Iliyana's Blog

How to Quickly Excel at Any Job: My 4 Secrets

[fa icon="calendar'] 17-Apr-2020 07:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career

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Over the years, I've often been asked how I learn not just to do a job very quickly but to excel at it very quickly.  

I don't think I have some kind of a magic solution to this but I've come to realise that there are a few things that can make you not just good, but great at any job fast. 

Of course, it all comes down to finding something that you actually like. If you don't enjoy the job that you're doing, you're never going to excel at it. 

I've changed roles and industries on quite a few times and done that laterally but it's always been driven by my passions and desire to learn and grow personally. This has allowed me to get into the job quickly and master it quickly. 

So what are the things that you need to do to excel at any job? 

I've broken them down into four. 

How to Quickly Excel at Any Job: My 4 Secrets

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Why You Should Set Your Personal Goals Now to Start 2020 Right

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Dec-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career

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Christmas is two days away and it's that time of the year when we tend to reflect on the past 12 months and think about the new year ahead. 

I'm currently in Peru, away from my normal day-to-day and off work which gives me the space to think about what I want to achieve and focus on in 2020. 

For every new year, I set goals. 

To give you some examples, my goal for 2018 was to publish my first book. My goal for 2019 was to find a new home.

I've achieved both of these. 

Success, to me, is a matter of goal-setting and planning of how you'll achieve those goals. 

But also on being realistic about what you can do and can't do - as you can see, I only set one key goal for the year. Do I want to do a million other things? Of course, but I prefer to stay focused on the one big thing that will make the biggest difference in my life. 

I recently watched a 10-minute TED talk which clearly explains why setting the right goals is the secret to success for companies. 

It's also about setting the right goals for the right reasons. 

But to do this, you must first answer the question why then the what and then the how.

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How I Started My Career in PR and Where it Got Me

[fa icon="calendar'] 17-Dec-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Personal Development, Career

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I started my career in PR. 

That was a conscious choice, I wanted to do PR. 

When I was at university doing a BA in International Business in Germany, you could say that I fell in love with Public Relations during a module in Marketing where I got exposed to PR for the first time. 

That was also the time when social media started to pick up and businesses were trying to figure who owns it and how to do it for their benefit. 

Authors and prominent PR pros like Brian Solis and David Meerman Scott got me more hooked and so I decided the follow PR as my career.

But a degree in International Business is not the typical path to get into PR, especially because you don't learn anything about press releases or working with the media. 

So I had to learn all that by myself. How? Through books and internships. 

I decided that if I wanted to get a job in PR immediately after I graduated, I had to gain practical experience. 

So after my first year at university, I found a small social media agency in a town in Germany close to where I was living at the time and interned there for three months for free. 

Was it easy - for the first time working in such a professional setting and without getting any money?

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How to Give a Great Presentation

[fa icon="calendar'] 30-Oct-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career, Leadership

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One of my favourite things to do is to give a presentation. 

I love public speaking. It fills me with energy and it's the crowd that feeds me with it. 

But I used to hate public speaking. 

In my first year of university, I had to present on a marketing project in front of the class - about 90 people - and I remember how nervous I was and how my nerves got the best of me. I was sweating, my voice was trembling, I couldn't look anybody in the eyes and I don't think I managed to transmit my message to my public. I was ashamed when it was all over. 

My initial reaction to this 'failure' was that I was never going to do public speaking again. I was terrified and I never wanted to experience this again. 

But after a couple of days, my attitude changed. I decided that I was going to overcome this fear and I was going to become a terrific public speaker. 

I don't know if I am a terrific public speaker but I can certainly say that I no longer loathe giving presentations in front of small and large groups, I love it and I welcome it. The more, the better. 

So how did I do it?

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5 Years at HubSpot - Here's What I Learned About Growth and Career

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Sep-2019 07:12:53 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Career

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Last week, September 5th, was my last day at HubSpot after almost five years at this amazing company. 

It was a sad day as I'll miss all the incredible people I've met. I've learned so much at HubSpot. I'm beyond grateful for my experience at the company but the time had come to move on from Ireland and find another home for myself. And now that home is Amsterdam with a new job at Cisco. 

This is not going to be my first international move. It's now been 10 years since I left my home country Bulgaria at the age of 19 and went to study International Business in Germany. With a scholarship two years later, I also spent a year and a half in the UK before returning to Germany to graduate and get my first job.

Then came HubSpot. They found me on LinkedIn and reached out because of my fluency in German, agency experience and ability to create content thanks to this blog. 

I still remember the day(s) when I had difficulty packing my 250 kg of clothes and shoes to move from Germany to Ireland and join an 80-people team in HubSpot’s Dublin office.

It’s been a fantastic journey to see how far DubSpot has grown in just five short years as the office is now almost 700 people in addition to 100 or so people in Berlin and Paris. 

When I close such a big chapter of my life, I tend to reflect on it and I want to share with you my key learnings from my time at HubSpot.

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