Tell us about your work:

I’ve historically held accounting-type roles with asset management firms before pivoting my career to become more client-facing within the software (fintech) space. I'm currently a Client Success Manager at Versapay where my primary role is to ensure that clients are adopting and loving our products. I also moonlight as a certified BollyX instructor whereby I lead Bollywood-dance fitness classes.

Why did you decide to work at your company?

I started my career in accounting because all my classmates wanted to be accountants and I thought it would lead to a stable career with lots of money. I quickly realized that career stability was an illusion and wanted to try something different. I wanted to become client-facing to build on my communication skills, and the fintech/capital markets space always interested me due to it's sheer size and complexities.

Tell us about your family!

Fun fact: I once created a dating app that catered specifically to the South-Asian demographic, and it's because of this app that I first met my wife 5 years ago. We got married just over two years ago and welcomed our daughter in June 2021. When we got married we told each other no kids for the next 3ish years but the pandemic and resulting lockdown made us revisit our priorities.

What was the hardest thing about becoming a dad? 

I've only been a dad for 6 weeks now, and the hardest thing so far are definitely the sleepless nights. While my peers did generically warn me about losing some hours of sleep, I was not prepared for the severity of the adjustment needed. Having to wake up every 2 hours was definitely difficult – at times I found myself dozing off while holding baby which scared me quite a bit.

Has being a dad impacted your career? How? 

Becoming a dad has given me a whole new perspective on life and my priorities. I used to pride myself on being a workaholic, and immersed myself in the culture of 'hustle porn'. Becoming a dad has really taught me the value of slowing down and being present. I meditate a lot more now and also have learned to be more mindful. I also intentionally work less hours per week and stick to personal boundaries.

What's one thing you've learned from your child/ children? 

I love watching my daughter observe her surroundings for the first time. She reminds me to stay curious as an adult, and she has sparked my willingness to say 'yes' to new experiences more often.

How has being a dad made you a better or different leader? 

Being a dad has significantly refined my listening skills. There's plenty of literature out there about how humans do not listen effectively. That is, it's human nature for people to "listen to reply" but being a dad has taught me to "listen to understand". As life becomes all about baby and less about me, I try to take a similar approach in the workforce by more consciously making things more about my coworkers and clients and less about me.

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Written by Thanusan Chelvarajah

Thanusan Chelvarajah

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