This is the Reason I’m Back to Work with PayPal
- Kaajal A
- Restarter Stories, Women-friendly Companies
- 03 Aug 2018
Jaya Sriraman – Program Manager at PayPal is an agile practitioner and program management professional, mentoring, coaching and leading diverse and distributed teams across the globe. With over 16 years of rich professional experience, she is passionate about simplifying things at work.
Her philosophy is ‘If I can't make it simple, I haven't understood it enough!’ And so that is what she does for her living. Simplifying and straightening software development processes and techniques.
She works with diverse teams to create more energy and synergy and to empower them to work better.
Jaya, please tell us why you took a break in your career and for how long?
I had taken a break for almost 1.5 years and the reason for my break was not marriage or children, but simply wanting some downtime to sit back and enjoy the little things in life, to try something different from the usual.
And when I did, I was able to read and write more, and have good times (and make memories) with my daughters who were growing up very fast.
What challenges did you face in restarting your career and how did restarting affect you and those around you?
Having been out of the workforce, I was unaware of the options I’d have to choose from when I return, and also about how well those options would suit my skill set. So, to stay updated and relevant was a big challenge by itself.
Also, ensuring that things at home are taken care of while I was going to be away was daunting. But, luckily, restarting my career did not affect me as much as I thought it would, because I was provided with a great amount of flexibility from PayPal in terms of managing my work, and this helped me integrate my work and my life in a way that one didn’t cause much impact to the other.
People around me were very supportive, and except for the initial separation anxiety with my children, there wasn’t much that kept me from taking flight. My family is truly the backbone of the successful career that I am enjoying today.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were younger?
Believing in my abilities and being more confident.
This one might sound obvious or played out, but for my younger self, this would have been one of the most powerful messages to learn from. Developing belief in oneself is so important that it pushes you to test your limits and to emerge successfully. Over a period of time, when that becomes a habit, there is no looking back. This was a lesson learned hard, and I wish I’d believed more in this while I was younger.
What's the key to a successful career as a woman?
Being deeply passionate and a strong belief in yourself. When you’re not hesitant to take calculated risks, nor shy of building strong, genuine relationships. Because these relationships go a long way in enjoying a successful and enriching career for any woman.
Is there anything your parents did for you that many parents don’t do that had a lasting impact?
I was brought up in a household where there was no difference in treatment between a boy and girl. Having grown up with a younger brother, we were always treated equally and I was never stopped from trying anything just because I was a girl. This helped me build confidence in my choices during my growing years. I did not limit myself to thinking that I am a woman, so I can’t. In fact, it helped me push and test boundaries, and be successful. Because no matter what gender you are it is your capabilities and strength that truly matters.
What about your line of work are you passionate about?
I enjoy thoroughly talking to and dealing with a wide variety of stakeholders. Dealing with them helps me in learning and enriching my soft skills. This also helps me to grow personally and be a better individual in the diverse environment we live in.
Also, I have a great platform where I can think up new ideas and implement them. There is no limit to being creative and innovative when it comes to my role.
What are the family-friendly policies at your company that help you strike a work-life balance?
PayPal is an extremely employee friendly organization and working with them helps me strike a work-life balance in a better way. There are a number of beneficial policies, and to name a few:
- Flexibility in work timings
- Work-from-home options in times of need
- Helping employees commute to the office from any nook and corner of the city
- 6 months of maternity leave
- Door to door pick up and drop for the last trimester for expectant mothers
- Frequent wellness camps and medical support
In fact, these are the very reasons why the people at PayPal love to come to work every day AND why PayPal was awarded “India’s Best Workplaces in IT & IT-BPM - Great Place to Work” in 2018.
When Jaya is not working, she enjoys adding vibrant colours and high spirits to her life by spending time with her two daughters who inspire her to take on life with more energy and passion.
She also enjoys watching movies and writing reviews. Her intellectual curiosity also drives her to read a number of books.
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