Cultural diversity on the jobmarket in the Netherlands

Networking is a very effective strategy if you want to find new job opportunities, especially if you want to change direction after your current research project or job. However, this can be hard if you are from abroad and your local network is limited, as is often the case with internationally oriented PhD candidates. Some understanding of traditional vacancy advertising and the Dutch job-application process can be helpful. Read on if the above applies to you!

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Apollo’s advice for PhD’s reflecting on their career

The number of PhD candidates increases whereas career possibilities within universities decrease (cf. Nature 2011 on “The PhD Factory“). Still, most PhD candidates have a strongly research oriented perspective on their career after obtaining their PhD, especially in the social sciences and humanities the primary focus is on a future in academia. How can doctorate holders develop a more realistic view and preparation on their career options and whose responsibility is this anyway? This was the starting point of a very interesting debate on doctoral careers in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany in which I recently participated at the Rathenau Institute.

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On courage

Aristotle famously stated what boils down to “virtue lies in the middle”. The classic explanation of this claim is that courage is not just the opposite of cowardice, but that it is equally opposed to hubris, conceited, reckless overconfidence. As such, courage holds the middle ground between cowardice and hubris. After Aristotle, for over 2000 years now, philosophers have elaborated on the nature of true virtue and the way to attain a virtue such as courage. And indeed, there is much more to say about courage than that it is “to overcome one’s fear”. Many have provided analyses, recipes, good advice and intricate scientific classifications.

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Consciously choosing harmony

These days I have the opportunity to learn more deeply about my principle, my intention to live life in happy, peaceful, joyful harmony. It is so easy to trust in good outcomes if nothing goes wrong, so easy to feel balanced and harmonious if there’s nothing that shakes your ground, so easy to be happy when life laughs at you (even if I sometimes forget to value it when I’m absorbed in my day to day  activities).

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article

An interesting article by Robyn Barnacle and Inger Mewburn on how completing a PhD comprises a transformation of identity. Thesis writing is only one aspect of performing a scholarly identity, so to speak. To be a succesful PhD candidate you do not merely need specific cognitive abilities, but also the capacity to work in a mess of dynamically emerging situations and perspectives in which you develop a specific sensibility not only to the influence of people, such as colleagues and supervisors, but also to inanimate objects and `knowledge enabling artefacts’ that surround you.

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