Philosophers who work outside of academia – part 3

A couple of weeks ago Helen de Cruz conducted in-depth interviews with philosophers who work outside of academia. This is a selection from the interview she had with me. Helen published the complete interview series at the New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science group blog: part 123.

Philosophers who work outside of academia – Part 3: Transferrable skills and concrete advice

The burning question of academics who want to leave academia is: What transferrable skills can they bring to the private sector? The responses of the seven people I interviewed clearly indicate that the skills that are transferrable are broad and fairly high-level. […]

Claartje van Sijl (self-employed counselor): “My education as a philosopher has taught me to continue inquiring at levels where others normally don’t; to question (hidden) assumptions and implications; to suspend judgment; and not in the least it has familiarized me with the greatest philosophical thoughts of 2500 years of history that I can now use as a sounding board for my clients’ and my own reflections. PhD research experience has offered a chance to learn things like complex information-, project- and time-management; writing (in English); independence, responsibility, pro-activity, perseverance. I use the personal PhD experience to recognize and empathize with my clients.” […]

Advice for seekers of non-academic careers

Claartje van Sijl offers specific advice for academics who are thinking about starting their own business “hone the entrepreneurial skills you already have as an academic: you are a creative thinker, self-starter with perseverance, used to positioning and presenting yourself as an expert. Most important of all is your great capacity for learning new stuff quickly: allow yourself to be a novice and make a lot of mistakes. Then just go and expand your horizon.” […]


Helen de Cruz concludes the blog with interviews with a word of caution she heard from several of the informants. Do not take a job outside of academia as a sign of failure or a fallback option: there are many ways to a successful and meaningful professional life. I could not agree more.


Tags: , , , ,

Did you like what you read?

Fill in the fields below and receive updates on new posts.

    You will receive my monthly inspiration and advice in your mailbox. You can easily unsubscribe at any time. See also the Privacy Statement.
  • Dit veld is bedoeld voor validatiedoeleinden en moet niet worden gewijzigd.
0 antwoorden

Plaats een Reactie

Draag gerust bij!

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *