At WORK180 one of our criteria for Endorsed Employers is that you can ask about flexibility in the interview stage without fear of losing out on opportunity because of it. Sindhu Samuel did exactly that when she joined Transurban and manages her role as Head of Cloud & Digital Services while adapting to the needs of two young and very active children.
Flexibility operates on a basis of trust
For Sindhu, flexibility at work is what allows both sides of the scale to keep coming back to balance. This was front of mind in her initial discussions with Transurban, knowing that an organization willing to accommodate flexibility would be an organization that puts trust in its people to do the right thing.
“It was absolutely critical for me to be able to perform my role well.”
Transurban approached her for her role while she was on parental leave with her second child. Conversations during the hiring process helped her test whether Transurban are truly committed to flexible working and supporting their people – and she was pleased to discover they were happy to accommodate flexibility.
“”Starting at a new organization with a 7-month-old and a 5-year-old, I knew I was going to require a greater level of flexibility than I was used to in the past in order to perform my role to the expectation required. Transurban was all ears around what they could do to support me.
Sindhu started at Transurban working particular days from home. Then when lockdown hit, the entire work dynamic shifted and everyone moved to remote work. She was grateful she commenced in time to meet people in person and begin establishing work relationships before everyone went virtual. She retained flexibility, but it took a different form to initially planned.
“Transurban were really supportive in terms of accommodating what you needed to achieve the outcomes required. They were understanding of having to juggle responsibilities; that trust helps reduce the mental load. Kids popping in and out of video calls, becoming part of team meetings & virtual vinos became the norm. As our own and team’s needs evolved, Transurban’s flexibility stance has grown and evolved too!”
Forging your career path
“Your path will be different to everyone else’s – make it count! There’s no one path to get to your end destination. The way you pursue your career and the way you approach work as part of your life, and what you need from your career at different points in your life will be different.”
For Sindhu, it’s important to prioritize what she needs and where she is heading. Having an open, adaptable mindset when things around you or your role changes really helps. It’s important to communicate with your leaders, ask for support and lean on your team to thrive through unexpected and testing times.
“Key to everything is the people in your network. It also helps to have great mentors who have trod the path before you. Wherever you’re placed and whatever your journey is, don’t think about it as one set path. There are multiple different avenues, and even aspects that come to you totally unexpectedly can open up multiple different opportunities.”
Whatever role you are in at Transurban, there are opportunities to add value, contribute, grow and learn.
In her own career, Sindhu shares that adapting to the unexpected and learning from challenges has built resilience, which is the new super-power in current times!
Working in Digital & Cloud
Working in the Digital & Cloud arena means Sindhu and her team enable Transurban to drive digital services in an agile, secure and scalable manner. Cloud services enable Transurban’s customers to interact with through digital channels such as mobile apps and websites. Sindhu’s goal is to provide seamless, smart, integrated, innovative services for Transurban as they transform and grow into a digital business.
The Cloud & Digital Services teams interact with multiple other teams including Digital Experience, Roadside, Customer and Technology teams.
Sindhu is challenged on a daily basis as her teams support large-customer, transformative programs. She also ensures new road assets (e.g. WestConnex, NorthConnex) are smoothly on-boarded onto Transurban’s digital avenues. Another key focus for her team is the smooth integration and seamless surfacing of data across Tolling and Customer systems.
Sindhu is also responsible for applying a commercial lens to the efficient use of cloud services and harnessing innovative cloud services that become available. The people who succeed in her team have an aptitude to learn and an understanding of their impact on customers.
“We’re driving towards completely being customer-obsessed! I always ask people to come in with a fresh perspective and challenging the norms in a team-oriented and respectful way. Our teams have been under the pump, but we try hard not to lose sight of how we make it a fun and inclusive environment to work in.”
How Transurban build a supportive culture
Transurban is one of the world’s largest toll road operators, and Sindhu was drawn to their focus on technology and the customer.
“The pace, appetite and the way we’re talking about new initiatives really demonstrates that tech is a forefront runner for Transurban, rather than just a means to an end. It’s an exciting industry, and not one I’ve worked in before. It’s very focused on long term strategy, and it’s great to join and work for a company that is growing with a very future-driven focus in a rapidly changing industry with the surge in Electric Vehicles, Mobility of the future and other dynamic factors.”
At Transurban they are always looking at new opportunities and different business models, taking an innovative approach to meeting their long-term strategy. There is a diversity of roles and positions within the company, from tolling to corporate to customer and technology. They are spread across Australia and North America, and the teams work seamlessly across geographic locations.
At Transurban, having a diverse workforce plays into their strengths.
“I have been fortunate to work with some great leaders and teams thus far at Transurban and looking forward to the path forward!”