Iliyana's Blog

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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My 4 Learnings from European Women in Tech

[fa icon="calendar'] 08-Jul-2023 09:52:10 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Sustainability, Brands and Business, Career, Artificial Intelligence

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Last week, I attended the European Women in Tech conference in Amsterdam. It's been a while since I went to an event like this and it was great to be back learning and networking.

I attended dozens of sessions and wanted to spend some time reflecting on them. 

The best way for me to reflect is by writing. Writing is my way of thinking and learning and I'm getting back to it more and more as well.

So, here are my top learnings from the European Women in Tech conference.

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Making the Most of Non-Linear Career Paths

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Jun-2023 09:07:19 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Career

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A few months back, my good friend Kareem Mostafa who I've featured in the blog introduced me to a friend of his - Leon Nussbaumer. Leon runs an excellent and top-rated podcast about professionals and careers called Leon & The Professionals.

Leon and I got to talking and decided to record a session as well. 

Leon was great to work with and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation which could have gone for much, much longer. 

His head was probably spinning at some point with all I kept on saying and how we kept pivoting the conversation from one topic to another. Here are some of the key things we covered:

Making the Most of Non-Linear Career Paths

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The Importance of Knowing Your Work Style

[fa icon="calendar'] 05-Apr-2023 18:18:12 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Career

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When you start a new job, join a new company or a new team, others need to understand how you work. 

The earlier you get to know the people you will be closely working with and the earlier they get to know you, the smoother your work collaboration will be. 

Transparency about what you like and don't like, how you work, how you communicate, and how you make decisions at the very beginning is key for your success in the new role, company or team as well. 

Whenever I start in a new position, I try to be very open with my work style and explain it to others as soon as possible. 

My recommendation is that you have a short list in bullet points about how you work, what you value and what you need to be successful in your collaboration with others.

The Importance of Knowing Your Work Style

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Reflecting on 2022 - Can Women Really Have it All?

[fa icon="calendar'] 27-Dec-2022 13:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career

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This post might be controversial for many. Some might agree. I'm sure many others will not. This post is also very vulnerable and personal. It's my take on the much-debated question if women can have it all - career and kids - reflecting on how 2022 went for me. 

Two big things happened this year for me professionally: I joined a new company starting a new job and I published my second book (on a completely unexpected topic even for me). 

Had that been pre-baby, it wouldn've been at least four big things. 

I never shied away from saying that I'm ambitious. I want to achieve a lot career-wise. I've already achieved a lot for my age, however, my curiosity and eagerness to do more and learn more pushes me forward. I get bored with the same. I need change and my brain needs progress. 

Sometimes this can have negative connotations because I put too much pressure on myself to achieve more, be better, and get more done in the finite hours of a day that I have. 

When I wasn't a mother, this didn't bother me. It pushed me beyond my limits in a good way.

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