Exploring your motivation and skills

Transferable Skills

Do you know what skills you’ve acquired during your PhD? People tend not to think much about these things. Transferable skills are useful in all kinds of professional contexts and you carry them with you from one job to the next.

If you want to convince an employer that you’re the right person for a job, you need the ability to present your skills with clarity and conviction. This workshop will make you aware of the transferable skills you’ve developed during your PhD, at your previous jobs and in your extracurricular activities.

In the workshop, you’ll analyse a job offering and try to assess, as accurately as you can, what the employer is looking for. You’ll learn to distinguish between specialist and generic (though job-specific) skills. You will then catalogue your transferable skills and practice providing examples that show what skills you possess.

Upon completing the workshop, you’ll know exactly what your skills are and you’ll be better able to advertise them.

Target group

This workshop is meant for PhD’s who are considering the next step in their career. It is meant for participants who might find it difficult to describe their skills or wonder if they have the skills for a job outside academia.   


With use of some practical exercises this workshop will help you get a better view on your own specific skills. It will lead to a starting list which you can use to identify potential future career directions as well as an opportunity to present these skills with the use of examples.


Jessica Tummers

Self-analysis for career orientation

Are you unclear on what kind of job will suit you, what you are passionate about, or what is possible with your scientific background? In this workshop, we will explore these questions to find out what is in your wheelhouse. By consciously and actively engaging with these themes, you will find out what it is you really want.

An experienced career coach will encourage you to look at different aspects of yourself and your life to extract information for your future. By mapping your interests, capabilities, motives and career values, you will determine what is (most) important to you. After that, you will be better able to consider the jobs, organizations and tasks that fit your preferences.

After this workshop, you will continue your job search with more self-knowledge and more self-confidence. 

Dealing with stress & boosting self confidence

Many people encounter stress when they are working on their PhD project. For some this feeling of stress may continue over a longer period. This may lead to all kinds of negative side effects among which a feeling of incompetence and a decrease in self-confidence.

This workshop can be your start to reduce your feeling of stress. It will give you useful insights into your own behaviour. If you want to make a behavioural change, it can be very helpful to first look backwards to understand what explains your behaviour, so you can take steps to move forward again. During this workshop you will perform a deep learning exercises where you experience what drives your behaviour. In another exercise you will find out what blocks you from moving forward and experience how it feels to be free of stress. A couple of lively exercises will give you practical tools to boost your self-confidence, even at stressful moments. By practising and sharing experiences, ideas and stories you will learn from each other as well as the trainer.

Target group

This workshop is meant for PhD students who want to learn what drives them to feeling stressed, how to overcome this feeling and how to boost their self-confidence.


At the end of this workshop you will know:

  • how to stimulate a feeling of self confidence
  • what drives you to feeling stressed and how to overcome this
  • how to diminish the feeling of stress


Dr Louise Mennen worked for >10 years as a scientist. She noticed that besides increasing scientific skills, scientists also need to improve their soft skills. This is why she now trains and coaches scientists to stimulate their personal development and inspires them to become better leaders. Due to her large academic experience she is the perfect person to understand and help you with your personal challenges. See also: www.mennen-tc.com.

How to start to investigate your personal qualities

In this workshop there will be given a way to explore your core-qualities and to see these strengths in yourself work mostly in your favour and sometimes against you. Self-awareness is fundamental to being a future leader and/ or project manager. 


We will explore your strengths and weaknesses by:

  1. Exploring your values, cultural background and upbringing. 
  2. Discovering your personal view on your strengths and weaknesses. 
  3. Analyzing 4 or 5 personal successes with guidance of somebody else.

At the end of the workshop a fairly clear image of your personal qualities will emerge. The workshop gives you guidelines to continue to explore your core qualities and how to use this knowledge in a job interview.


Harry Linders is a career counselor since 1993 and he was involved in several projects on different levels regarding employability. His working experience is divers but PhD candidates are a regular part of his work since 1996.  In 2000 he became a registered career advisor in the CMI program. In 2007 he started his own bureau and now he has several assignments in training and advising people entering the working process or continuing their career. During this period he collected a fair knowledge about the actual labour market.