I'm Teri Chettiar, a career coach and academic. Read on to learn more about me.

I have a PhD in History from Northwestern and am a faculty member at a large public research university. Prior to my current position, I held postdoctoral fellowships in the US and Europe. I have considerable experience with research, writing, and publication, service, and teaching and mentoring students.

Up until three years ago (two years after I had joined the tenure-track), stress and work-related anxiety were a constant part of my life. I worried about whether what I wrote was original enough for publication. I worried about whether I was worthy of a permanent job in academia. I worried about whether I fit in and whether I could ever be happy (or even a little less burdened by stress) in this career.


How everything changed

As a grad student and postdoc, I had assumed that uncomfortable feelings like these would subside once I landed a stable job. Once this actually happened, I found myself at my lowest. I was juggling developing new courses, writing lectures, applying for research funding, fulfilling departmental service commitments, and in the middle of it all trying (and often failing) to squeeze in time to finish my book.

My anxiety about accomplishing everything I set out for myself led me to work most evenings and weekends, and took time away from parenting my toddler and finding community in the college town that I had relocated to for work.

I would tell myself that the way that I was living was temporary, and that it would all get better once I’d gotten a handle on my new job, once I’d prepared a reliable roster of courses, once my book was done, once I’d won a research fellowship to start developing my next book, once I’d gotten tenure.

I thought that lasting happiness might become accessible at a future moment when everything that I needed to do to achieve job security and professional success had been checked off my sprawling to-do list.

After coming very close to burning out three years ago, I hired my first coach and began to consistently practice life-changing cognitive and emotional coaching techniques that gave me a radically new sense of perspective and control. My productivity increased, my mental health vastly improved, and my capacity to be present in and enjoy my life expanded beyond anything I could have expected. The transformation was so profound that I felt compelled to deepen my understanding of mindset coaching and help other academics apply this work to their own lives. I completed an intensive training course with the Life Coach School and also trained in a few additional complementary modalities (mindfulness meditation, intuition coaching, and methods for nervous system regulation).

If any of my earlier struggles resonate with your own experiences, I would love the opportunity to work with you. I am regularly taking on new 1:1 coaching clients. My waitlist ranges from two to six weeks.

A bit more about me


- PhD in History, Northwestern

- Certified Life Coach, The Life Coach School

Research Areas

- History of Medicine and Psychology

- Gender and Sexuality Studies

- My book, The Intimate State: How Emotional Life Became Political in Welfare-State Britain, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press in December 2022


I live in Urbana IL with my 6-year-old son, dog, and cat. In my spare time, I love to travel, read (usually around 5 books at once), sing and play piano, assist my son with his latest music and art projects, and am happiest when spending time at the beach, forest, mountains, or other peaceful natural setting.


I cannot recommend Teri enough! I was completely overwhelmed trying to balance all of the moving parts of new tenure-track job and through our coaching I learned extremely helpful time management (and mind management) strategies that have helped to calm the stress and boost my productivity. It's been transformative.

Amy M., client

Work with me.

Sign up for a free 45-minute consultation to learn more about how you can take control of your career.