Posts

Transitioning into a career after your Humanities PhD – Or how to create an Alt-Ac Philosophical Company

“What are you going to do with your degree in philosophy?” Every philosophy student sooner or later hears this cliché question. And it is not unfamiliar in other fields from Humanities and fundamental sciences. The stakes are even higher after a PhD in said disciplines. Your slim chances at work appear narrowed down to the academic job market. But statistics are compelling: more than 75% of recent PhD holders do not find academic employment. Go figure.

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How to trigger researchers with blinkers into action

“How can I increase the mobility of ‘my’ employed researchers? How do I get them to act proactively? What would you advise”, Yvette asks when I tell her that I help early career researchers with questions about life and career. We are standing in line after the inaugural lecture of Judith Semeijn, Noloc professor of strategic human resource management.  Read more

Value of the Dutch Approach of the PhD

Today, the Dutch government confirmed the current Dutch approach to the PhD, i.e. where PhD candidates are seen and rewarded as employees, not students. Dutch universities (VSNU) have been trying to create the option that PhD candidates get a student status, which would be much cheaper. They encounter much resistance, both from organizations of PhD candidates (who joined forces at e.g. promovendus.org) and from trade unions. The discussion has been going on for years now (e.g. article Trouw and DUB). I will not bore you with a summary of all arguments, but briefly indicate the main reasons that have been brought forward.

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How to write for newspapers as a PhD candidate

The workshop that I organized yesterday with Platform Hooft was a huge success. Over 30 PhD candidates in the humanities got a hands-on training in writing opinion articles from well known Dutch newspaper editors Chris Rutenfrans, Jaffe Vink, Derk Walters and Anouk van Kampen. They learned how to grab their readers’ fleeting attention and get their well-informed point of view across. If you understand Dutch and would like to know what feedback, tips and tricks they received, I invite you to read my piece on the workshop over at Platform Hooft. If you don’t read Dutch and still want to know the tricks: ask away and I might find time to translate it.

The effect of personality on labour market success

A successful transition from education to the labour market affects careers later in life, but what role do personality characteristics play in making this transition? In the recruitment process of highly educated professionals personality features are an increasingly dominant factor, besides the more obvious requirements of specific competences, specialist knowledge, and cognitive abilities.

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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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