Be a confident academic and employ your expertise meaningfully.

You routinely deal with complex issues, and thinking smart and fast is never the issue. Just as you are creative and thoughtful. You know you have got talent, yet you struggle with questions about your career and life. Usually you tackle difficulties on your own. Somehow this time you feel lost and unable to determine your pathway. 

  • How to define your position and set your course in life and work? 
  • How to feel free to grow and not let stress, fear, uncertainty get in the way of your talent?
  • How to keep a clear perspective on the meaning and value of your work?

Below you find an overview of my personal coaching services. Tailored coaching is always an option. Looking for group trainings and workshops? Please go to my services for organizations.

I have come to know Claartje as a considerate counselor and trainer with great integrity. She is specialised in the particular problematics of PhD candidates. She is able to solve complex issues in the work situations of academics in a calm but thoughtful and convincing way. Her trainings regarding work-related stress for academics, where the delicate dynamics between PhD student and supervisor play an important part, prevent many problems down the road. Her advice is an asset to your academic community.

Ik zocht naar mijn eigen manier van werken in de academische wereld. Ik twijfelde of ik kon voldoen aan de verwachtingen van mijn begeleiders, en onbewust twijfelde of ik het kon. Ik stem nu meer af op mijn energie, op hoe het stroomt, op wat ik belangrijk vind en wat bij me past. Ik heb mijn dromen voor mijn onderzoek helder, en ik voel meer verbinding en ruimte voor mijn idealen binnen de wetenschap. Claartje heeft daarbij geholpen door heel goede vragen te stellen. Ze voelde goed mijn tempo aan en waar ik was. Ze is heel aandachtig en open.

After having worked at one of the major top-academic umbrella organisations as Head of Department for over a decade, building bridges between high-ranking universities across Europe and top-universities in Southeast Asia, within a politically sensitive context of large-scale EU funded projects involving the European Commission and comparable bodies in Southeast Asia, I was forced by circumstances to rethink my career as a senior academic employee.

Claartje has been of tremendous help in this intricate process. One of her main assets, I find, is that she doesn’t have any predetermined and necessarily limited set of cut-and-dried answers to puzzling questions, but rather that she is remarkably apt in asking the appropriate questions. Questions to which she allows you to formulate your own answers, gently directing you to thoughts lurking in unexpected corners. The actual outcome of her approach is that you find yourself in a positive frame of mind in which to  move beyond your problems and find a constructive way to move forward. 

Her academic background in ancient Greek philosophy no doubt helps her in finding and formulating  these questions, and provides her with the means to guide you in the process of finding your own answers. Her basically Socratic approach to problem solving, refraining from providing facile and set solutions, precludes any misgivings one may have about her ability to coach older persons more heavily tainted by experience than she herself is.

During this whole process Claartje as a coach proved to be sensitive to the difficulties and emotional turmoil that such a re-orientation inevitably entails. A soft approach indeed, but with clear and tangible results.

Working in highly competitive environment the workshop with Claartje was a breeze of fresh air. Her approach to career building and leadership is based on often forgotten values that could definitely improve the quality of academia. We were additionally introduced to the “working soft” concept, which has already helped me in my daily work. Some of the tips that she gave us helped me to work with more energy, creativity and in a more enjoyable way, and she made me aware of some harmful habits in my daily work as researcher.

Individual, personal coaching and counseling

PhD Career Intervention

Beat the PhD blues, find your path to success.
You are in the second half of your PhD project and want to regain your motivation. I help you to:

  • excel with confidence and enthusiasm
  • so you can find fulfilment again
  • in work you are good at

You do not need to figure out how to do it all on your own.

Postdoc Career Intervention

Navigate uncertainties of the early career stage 
You enjoy your postdoc project or adjunct teaching gig, but feel puzzled with your position and future as an academic.
I help you to:

  • direct your career proactively
  • increase your motivation and confidence
  • find the right balance that works for you

Scientist with Heart and Soul

is a 6 month intensive for personal and professional development for bright and soulful academics (Postdoc, Lecturer, Assistant Professor) with unlimited personal guidance from dr. Claartje van Sijl, with which you

  • get your motivation back
  • clearly have in mind why you are doing this academic thing again
  • create a work flow that does not exhaust you and that gives you solid results
  • feel confident and supported in leading and doing your work

How to survive your PhD

A bag full of tips and tricks from PhD’s that went before you and that you can easily implement in your PhD context.

An online masterclass for

  • beginning PhD students
  • looking for flexible, individual guidance
  • to set up your project for success

An approach, procedures and tools for making an effective start with your PhD project that helps prevent problems and delays later on.

Working Soft in Science

Online, personal course to stop working too hard

In this 9 week program you learn the nuts and bolts of Working Soft, the opposite of working hard. You learn

  • how to take care of your time and energy
  • so you can work with your talents in a relaxed way
  • to creatively build your dreams and achieve top results

Customized Coaching

Contact me if you have a specific request.

Examples of custom services that I have provided include:

  • Strategic support in informal conflict resolution from a confidential counselor / ombudsman
  • Confidential sounding board at high level when you cannot afford to discuss your doubts freely at work (professors, directors, board members, supervisors)
  • Supportive advice on mental and physical wellbeing, performance and career prospects