Career development: gain insight into your talents and ambitions


This 6-session workshop (by Dr Ilse Van Damme) is meant to increase your insight into your own talents and ambitions, to assist you in preparing for a job interview, and to ultimately help you to be more successful at the labour market. The workshop is set up as a career coaching trajectory in group and comprises six half-day sessions, spread out over 3 months, with assignments to prepare at home in-between sessions.

The program looks as follows:

  • Session 1: What do I want? (personal goals and values)
  • Session 2: What are my core qualities (strengths & weaknesses) and how do others perceive me?
  • Session 3: What are my main competences?
  • Session 4: What am I looking for?
  • Session 5: How do I 'sell' myself?
  • Session 6: (Preparing for) action!

There are two editions of this workshop, one in Dutch and one in English. The current edition is in English.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this trajectory, you ...

  • know what you find important in your (professional) life
  • know what your strengths are
  • are aware of how you are perceived by others
  • feel (more) confident in presenting yourself to others
  • have the tools to look for and evaluate vacancies
  • are prepared for the job application process
  • are prepared to take your career into your own hands


An important part of preparing for any further professional step is becoming (more) aware of the competences you have developed and/or want to develop. In the current workshop, the following competences from the UHasselt competency overview are actively dealt with:

  • personal effectiveness:
    • self-development
    • self-confidence
    • initiative
    • responsiveness to change
    • responsibility
  • interpersonal competences:
    • networking


For whom?

  • The workshop is open to both PhD students and postdocs. Only PhD students in the second half of their PhD can participate. An exception may be made for people who have strong arguments for wanting to take the workshop sooner, but it is most useful when you are already thinking about the next professional steps to take.
  • Priority will be given to people approaching the end of their contract.
  • There are 10 places available per edition.

When and where?

ENGLISH edition - location: campus Hasselt, Old Prison

  • September 28, 2021 - 13:00-17:30 (Tuesday!) - yellow room (OG-D1.1Ge)
  • October 8, 2021 - 13:00-17:30 (Fridays from here on) - yellow room (OG-D1.1Ge)
  • October 22, 2021 - 13:00-17:30 - green room (OG-B1.1Gr)
  • November 5, 2021 - 13:00-17:30 - green room (OG-B1.1Gr)
  • November 19, 2021 - 13:00-17:30 - green room (OG-B1.1Gr)
  • January 18, 2022 - 13:30-17:00 - digitally


  • Closed since September 15, 2021.
  • Please register only if you can attend all six sessions.
  • As places are limited, registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will be notified by email in due time.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).

Acknowledged as?

  • DS BSH: category 'career management & personal development' - workshop on career management
  • DS HLS: category 'transferable skills' - one compulsory elective course
  • DS ST: category 'career & personal development' - one course about career development

What others say

For me, this course was very informative and it came at the right time in my personal and professional life. The training provides you with the right tools to get to know yourself better as a person but also as a professional. The great thing about the tools is that they are immediately applicable and the results of the tools/questionnaires will offer you insights into yourself. Ilse, the trainer, is a very lovely person. She is the kind of person that will set you at ease, even in difficult circumstances/situations. She is very knowledgeable about the topics and tools that are used in this course. But, for everyone who is thinking about taking this training, be sure you want to put in the work. If you do the homework and participate actively, you will learn a lot, not only about yourself but also about CVs, job application, communication, etc. If it's only to get another training done for your requirements, don't take this course.
(participant in 2020)
The course was really an eye-opener. I already knew a bit myself what I wanted to do after my PhD, however, I was never sure about my strengths/skills, competencies or how people see me at work. The course helped me to evolve myself on a personal as well as a professional level. The course may be in a group but it really felt like you were helped on an individual level.
(participant in 2020)
This training is really interesting if you do not know your talents and competencies and/or how to show them to potential next employers. It helps you to translate everything you can into concepts that are clear inside but also outside academia. It is an intensive course: the sessions are quite long and to get the most out of it, you have to work on it in between the sessions too. You do not get an exact result like: "this is you", you have to discover it yourself! The tools to do this are enriched in the course. After the course, I certainly feel more prepared to look for a new job after my PhD.
(participant in 2020)
I recommend this workshop to anyone who is looking for a job, even to those who think they know exactly which direction they want to go. In my own experience, reflection on your skills and personal characteristics, and their compatibility with certain job opportunities, often leads to some kind of psychological entanglement that obscures your vision. The workshop deals with that problem very elegantly by providing tools to structure your thoughts so you can really learn about yourself, from the core. You may be surprised about what you didn't realize about yourself and what drives you!
(participant in 2016)
Very interesting and relevant. Because of the small group, there was room for a very personal approach and we were encouraged to learn from each other. In my opinion, the group dynamic has a real advantage over individual counseling - especially in the first few sessions of the workshop -, because you can appreciate the differences in personalities and strengths/competencies better.
(participant in 2018)
Tijdens mijn doctoraat vond ik het moeilijk om de positieve dingen in te zien: zoals wat het was dat ik echt goed kon, en wat dat eventueel kon betekenen voor mijn verdere carrière of zoals wat het net was waar ik plezier uit haalde in mijn werk en wat dat dan over mij vertelde. Hoewel dit allemaal erg eenvoudige dingen lijken, is het herkennen van wat je belangrijk vindt, wat je graag doet en goed kan en wat je nog beter wil kunnen niet altijd evident. En hoe kan je al deze dingen vertalen naar een mogelijke overgang naar een carrière buiten de academische sector?? De antwoorden worden je niet gegeven in deze cursus, maar wel de achtergrond en nodige tools om je aan het denken te zetten om zo zelf tot de antwoorden te komen. Dit alles gebeurt in een vertrouwelijke en gemoedelijke setting: een hele fijne ervaring! Voor mij was deze cursus een echte eye-opener, die ik iedereen kan aanraden!
(participant in 2018)