Adding to our latest initiative about #InspiringWomen at Readdle, we asked, Chief of Staff Olga Pochtarenko to share her insights about what constitutes a meaningful life. Here’s her advice.
I joined Readdle in early 2015 as a Head of HR to set up the People & Culture function and help the company scale and succeed with the best people and talent practices.
I remember that during my interviews I was impressed with how the founders focused on the mission to create value for this world via technology. Readdle is a great technology business with leaders genuinely focused on people — customers and people in their team. It matched my values back then, and it still engages me strongly.
Over the years, as we scaled from 50 people on board as I joined, to 250 people, my role has evolved into the Chief of Staff. Today I help our CEO, Igor Zhadanov, transform company goals into actionable projects and deliverables.
I believe that everyone wants to make a positive impact on this world. Every one of us ultimately wants to be a reliable partner and friend, a good parent, and successful at our job. But how can it reach beyond our closest circles? To make a systemic positive change, we need to work well in teams, create effective communities, and always be aware of how we connect to a broader range of things: our customers, the industry we work in, our country, and the whole world.
Everything we do impacts a broader range of people. It is like concentric circles on the water — even the smallest object dropped in a lake makes an impact that contributes to its currents. And I want to be that little drop that creates the right waves — and contributes to positive changes in this world.
I have identified the five levels of my influence, which help me remember how being just a little drop in the ocean, can make a bigger change.
The better I develop myself and care about myself, the stronger is the impact I make. “Me” is the starting point for creating something great around.
My family, friends, colleagues
The nearest impact I can make — is to be a good daughter, a supportive and loving partner, and a collaborative and helpful teammate. It is important for me to be a reliable and valuable partner in each relationship I have with others.
Wider community around me
- Five years ago, I became a coach to help people find their unique way to success, become better leaders, and build their careers.
- Two years ago, I started mentoring with the Mentoring Club to give back to the community and support younger professionals with the knowledge I have.
- Recently I became a member of the 2Hearts — a diverse community of people with immigration backgrounds in Europe’s tech industry that provides mentorship for young talent to overcome cultural challenges and succeed in their professions.
The higher level of my identity is my cultural background and my homeland. I am Ukrainian and was raised on Ukrainian traditions and respect for my family history. Ukraine has never had it easy to be independent and free from imperialistic occupations, but the last year has brought so much tragedy yet again.
Ukraine is my most essential community, no matter where I live in the world. Like millions of other Ukrainians, I constantly seek ways to help Ukraine. In addition to volunteering with humanitarian aid, raising awareness, and collecting donations, I offer additional support to Ukrainians displaced by the war with job search and career coaching and help companies in the EU to be more open to hiring Ukrainians.
Yes, I am a tiny piece of the world’s ecosystem, yet my everyday decisions significantly impact the planet. Today we are racing fast towards dramatic changes in the global environment, and people need to pay more attention to their daily impact on the situation. Waste segregation, reducing plastic usage to a minimum, shopping wisely, making a preference for recycled clothes and goods, and saving water, are the simplest things we can do every day.
I was vegetarian for quite a long time, and five years ago became vegan. My reasoning was more related to animal well-being and the ethical treatment of a living creature. Still, it also contributes greatly to our sustainable future.
These five areas are something that keeps me focused and helps me assess if, at any point in time, I am on the right track in life. I hope that every one of us believes in how impactful they can be with our actions and their worlds. Even one specific focus on helping someone or being kinder to others is enough to make a little shift in the world.