“When you get to know and understand yourself, you can make choices that suit you.”

Inspired-Talent | 31 August 2020

By: Carola Irvine and Evie Jetten

Last month we visited Frederiek Vetkamp who founded her own coaching practice for young people and young adults. We were curious what drives her, how she came to this career step and what kind of advice she has for anyone who has doubts about study, career or life choices.

Last year you changed course and started your practice ’27°Coaching’. How did you get there after many years as an account manager in sales?

I like to respond to the needs of others. And most of all, I like to help them move forward. That’s the thread that runs through all the functions I’ve had. My last job was at a startup at Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUAS, ed.) where I helped set up training courses for employees. In the meantime, I was completing my post hbo professional coach courses and the kindercoaching master class. In such a trajectory you go through the wringer completely yourself and I discovered that I missed depth and freedom in my previous positions. When it became clear in early 2018 that the startup at BUAS, where I worked, was not in good financial shape, I thought: ‘I can do something different now, but I can also take the plunge and start my own business’. And that’s how I started; creating a website, sowing lots of seeds, networking and finally I had my first client in March 2019. Because I work for and with individuals, I can’t sit back and wait for people to come. That’s why I’m looking for collaboration. For example, I’m in close contact with a study expert and together with a boxing school I’m looking at how I can contribute to the mental resilience of their talents and how they can contribute to the physical resilience of my coachees. In addition, I work together with an industry association, a college, student associations, a recruitment & selection agency and a psychologist. And I would like to collaborate with Inspired-Talent!

Seeing others grow is something very beautiful to be able to contribute to; what else drives you?

My dream is to help as many people as possible to feel good about themselves and achieve their personal goals. That is what energizes me. At the moment I mainly focus on young people and young adults because I think this is such a cool target group; they have energy and motivation to make something of life and want to take control of their own careers and lives. Sometimes they just don’t know how. I sometimes see people who come to me for the first time a little dived into each other. After a few sessions this is changed. They sit up straight and their eyes shine. For me that means mission accomplished! Getting excited, seeing that people get energy and choose their own path; I think that is awesome. That is also what distinguishes me, I am sincerely interested in people, want to help them develop themselves and I am also working on that outside the sessions.  one moment when we talk to each other here. All conversations take place at my home at the kitchen table, in a warm, homely environment. Hence my company name ’27°Coaching; for a warm conversation’. I don’t like a sterile setting. In my home I create a safe environment in which you can store everything’. (see photo on the right)

Suppose someone comes to you who is almost finished with a university education and has difficulty determining the next step for himself, how does a trajectory with you work?

Let me suppose first of all that a trajectory with me is never a step-by-step plan that you have to finish. It is tailor-made, the situation and what someone needs can be very different. That is why I think it is important to adapt the trajectory to that. Personally, I find the basis for moving forward that you know who you are. We discuss what motivates you as an individual (personal motives) and what you find important (core values). We also look at your behavior. Behavior is often unconscious and automatic. Behavior is sometimes used to prevent you from being touched by an emotion. That is why we investigate the emotions that are underneath your behavior. And beneath those emotions there is a need. It is very enlightening for you to map out your own needs. In this way you can act on the basis of your needs and also communicate on the basis of your needs.

I’m really into solution-focused coaching. I find that so interesting and that suits me: I like to think in terms of solutions. In a coaching conversation we do touch on the past, but we don’t get stuck in it for too long. Above all, we look at what you want for your ‘problem’ and what you need to get there.  At the beginning of a trajectory you see someone standing on a traffic circle, as it were, and not knowing which exit to take. My whole trajectory is about self-steering, taking control. Through the questions I ask, I want people to find their own answer, their own solution. My goal is to help someone find the right exit himself so that you can move forward with energy, focus and optimism. From that moment on somebody can go on by himself as well and my task is done. You benefit your whole life from the insight you gain in your intrinsic motivation, values, needs, beliefs, fears, behavior and emotion.

You have now chosen to focus on young people and young adults. You are now 50, a lifetime experience. What do you notice about this generation and do you still have tips for us?

What I often see with young adults is that they have the idea that they have to meet everyone’s expectations. They want to keep all the balls up. I coached a student who was very busy and was surprised it didn’t all work out. With today’s young adults there is also a bit of social pressure involved. That is really something of our time of course, The Fear Of Missing Out. You have to be there for everything, it all has to look good on social media and you have to show an upward trend to your environment (and yourself); even better, faster, more. That’s the advantage of getting older; the older you get, the more you start to put things into perspective. So, what I would like to give as a tip; listen to yourself, look at yourself to discover who you are and what suits you. Try not to be busy with what you think you have to do, but go your own way, whatever that is. I know better than anyone how difficult it is to find your course, but it delivers a lot. If you always want to meet someone else’s expectations or if you don’t dare to set your limits, things will go wrong in the long run.

I think it’s great for young professionals in particular to think about: who am I? What do I really think is important? And what do I want? That I can supervise this process, that’s what makes this profession so wonderful and that’s why I never want anything else.

As consultants of Inspired-Talent we also recognize that it is tempting to keep all the balls high, but we also have the experience that people who dare to choose something are the best colleagues to work with. They are just a bit of an idiosyncratic, but they do face up to their choices. Do you already know that you want to work in the supply chain, but not yet exactly in which position? We have a solution for that; ask Evie Jetten about a permanent position or about the traineeship. During the traineeship you will do various assignments at customers, where you will have the opportunity to get to know different functions and companies from the inside out.

Don’t really know what your turn is yet? Take a look at the website of Frederiek to get in touch: www.27gradencoaching.nl.


Interested in reading more insights? Click here.

"In my home I create a safe and warm environment in which you feel at ease and can tell everything". - Frederiek Vetkamp