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Subsign Spotlight #108: Paula Cristea.

We might be slightly biased when we say this, but Paula is an incredible person inside and out. Our long friendship might be the testimony of it, but we are sure you’ll see it for yourself in this interview.

Subsign: First, can you tell us a few things about yourself?

Paula: Hi, I’m Paula and I’m a creative people person who also loves spreadsheets. I’ve more or less designed my own job title at the company I currently work for, Thinslices, combining marketing and people management in an overall effort to spread good vibes. And tracking them :))

I am a tolerated hooman in a household with 2 cats and a dog, together with my lovely husband who’s also a creative person.

When I’m not working I’m probably devouring TV series, Internet pop culture, or doing a snooze right after thinking I should be more active. I also enjoy taking walks, as is the trend now for mental health purposes and because I identify as a plant sometimes.

Subsign: How do you think your childhood experiences have influenced your professional endeavors?

Paula: Autonomy and independence were a big part of my childhood. My parents trusted me to explore and go have fun with friends who lived in totally different neighborhoods than me. I did my fair share of mischief, but I would also explore, wander and play with this tribe I was a part of.

Being part of a community with similar values has brought me to my current job which is, I think, a nice parallel to childhood. We’re basically still kids but we’re learning how to “adult” and run a business together. I think the spirit of curiosity, openness, and the autonomy to experiment is a key driver for my current professional path.

Subsign: What did you want to be as a grown-up?

Paula: A paper pusher. I wanted to be a lawyer or an FBI agent, even made my own badge. I also remember creating fake documents and signing them as the mayor. So I guess I wanted to be important? I did go to law school so I was kind of set on a certain course until I was about 22 years old when I decided I needed a “happier” job so I switched tracks.

Subsign: What does your workstation look like?

Paula: Well, it is fairly organized. It also has some post-its with “my stuff, don’t move it” because of a couple of incidents that led to the disappearance of my monitor cable while I was working from home. It has tiny trinkets I got from colleagues and friends, 2 mugs and 1 bottle of water to convince me to stay hydrated and some cosmetics, in case of a hand dryness emergency. And a huge monitor that is probably not fulfilling its potential since I only rarely use it.

Subsign: Do you have a workflow/process for your tasks? How would you describe it?

Paula: It starts with panic in front of a huge task and then making a plan. I do my weekly planning by looking at the priorities for that week, blocking out calendar time for important tasks, creating a list of all tasks for the week then proceeding to hyperventilate before opening my emails. Additional tasks might result from that, and sometimes I get lost in emails and it’s already lunchtime. I like using the 4 Ds of productivity for emails: Do, Defer (Delay), Delegate, and Delete (Drop).

As a general rule I’ve learned to set a time interval for a task, even if it’s not enough to complete it, it’s enough to get started on it. It helps me make incremental progress. I create either calendar events or slackbot reminders to make sure I follow up on stuff I want to defer/delay.

Subsign: What is your favorite work you have done so far? (no matter how small or big of a project/task)

Paula: The gethppy blog. It was my baby for about 5 years, during which it went from a B2B SaaS startup blog to an HR community of people who believe in the power of creating an engaging workplace.

Subsign: Who do you follow for inspiration?

Paula: I think everyone can be inspiring. My brain will find some takeaway from the most random content on TikTok, from a lady who thrifts her outfits to a nurse in the UK who’s super funny but also on point on some important healthcare topics. I also try to find inspiration in the people around me – my husband, my friends, my colleagues, and especially my pets – they inspire me to not take things too seriously and to rest more. Exposure to people who are different from me is usually the key.

Subsign: What advice would you give someone starting out in your field of work?

Paula: Everything is much easier than it seems, that is if you’re a perfectionist. If you’re very sure of yourself, it’s gonna be much harder than you expect. But I think most people I’ve interacted with are in the first category. And the truth is that nothing is as difficult or dramatic as it seems, you just need to get started somewhere and things will fall into place. You will learn, you will fail, you will have support from other people and you will become better. Start doing things, contact people, apply for that job, and take it one day at a time.

Subsign: If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Paula: Seeing people’s emotions as colors. Almost went for mind reading there but I’ve seen how difficult that can be from Mel Gibson.

Subsign: Can you recommend to our readers a book, a song, and a movie?

Paula: The books we’re currently reading in our book club are “What’s Our Problem?: A Self-Help Book for Societies” by Tim Urban and “Mistborn: The Lost Metal” by Brandon Sanderson. The first one is early days for me but definitely got my attention, I find it a good addition to “Sapiens”, “Everything is fucked: a book about hope” or “Factfulness”. If you’re a Sanderson fan I salute you! I go to the cosmere to escape this world, it’s very fun and relaxing.

A song I’ve recently discovered and have been listening to kind of obsessively is Por Su Amor by Sting and KURT. I haven’t seen a movie in many series, except for Marvel movies, but I’d go with an old one – Atonement.

Subsign: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and who would be there?

Paula: It would be a roaring 20s party and I’d love to have literary characters and authors from that time be there. There would be dancing, pearls and good music. Hopefully, I would find it as entertaining in real life as I do in my imagination so as not to pull a Millennial and go home around 10 pm to do my skincare and sleep.

You can find Paula on LinkedIn, on Instagram, or doing amazing things at Thinslices.

If you have any recommendations or feedback share it with our team at :D.


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"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."

Guy Kawasaki