Iliyana's Blog

The Difference Between Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Jun-2024 07:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career, Leadership, Growth

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In today's fast-paced and interconnected business environment, technical skills alone are no longer sufficient for achieving success. The ability to navigate complex interpersonal dynamics and effectively manage emotions has become more crucial than ever and I feel it every day in my work. This is where emotional and social intelligence come into play.

Understanding and leveraging these forms of intelligence can significantly enhance your ability to lead, collaborate, and drive business success.

Emotional intelligence (EI) and social intelligence (SI) are related concepts that both involve understanding and managing emotions but they focus on different aspects of interpersonal skills.

We delved into the power of social intelligence a few months back but today I want to go into the differences between emotional and social intelligence, and more importantly, provide actionable tips on how to leverage each in a business context.

By cultivating these skills, you can improve your interactions with colleagues and clients, foster a positive work environment, and ultimately, boost your career success. These skills can also help you in your personal life.

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The State of Women in Tech: Progress, Challenges, and Future Directions

[fa icon="calendar'] 08-May-2024 12:59:24 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Career, Women in Tech

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In recent years, the tech industry has made significant strides towards gender diversity, but the journey is far from complete. Despite increasing awareness and initiatives to bridge the gender gap, women in tech continue to face numerous challenges.

As a big supporter of women in tech, having had most of my career in the space, I wanted to dig into the latest statistics, trends, and thought-provoking insights about women in technology, highlighting both progress and persistent obstacles. 

Here we go. 

Current Statistics and Trends

The representation of women in tech remains disappointingly low, though some progress is evident according to a recent article in TechTarget. Women constitute around 28% of the tech workforce, a slight increase from previous years, but still a stark underrepresentation compared to men. More encouragingly, women's participation in tech roles has been growing annually, with a 3% increase in 2023 alone​.

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Winners Dream: Have Goals & Do The Hard Work

[fa icon="calendar'] 18-Apr-2024 17:41:15 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Career

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In the realm of business literature, few books possess the power to inspire and impart invaluable wisdom quite like "Winners Dream" by Bill McDermott. I am not saying this because he is technically my boss given that I work at ServiceNow but because I read the signed copy I got directly from Bill almost in one go. 

Not only was it very engaging, but it was full of interesting stories about Bill's humble beginnings all the way to the top of corporate success. These stories is what made the book such a captivating read, making you want to find out what happens next quickly. I especially resonated with Bill's determination to go after what he wants - determined is definitely one of my key traits as well.

As I was reading the book, I thought there were so many helpful nuggets and learnings that I wanted to share these with you, alongside my favourite quotes. 

In essence, my biggest takeaway is that to be successful in life and to lead a fulfilling life, you need to be crystal clear on the goals and priorities that really matter to you and pour your soul and hard work into achieving them. The journey is the dream rather than the outcome itself. 

Top Learnings from Winners Dream

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A Day in The Life of a Chief of Staff in Tech

[fa icon="calendar'] 01-Mar-2024 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Work Experience, Technology, Career, Leadership

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I've been a Chief of Staff for close to two years but I've held similar positions in the past without the title. 

People often ask me "What is it that you actually do?"

Chief of Staff roles have become popular over the last few years, especially in tech. Many of the big companies have a Chief of Staff for all of their SVPs and above, and some even for VP and above. 

I find the Chief of Staff role quite unique depending on who the executive is that you support. I'm lucky to have an amazing leader who I work with hand in hand which allows me to learn and grow. 

But back to the question about what is it that a Chief of Staff does every day. Let me go through a day in my life, however, before I begin I have to say that the Chief of Staff job is so versatile and frankly not every day is the same because the role itself relies on the ability to pivot, adjust and be flexible pretty much all the time as there are often last-minute fires to be put down. So I will focus on explaining the key daily responsibilities. 

A Day in the Life of a Chief of Staff in Tech

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How to Set SMARTER Goals

[fa icon="calendar'] 18-Aug-2023 12:54:04 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career

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Setting goals is pivotal for success. This is true in your personal and professional life. If you want to go far in your career, you need to have goals. If you want to manage your finances well, you need to have money goals. The list goes on.

Goals can be this fluffy thing people struggle with because they are not always easy to make them strong and sticky. Especially if they're long-term. You never know what might happen tomorrow. I struggle with this as well which is why my goals tend to be short to mid-term especially when it comes to my career development. I'm the type of person who looks for the next opportunity to make an impact. Business environments change so I prefer to be agile and adapt to the needs of the market rather than stick to a 5 or 10-year goals plan. 

However, even short-term goal setting can be difficult. 

Many of you are familiar with the SMART framework for goal-setting but have you heard of another version called SMARTER?

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