
It sounds cliché, but be the change you want to see. So, if you are advocating for pay equality, start doing that in your capacity within your organisation, and share that message within your personal and professional circles. If you support more women in leadership positions – see how you could initiate this change. What frustrates me is when these topics are included in networking/dinner table conversations but lack action.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
The journey forward is inward. So often, we are looking to fix and adjust things externally, but the best place to start with anything is yourself. By taking that time to invest in yourself, your thoughts, and your action, you change the experience and perception you project onto others.
What is your next challenge, and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My next professional goal is to get accredited with the International Coaching Federation as the Associate Certified Coach. I hope to reach more people and invite them to recognise themselves as JOY.