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HR expert Madalina Uceanu shares with us her favourite books

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With 23 years of experience in the Romanian human resources market, Mădălina Uceanu is one of the key players in executive recruitment, HR consulting, and career counseling.

In 2010, she started her own HR company, Career Advisor, specialized in three main areas: Executive Search, HR Consultancy, and E-Recruitment.

Meanwhile, Mădălina developed the website PortalHR and used it as a valuable content marketing tool. Throughout this platform, Mădălina supported and helped develop the local HR community by posting educational articles, holding trainings, and helping candidates accomplish their professional goals.

In the past years, Mădălina also became renowned as a career coach.

I’ve known Mădălina for quite a few years now and had a lot to learn from her. Also, I need to add that she’s one of the most warm-hearted and calm persons I’ve ever met. I was curious to find out what books shaped her, but also her recommended reading to those who want to follow a career path related to HR. Read on to find out more:

Estimated reading time for this interview is 6 minutes. If you'd rather listen to it, you can do it on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.

What’s your favourite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

My favourite book of all times remains “Man’s search for meaning“, written by Viktor Frankl, as it brings some very valuable lessons about human nature and what’s most important in life, acting as a good reminder to see the forest from the trees and focus on the values that represent you.


Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

The thing that struck me most was a phrase in a common management book which stated that, as a manager, if your team has any challenges or your are unhappy with their results, it is your fault as a manager. It was actually stating the fact that you are the only responsible to adjust the roles in a team to make them more prone to success than to failure, to attract or exclude team members or decide whom and how to develop further.


What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

I must admit there was no single book that had this effect on me, but it was rather a collection of readings that, combined with the challenges I was facing helped me shape my way of thinking.


What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)

I would recommend any biographies of business people, but definitely I would have on the list any of Richard Branson‘s books. That should cover a better business and mentality understanding.

The second category of books would be related to self awareness and keeping a positive approach to life generally, which I think makes a lot of difference in the way you create your professional path as well. Here you can either go more on the NLP approach and watch Tony Robbins interventions, or more towards the spiritual path, maybe at a later stage and read Wayne Dyer’s books.

In what regards the professional side, if we talk about headhunting, it still remains an inspiration for me what Lou Adler wrote in “Hire with your head“.

And, besides books, I would watch constantly Ted Talks, both for the ideas and the manner of presenting, I find that as a continuous inspiration as well.

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I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?

Weekly, besides the daily reading of interesting articles or watching Ted. I read also on Kindle, but I must admit I am still a fan of paper books, as I am usually reading with a pen in my hand and underlining constantly all that seems interesting, which helps me to go quickly through the ideas that stroke me any time I review the book.


How do you make time for reading?

Usually early in the morning or during the weekends, as in the rest of the time the attention span is usually shorter due to the high pace of life.


Do you have a favourite place where you read or are you able to read just anywhere?

I do have a favourite place at home, but I can find a nice and cozy place to read also everywhere I go. It is less probable to read in a noisy place, I find it difficult to concentrate, unless I use my earphones:-)


Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

I underline lots of paragraphs, but I do not collect otherwise the information.


How do you choose what books to read next?

I either read on some blogs, or put down recommendations I get from the people I met daily.


Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

I would rather say I have “gurus” on different topics, certain friends that recommend me literature, others on whom I count for business recommendations and I have tried recommendations from different people for self development books.

Links where you can follow Mădălina Uceanu or find out more about her projects:

Books mentioned by Mădălina in this interview:


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