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Vaardigheidsmodule: Designing Your Career as a Climate Change Maker


Dit vak wordt alleen in het Engels aangeboden.

Admission requirements

This course is an (extracurricular) Skills Module, open to students from all faculties. Advanced bachelor’s students (BA2 and up) can apply, as well as master’s students. Students will be selected based on their motivation.

Please note that the Skills Module, being an extracurricular course, cannot be used in the elective space of your regular programme.


Climate change, Transitions, Sustainability, Life design, Personal development, Job market preparation


Career development, Transition Management, Governance, Sustainability


Oral communication,
Written communication,
Societal awareness,
Independent learning,


Climate change is the defining issue of our time and will be for the decades to come. Anyone currently studying, will therefore have the opportunity to make a contribution in their career towards a sustainable future. The number of ‘green jobs’ is large and growing, which makes it difficult to decide where you can make your contribution.

In this class you will embark on a personal journey to become a climate change maker. You will learn more about
1) yourself and your talents,
2) what the ‘green job market’ looks like, and
3) how to view your role in the bigger scheme of societal transitions.
This is therefore, not a course to gain more knowledge about climate change itself. Instead, it is aimed at learning how to contribute to a more sustainable future.

The three goals are interwoven throughout the course. Through exercises in class and journaling you’ll get to know more about yourself. You’ll learn more about the green job market from a recruiter, and by engaging in conversations with people who already work in your field of interest. Finally, through reading and in-class discussions you’ll get a better understanding of how transitions work, and where you can make a contribution in the coming years or even decades. In the final portfolio you will reflect on everything that you have learned, and what your path might be.

Disclaimer: This is a very personal course. While many students experience personal growth in life design courses, this course is not a substitute for professional mental health guidance. If you are struggling with mental health issues, please seek out professional help. You can also find additional support options on the Healthy University page of Leiden University.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • articulate your personal strengths, partially by using insights from outsiders;

  • envision three different life paths for the coming five years;

  • invite people for network conversations and conduct those in a mutually agreeable manner;

  • understand the different types of change makers, and be able to articulate what type you are yourself;

  • have an overview of what the ‘green job market’ looks like;

  • use the X-curve to analyse a field of your interest;

  • explain what the multi-level perspective on transitions entails.

Programme and timetable

The sessions of this Skills Module will take place on Thursdays, from 17.15-19.00.

Session 1: 2 March (17.15-19.00)
The Start and the Journey: what is life design, getting to know your fellow students, and getting a taste of the various sustainable careers

Session 2: 9 March (17.15-19.00)
Embrace the chaos: why chaos is a good thing, the dynamics of transitions, and personal leadership

Session 3: 16 March (17.15-19.00)
Recruiter session: what kind of green jobs are out there and what skills do you need?

Session 4: 23 March (17.15-19.00)
Odyssey Visions & Living LinkedIn: mapping out three possible futures and helping each other find interesting contacts

Session 5: 30 March (17.15-19.00)
Informational Interview training: learning how to have a fruitful interview with people who already have a green job

Session 6: 6 April (17.15-19.00)
Your strengths, energy patterns and mission: reflecting on your unique talents and what you might want to work on

Session 7: 13 April (17.15-19.00)
Dealing with obstacles: how to deal with eco-anxiety, perfectionism or fear of failure

Session 8: 4 May (17.15 - 19.00)
Understanding transitions and your role in them: more about the X-curve, what kind of change maker you want to be and what kind of coalition you need to build

Session 9: 11 May (17.15 - 19.00)
Final presentations: presenting what your learned about your chosen sector and your personal next steps


Lipsius building, room 2.27

Reading list

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, Designing Your Life. How to build a well-lived, joyful life (edition doesn’t matter)

Other literature will be announced via Brightspace

Course load and teaching method

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • class meetings: 9 x 2 hours = 18 hours

  • preparation for class: 9 x 6 hours = 54 hours

  • interviews: 3 x 6 hours = 18 hours

  • personal reflection portfolio: 20 hours

  • job market research: 10 hours

  • transition analysis: 20 hours

Assessment methods

The assessment methods will be discussed during the first session.
Students could only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.
The class will be evaluated with a pass/fail.


Brightspace will be used in this course. Students will be enrolled to the Brightspace module by the organisation of the course.

Registration process

Registering for this course is possible through the Honours Academy from Tuesday, 24 January up to and including Monday, 13 February 23:59 through this link. Students will be selected based on their motivation. If the number of applicants greatly outnumbers the available places, places will be awarded by lottery.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for this course. Your registration will be done centrally.


Dr. Bram Hoonhout (