NAME: Olga Degtyareva
ACTION/SECTOR: Education; Services; Science, Health, Research & Technology
POSITION: President and Founder, Productivity mentor
ORGANIZATION: Productivity for Scientists
My Background and Career
I started my own company Productivity for Scientists (http://olgadegtyareva.com) to provide services for scientists which include mentoring support, coaching & resources. I work with PhD students, post-docs & research staff who struggle with achieving better results in their work & would like to overcome overwhelm, get in charge of their day, become more productive while feeling happier in their lives.
I have been a research scientist for about 15 years now. I have an MSc & PhD in Physics, worked as a postdoctoral research scientist in UK & USA & was a recipient of a personal Fellowship from the Royal Society in UK to work on my own research project. I have published 38 research papers, many in high-profile journals, my career seemed to go well; my personal life though did not: I was very unhappy. In 2006 I went through a depression & this is when I decided to start & find the answers on how to have a successful research career & have a happy & fulfilling life.
Since then I worked with psychotherapists & many coaches & mentors plus read tons of books which led me to finding some pretty cool answers. I since got married, had two children & also started my own company through which I help people to get clear on what they want & achieve it. I help people to become more effective at what they do, but also with having fulfilling lives. I focus on working with scientists because this is who I’ve been all my adult life. More at http://olgadegtyareva.com/about
Opportunities and threats which had a strong influence on your career.
My mother has been a scientist for over 40 years and I was born and raised in a scientific town and environment, destined to become a scientist (which is not necessarily what I wanted!). With my mother introducing me early to research concepts, and then later on to important people in her research are, teaching me how to write research papers and arranging for me to do MSc and PhD in leading laboratories of our research area – all of that definitely gave me a head start.
Birth of my two children literally turned my understanding of the world upside down (for the better!), made me critical to everything and wanting to find my own answers to life’s questions.
Later on I came across some amazing mentors and coaches who helped me with my personal and professional growth – but then I was totally ready for it! (In alignment with the saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”)
Depression I have experienced in my life in 2005 (and earlier feeling of not wanting to live because I felt trapped in the life I did not want to have – the feeling I had since I was 16 years old) was a real threat to my life, but then out of it my whole desire to find the right answers was born, and I found my passion to helping scientists live their best lives!
Hints & Tips
Lucky saying or phrase - Life loves me
What gave you inspiration?
When I had my children I started to explore ways of parenting alternative to how I’ve been raised & what I saw around me – & found a very inspirational global community of families practicing “radical unschooling”. Within it children are encouraged to follow their interests & passions (& this is how they learn) & also ultimately follow their passions to create their lives. I was practicing this with my children – & they thrived in this approach so far – but then I got jealous & decided I too wanted to create my own life & do what I want. This led me to find my passion of helping people through coaching & start my own business based on it.
During the last 2.5 years I’ve been coming across amazing inspirational women – mentors & coaches or simply those who live their passions & through this make the world a better place – I have been inspired & learned a great deal from them.
I have been a scientist throughout my whole adult live, had NO background in business & entrepreneurship, did not even have a good relationship with money & never sold anything to anyone, after receiving all that inspiration I believed I can do it, & I am doing it now.
Suggestions/advice for other women:
Follow your passion (you ARE your passion), the rest will fall into places, life itself will support you. If you don’t know what your passion is right now, take time to figure it out. Set an intention for finding your passion & you will.