Be a confident academic. Employ your expertise meaningfully.

  • 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?

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

Bright and soulful academics (Postdoc, Lecturer, Assistant /Associate / Full Professor) looking to speed up their personal and professional development to:

  • get your motivation or balance 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

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

For groups

Training or Working Soft in Science

This is a hybrid training course combining online learning with offline live trainings, and group learning with personal coaching. This makes it ideal for groups with little opportunity for extensive, iterated live meetings. The course has proven effective against self sabotage and avoidance strategies. Participants regain grip on their time and energy. 

Training Work Smarter, Stress Less

In this evidence based course PhD’s and Postdocs learn how to better maintain their work/life balance and take care of their mental wellbeing. They gain important insights in personal stress factors and learn to adapt their way of working to deal more effectively with stress and work pressure. This is a personal development course that aims to reduce experiences of stress and improve mental well-being, thereby strengthening resilience, performance and satisfaction with work.

Training Personal Leadership

Effective leadership in working relations is an important element for success in every research career.

This training is designed to help academics interact with confidence and good judgement with their supervisors / supervisees and other working relations within and without the academic environment.

Customized Workshops and Trainings

You can contact me if you have a specific request or would like to discuss possibilities for customized workshops and trainings. Examples of custom workshops that I have delivered include:

  • Recognising and neutralising stress
  • Facilitating Peer Intervision & Feedback
  • Intuitive time management for researchers

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 personal difficulties on your own. Somehow this time you feel lost and unable to determine your pathway.

I can be your sparring partner and I won’t hesitate to offer you a critical yet empathetic mirror.