Working Soft for Scientists

Working hard is the norm in the academic world. Competition and the ‘publish or perish’’ mentality result in a stressful environment. The careers of younger academics are particularly precarious. For many, it’s their first job and they have to prove themselves in a short period of time in a competitive work environment. But even academics who are further along in their careers can find it difficult to cope with the culture of working hard, and it is not easy to ask for help.

It is against this background that Claartje van Sijl developed the innovative training programme Working Soft® for Scientists. The programme offers an effective combination of burnout prevention and career coaching.

Target group

Academics at all levels are welcome.


  • Intake phone call
  • Three plenary training meetings
  • Individual coaching
  • Online training course with self-study modules and exercises
  • Online peer consultation
  • Closed online platform for peer support and e-coaching

You learn to work softer step by step during specific lessons and exercises that focus on such topics as making time, discovering your energy givers and energy leaks, working at your energy level, self-sabotage and debunking behavioural patterns that are blocking you, effective dreaming and taking steps to achieve your dreams, and switching perspectives from scarcity to abundance. 

Read more about this programme

Practical information

  • Intakes: 23-27 September 2019, by phone
  • Kickstart workshop: 4 October 2019, central location (Utrecht)
  • Online learning: 4 October-20 December 2019
  • Peer consultation 1: 25 October 2019, online
  • Workshop: 15 November 2019, central location (Utrecht)
  • Peer consultation 2: 29 November 2019, online
  • Personal coaching: 9-12 December 2019, central location (Utrecht) or online
  • Final meeting: 13 December 2019, central location (Utrecht)
  • Language: English and Dutch
  • Group size: 8-15 people


The Local Consultations Committee (employer and union representatives) considers it well worthwhile to spend part of the employee benefits budget on sustainable career development. Training, courses and coaching meant to support sustainable career development are therefore funded from this budget.

To register for this course, please fill in this online registration form.