A career as an academic


Working in academia is a wonderful experience that brings you a wide range of transferable skills. It allows you to do something complex and fascinating on a daily basis. Yet many academics struggle with where their path is heading. Throughout our work as coaches, we came across several career struggles:

  • Does research really fit me? Why do I question my abilities so often? Is this my ‘greatest place to work’?
  • Can I combine a career in research with raising a family? Do I want to pursue an academic career
  • What are my skills and career goals? What will I do after this contract? If not in academia, how can I use my skills and experience to go for something else? What is that ‘something else‘ and how do I get it? 
  • How do I translate my academic experience into a valuable profile in the world outside academia to get hired for a job that I really want?
  • How to deal with feelings of stress, overwhelm, solitude,… that take away the fun in my work? What do I need to feel happy and satisfied with the work that I do and how can I influence this?
  • Maybe you feel burned out or depressed, making you doubt if this is your place to be and if you’ve got what it takes.
  • Can my academic work help me to found my own company? How? What? Where to start?
  • And many more.

What is career coaching?


  • We’ll uncover your major talentspersonal strengths, your career wishes, goals  and dreams in the longer term;
  • We’ll also discuss potential pitfalls that come with your strengths set, we’ll be your mirror;
  • You’ll get a clear view on your criteria for your ideal working climate, what you need to be at your best and how to recognize this so you can aim for the best possible person-context-role match;
  • After our work together you’ll be able to make career choices that both enthuse you and give you peace of mind;
  • You’ll also know what steps to take to put your plans into action. If you need help in overhauling your resume or preparing for an interview, we’re here;
  • And we can work on any other issue that keeps you from realizing your potential and feeling happy about what you do.

How it works 

outplacement Make me Fly!
  • Your intake is always free of charge. During a 15 to 30 minute (video) call we’ll discuss your background, your expectations and what we can offer you. After this, you can decide to work with us. 
  • Sessions:
    • We usually get the ‘groundwork’ done in 4 hours that we spread over 2-4 weeks to 2 months, sometimes longer, depending on your questions and expectations.
    • The sessions can take place online or in our Leuven hub.
  • Development and action plan: at the end of our sessions, we offer you a simple structure to summarize your key learnings and things you’ll want to remember about our work together.
  • Evaluation: we welcome all feedback and will send you a survey after the work is done.

Working with us

  • Our fundaments can be found in the Solutions Focus methodology. This guarantees fast yet profound results.
  • We care. You are not a number. Our approach is tailormade based on your expectations and our extensive know-how.
  • We believe more in powerful questions than in standardized techniques or tons of homework. Moreover, this approach has delivered proven results with hundreds of clients, amongst which several clients in academia. 
  • We are known for thinking out of the box without losing touch with reality. Ideas are never too crazy to explore. 
  • Our network is your network. We regularly make introductions work.

Who we are

Rilla Lysens and Els Deboutte are the founders of Make me Fly! and the inspiration for the 30 experienced and highly qualified coaches that work with us. Read more about us and our credentials on our profiles and LinkedIn profiles (see Rilla, see Els)!

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