Career Development

the longest journey

The Longest Journey: The Evolution of the Job Market in Times of AI

The sentiment around AI is mixed both in the society and among tech experts. ​Indeed, we are at a point of singularity where another species starts surpassing us in many of cognitive skills traditionally seen as uniquely human. So, what’s the future and is it even possible to make an educated guess? ​Is Universal Basic Income a utopia, or, is it inevitable?And most importantly, can we find Pascal’s wager? In other words, is there any strategy to better our chances in the job market that will benefit us regardless of which scenario pans out?

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Tips and Tricks on Networking in San Francisco

If You Are Going To San Francisco… My 25 Tips and Tricks on Networking in the City

Every new environment is yet another chance, but also test for your networking skills. After coming to San Francisco, I soon realized that this was not yet just another city, but rather, a magic, layered place that unfolds like an onion — ugly on the outside, but beautiful on the inside. In this article, I list 22 networking lessons learned in the past two months spent in San Francisco. Overall, my personal strategy could be described in short as: everything, everywhere, all at once. An award-winning approach.

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Tell Me What You Think About Gary Vee

Tell Me What You Think of Gary Vee And I Will Tell You Who You Are

Everyone who has anything to do with entrepreneurship or investing, must have seen Gary Vaynerchuk’s face at least once. It is everywhere in the media. People are so polarized on Gary! At some point, I figured that “What do you think of Gary Vee?” Is the chat-up line that tells me almost everything about the mentality of the person I am talking to. For a long time, I was on the fence trying to answer “the Gary Vee question” for myself. In the end, I decided to write this article — for education, and for my own peace of mind.

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my personal approach to investing

My Personal Approach To Investing (As Of Today)

I recently had a few conversations with friends who couldn’t understand some of my investment decisions. They thought of me as a degen who either has way too much free time, or completely lost her marbles. Well, they might be right… But nevertheless, I decided to invest some time in thinking about my current personal investment strategy more in detail, and putting down my thoughts on paper. It is a rather unorthodox approach, so who knows — perhaps this read is also useful to you, whoever you are.

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the doctor manhattan syndrome

The Doctor Manhattan Syndrome

This is quite an exhibitionistic post… but I’ve learned that more often than not, there are many people out there who feel exactly like me — but just don’t say it aloud. Or, they don’t even grasp their own feelings, until someone pokes them and wakes them up. So, I decided to write this article anyway.

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the edge of seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen

What is the price of your dreams? I analyzed my dreams recently, and concluded that they are expensive due to one particular drug.

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personal development when setting your own company

How Setting a Company Has Changed My Life, Personal Development Wise

There are moments when some event happens to you, and as little as it is, it suddenly makes you realize that your life has completely changed. Just like it was this Tuesday, on my way back to the Netherlands. And it came to my mind that the moment I set a company, was the very moment I won my life. And I am not talking about any external benefits such as my income or the freedom to set my own schedule. I am talking about all the gradual changes on the inside that leveraged my quality of life in the past two years.

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starring at the sun

Starring at the Sun

The summer is over for a long time now, yet, I’m in a mood to bring some memories from this summer. Of course, it wasn’t a typical summertime but rather, quite an unusual one. It’s hard to neglect that the corona crisis changed the landscape of what you can or can’t possibly do.

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Come on Ladies Women i professional environment

Come on, Ladies! On Women In Professional Environment

As we all know, women don’t have an easy time in their professional lives. However, while working with lots of people in pursuit of improving their situation in the job market, I noticed that some women also involuntarily make their situation in the job market even harder than it already is — in at least five different ways.

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How I Fail

This blog post is a recording from an interview I did for Veronika Cheplygina’s blog series “How I Fail.” It’s all about the mindset and personal strategies that helped me in getting over hardship and difficulties—both in academia and in industry. Most of these strategies, I learned by trial and error and I’m happy to now share them with you.

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Should You Consider Working As a Career Advisor?

Career advisory – what a crazy ride this is! So many turns and unexpected events down the line, and so many interesting people with their unbelievable, unheard of stories on the way! In general, I am happy about my decision to embark on this journey. But the reality is: no job is ever perfect. After my long and delightful honeymoon with career advisory, I can say that there are also several downsides to this job. Let me list a few of them here.

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The Signs In Your Career Development

Are there any signs in heaven and earth that can tell us along the way what we should eventually be doing in our professional lives — these little cues thrown to our feet along the way that we tend to ignore until there are so many of them that the truth just becomes obvious?

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Can You Marry Research With Entrepreneurship?

Living a double life between entrepreneurship and academic research is not easy. This blog post reviews the reasons why this is so, and ideas for how you might nevertheless succeed in balancing on the edge of the two worlds.

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What You Should Know Before Starting a PhD

This blog post is dedicated to Master students who are at the end of their Master’s programs, and consider going to grad school. What are the pros and cons of going for the academic career, as compared to starting an industry job? What is the best motivation to start a PhD?

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Why Is It Cool To Work As a Career Advisor?

The past few weeks were quite interesting — I had some strange symptoms. I lost a lot of weight, I was often blushing, I was putting on loud Tiësto music and jumping around my garage like a maniac and bumping into things (to such an extent that I was getting self-inflicted wounds), I was walking around the park and laughing to myself like an idiot, and I couldn’t sleep for more than 6 hours a day. In other words, I had some strong signs of affection.

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The Jobs of the Future

It’s not a secret that both the Millennials and the Z-generation are vision- or mission-oriented. Young people are no longer looking for a paycheck in their jobs, but also a broader purpose (or, from Japanese, ikigai). This can have really interesting long-term consequences for the job market. In particular, one new type of job that is going to emerge soon.

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A Wrinkle In Time. What Influences Our Personal Development?

Recently, I was invited to record a podcast for the PhD Career Stories series. The point of this episode, was to explain how I found myself in the place I am in right now, both career-wise and mentally. This is always an interesting question as most people—including me—are rather poor at assessing the real causes of events that happen to them. In the process of recording that episode, I realized a few important things about how the past influences the present that I would like to share here.

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The Millenial Curse

The Millenial Curse

Well, I was thinking a lot about my identity as a Millennial these days. This is because since my PhD contract has expired, I somehow started turning towards making (or perhaps, trying to make) impact. I took a resolution to listen to intuition when making career choices, and I didn’t know the endpoint when I was starting.

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Hush-hush

In kindergarten, most of my peers wanted to become either models, actors, or doctors when they grow up. For a change, I was jealous of priests, and of the fact that they are allowed to listen to people’s confessions for the whole days. I wanted to know the truth about people, however dirty this truth might be. And, I was bitter thinking that I would actually never become a priest. Until I did.

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Navigate

I was always wondering why some people are so lucky in life – they are neither geniuses nor work that hard, yet always find themselves in the right place at the right moment, gather the right people around them, embark on the best projects or get the best jobs. Now I think I know.

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People is the answer

People Is the Answer

It’s been a long road up to this point, since I left my parents’ place at the age of 18. But, when I look back at the past 15 years, I some some patterns clearly, coming over over again. First of all, I see that there is only one asset which has been systematically accumulating over these 15 years. It was not money, which you can easily lose in the nearest bubble. It was not knowledge, which can become useless once you change the discipline or profession. It was actually people.

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These Dark Hours

The peak is so close; glowing somewhere on the horizon, yet looking like a fata morgana – step after step, and you do not feel like you are coming any closer. I felt exactly the same way while approaching the peak of Kilimanjaro in 2013. I am making this last effort in order to finally submit my PhD thesis now. And this will happen in literally a few hours. I expected it would feel orgasmic, but instead, it feels like a sad relief. Yet, I would like to capture this moment – just for the sake of memory. Maybe one day, I would get back to what I felt when I realised that all this tantalising pain is finally over.

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Real Choices, Fake Choices

At some point I realised that the decision on whether or not to stay in academia – or in other words, whether to do research or focus on commercial projects instead – is not the real choice I need to make right now. In fact, the real choice is: how much am I willing to risk? Let me explain.

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15 Years Later

I spent Christmas among family and friends quite as every time before. However, this time, I also had a few afterthoughts as there are some examples of common knowledge that stroke me really hard. You might hear some simple truths from your parents and teachers over and over again – or read about it from motivational books – but after all, you only learn how important they are when you see the consequences in real life.

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The Gap Year – Vol. 2

In August this year, I wrote a compilation of seven things I had learned from having a gap year. Funny thing is: the gap year was only halfway back then. Now, when it slowly comes to the end, I can easily add yet another seven things I learned since then. Some of these things are almost like rediscovering America, but I would like to shortly highlight them here anyways.

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The Tangle Approach

I was recently recommended to read the book by Emilie Wapnick ‘How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up’ (2017), dedicated to the concept of multipotentiality. In the book, Emilie refers to her own experience as a person who cannot fully commit herself to just one profession, but instead, has multiple passions and can only find fulfilment by sequentially indulging in multiple professions on her career path. When I read this book, I have a feeling that it resonates with my own story to a high extent. However, I developed my own model of labor, which I could call a tangle (or a plaid).

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Mission: Impossible

How to predict the future? That’s the whole difficulty when it comes to making any choices, from choosing the right studies, through choosing the right friends, choosing the right investments, to choosing the right projects at work. A mundane, typical scientist (such as me) can produce one, two, sometimes three first-author publications per year – not much more is physically possible. In such a situation, it is crucial to choose the right projects.

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The Gap Year

As Confucius famously said, choose the job that you love – and you will not need to work for a lifetime. However, this is all not that simple. As a matter of fact, the school system (or at least Polish school system), kills a lot of natural talents: knowledge served at schools is standardised and the amount of material you need to learn is so overwhelming that you are becoming a little robot, working days and nights for good grades. There is just no more room in your life to explore the environment around you, and learn about your own talents. This is exactly why I decided to conduct an experiment on myself; my contract expired some time ago and I came to a conclusion that it is a great opportunity to actually find out more about myself instead of jumping into a new job straight away.

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Taking Risks as a Path to Safety

In the famous riddle, you are supposed to connect all the dots with four straight lines. You can sweat and try as long as you like but you will always be just one line short from connecting all of them. Unless you look outside the box, and make yourself space beyond the limited area of the square – then, all of a sudden, everything becomes easy. The point is: as a scientist, you are pressed to do multitasking as well: as opposite to industry, in academia, you need to prove yourself in multiple different roles every day, and the collateral stress is inevitable whenever you are a good or a bad worker. So, how to deal with stress?

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Students

How To Deal with Students as a PhD Candidate?

Initially, I was hesitating for a long time if I can even manage to supervise a student. Namely, if I will be able to catch some good vibes and keep on going regardless of little bumps on the way which naturally pop out during research: you try and fail, and then try and fail again and again… But now, I must say that supervising students is a wonderful experience to me, and I consider it – so far – the most fulfilling part of the PhD track.

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Artists and Craftsmen

Researchers have their personal styles of working, and some of them are more like craftsmen, whereas others are more like artists. And the irony is: in order to produce a novel scientific study and publish it well, you need to be an artist, but you also need to be a craftsman – and these two qualities are rarely to be found in one and the same person.

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To read or not to read

To Read or Not to Read

‘Yes, people do become successful after reading motivational books but the thing that made them succeed is the same thing that had driven them to read the motivational book in the first place – The desire to succeed.’

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Passive income

Passive Income

Passive income became a popular key term over past few years. It comprises all the possible ways of making money which you initiate and then can let go, so that the money, in a word, keeps on producing itself. Most of the time, passive income relates to online activities, such as writing e-books and selling them on Amazon Kindle website, releasing an online course which can be downloaded at a price, releasing popular youtube videos so that you can capitalise on advertisements, affiliate marketing, Fiverr freelancing (which means that you can offer any service at a fixed price of five bucks), launching an online business that can be automated to a high extent such as an online store with one or two employees, etc.

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Competitiveness

Competitiveness

What does the competitiveness come from? It is not a very prominent feature of the Dutch society – this society is more about equity and cooperation. No wonder: once you look at the educational program at the Dutch primary schools, the first class they ever have is ‘working in teams’. Which is very much in opposition to Polish schools where they were always telling us to compete.

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Luck

Luck

The popular belief is that people who perceive themselves as successful and lucky, are those who just take opportunities – notice the money lying on the street and take it. Or, those who interpret some events as lucky whereas others would rather perceive the same events as unlucky. For instance, if you were stolen a wallet, and the wallet was retrieved with a credit card missing but all the documents in place, would you interpret this as misfortune or luck?

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What do successful people say

What Do Successful People Say

Singers, sportsmen, writers, famous bloggers and motivational speakers, Noblists, inventors, enterpreneurs and famous CEOs. All these people think shockingly similar about the rules for success.

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Research or Branding How To Effectively Self-Manage in Academia

Research or Branding? How To Effectively Self-Manage in Academia

Science is business. If you don’t understand this simple fact, you won’t get too far in academia. Unfortunately, very many of us, PhD candidates, do not understand this. This might be because, in science, the real currency differs from money. In fact, there are several currencies. The number of publications, impact factor, time. So, how to self-manage in these conditions?

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Summary of 2014

Summary of 2014: What Happened?

What is true passion? The passionate and the non-passionate will never understand each other, and the Dutch are not passionates, that’s all. I realize it every time I cross the border with Poland, when I see my friends, when I talk to random people on the train. They have that fire in their eyes.

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hiking

Postcard From the Mountains: What Hiking Taught Me About Science

Academic life is not easy. “The closer to the sky, the closer to hell.” Well, so far, I manage somehow but it took me a long time to grow this skin. Hiking helped me get tougher and persevere. So, I created a list of 21 things that mountaineering has taught me about science so far. Some are obvious and cliché, but I hope some of them will be useful to you.

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Working On My Physical Condition

On Those Who Gave Up On Their Dreams / Working On My Physical Condition

I am pleased to say that I am slowly breaking down the physical barriers in which I was stuck until recently. Before I had lost my job and my dream guy, I was a couch potato who worked out maybe an hour a week —- in a good week! Then I decided to become an athlete. I did work out every single day and a few months later, I stood at the top of Kilimanjaro. I also did a mountaineering course, and then consistently went for an jog almost every day. I also went for the famous 4-Daagse march, and to my own surprise, I was able to complete it with ease. And last weekend, three weeks after the event, I did a 100-km Death March known as Dodentocht, in Bornem, Belgium.

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on subjective time perception

On Subjective Time Perception

Recently, due to seemingly unrelated things, I realized that I have a problem. Well, in order to console my friend who had some worries, I also started to think about the things that were bothering me. And I concluded that my perception of time was deeply disturbed.

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On Peace of Mind

On Peace of Mind

Living in the Netherlands is good, especially when it’s sunny outdoors. Then you can spend your Sundays wandering around — and the Dutch countryside is truly beautiful. In addition, I feel that my level of the most important aspect of human existence, that is, the feeling of happiness, also went higher. I noticed this recently, when my housemates started to complain about our living conditions.

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How To Produce a Highly Ranked Publication

How To Produce a Highly Ranked Publication

I recently had the opportunity to see what it looks like to build a serious scientific article from scratch. I usually encounter articles from the other side: I first get the article in my hand and try to figure out what the author’s intentions were. I read through the thousands of details of the experiment or methods that were in use to find the logic behind the paper and try to figure out the author’s thought process. And eventually, the whole creative process can generally be summed up in one or two sentences, not more. This time around, however, I attend lab meetings, where I witness brainstorming sessions on how to make an influential paper from scratch. This is so interesting!

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