As researchers, we push our brain every day. On top of that, our lifestyle is also quite prone to depression, stress and anxiety. We might suffer from impostor syndrome, agonising over an un-constructive review, worrying about our job.

I know all about this — I’ve been burned out once and struggled with depression multiple times. On top of that I have a chronic autoimmune condition with terrible symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, unless it is in balance. All in all, I can not afford not taking care of myself.

I’ve been researching stress, depression, and thyroid issues quite a lot…

In what seems like my previous life, I used to work in startup communities. It was all you imagine it to be, and all I didn’t before joining: poorly paid energised workers crammed in “startup hubs”, furnished with refurbished everything, holding meetings over the foosball table. Not me — I am really lousy at foosball.

On Fridays, we would always finish work early, and blend with the other startup workers in the hub. The conversations were never small talk. Instead, grand ideas were exchanged, and new partnerships created.

The startup worlds’ approach to what finished work means, reminds me nothing…

I reached the point in my PhD where I am looking for the next step in my career. My privileged academic corner, with a supervisor interested in my emotional and mental well-being, has spared me of the real world out there, where values like being competitive and ambitious are highly sought after. Job ad after job ad seem to repeat the pattern: “ambitious scholar needed … to work in a highly competitive environment.“

I hope I am not just about to commit career suicide, but I have to say this: I am an uncompetitive and unambitious scholar. …

The Clock time versus the Psychological time

We sometimes tend to live too much in the past or in the future, which can lead to worries, anxiety, even depression. As a researcher, there can be too much information to handle at one time: remember that one article you can use as one of three references for your third paragraph in the introduction, hold on to a quote from interviewee number three to be compared to a quote from interviewee number thirteen. What about planning that meeting, and being social on social media? What about teaching?

And then I “met” Eckhart Tolle. The book “The Power of Now”…

Dear fellow researcher — I know you are busy, and probably stressed. But how are we supposed to be creative while busy and stressed? If you resonate with this meditation technique, you owe it to yourself and your research to take a short break. What would you say to feel like you have just woken up from the best night’s sleep, in the middle of the day, when you feel most stressed?

If you can, please stop, and meditate for five minutes.

Not too many years ago, I was just hearing about meditation, when I made up my mind that…

Break free from the illusion that you are not enough

I was reading through yet another academic article written in the heavy language that academics write in, when I was about to start dancing the regular dance of guilt: “You have not done enough work today”.

Only this time I could hear building in and coming out a voice stronger than my thoughts: “today you have appended all the reviewer’s comments, sent in the paper, participated fully in a meeting, and now you are finishing up reading an article; you have done enough”. And louder: “You are enough”.

You are enough.

An enoughness beyond words, and thoughts. …

It’s 6 a.m and I am doing the unthinkable. I brush my teeth, put on my gym clothes and my headphones, throw my gym bag over the shoulder and I am taking off. I’m squatting like a ferocious animal and I hate it. I’ve been doing this for 6 weeks and I am in complete disbelief at myself.

I’ve been waiting for years for my Motivation to arrive, take my hand, and walk me to the gym. Then, she (yep, she’s a she!) would push my arms in biceps curls and even help me put more weights on for my…

A research based view on how stereotyping affect trust and performance in remote collaboration and what can leaders do about it.

Why do we stereotype? And how does stereotyping affect trust and performance in (virtual) teams?

A stereotype is a “fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people”. (Cardwell, 1996). Stereotypes help us simplify our social world and it enables us to respond rapidly to situations, but a disadvantage according to McLeod (2015) is that it makes us not see the differences between individuals.

Our brains cannot deal with missing information — we will add what…

A research-based approach to online writing for leaders

This article provides a research-based approach to how leaders can use writing techniques, such as summarizing, persuading and storytelling, to lead through writing, in a world where we don’t always see our employees face-to-face.

A quick google search on leadership behaviour reveals many products, services and advice tailored to leaders, on how to act and talk in order to inspire and influence. But what can leaders do when their communication is mediated by technology such as Skype, emails or Enterprise Social Networks?

New media technologies allow for modelling, in other words, we can use technology to emulate behaviours we would…

It is hard to associate cancer treatment with fighting cancer, as I did not fight anything. I mostly lied there, waiting for the perfusion to end, then I got up, went home, slept, ate, and hoped that the side effects are not that bad.

Cancer survival, cancer fighter? Looking in the mirror, I would not say I look like a warrior, but before I revolt against us being called survivors, I’ll give it a thought and a google.

Reading on this term, I understood that it is more than the sense itself, it is a brand. A brand that it…

Raluca Stana

Ph.D. Fellow researching Digital Leadership. I write about my research, opinions, and personal development.

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