Coach in the Spotlight: Eefke Jansen

As a passionate advocate for gender equality, Eefke Jansen wants to support women to achieve their career aspirations and enjoy more fulfilling work lives. In our Q&A, she shares the challenges she experienced whilst establishing herself as a coach, and how her coaching practice has evolved since.

Tell us about your journey into coaching.

Prior to 2015, I worked in consultancy and had senior management roles in the healthcare sector in the Netherlands.

Then my husband was offered a job in Austria.

The idea of moving abroad made me feel nervous. Our children were only one and three years old at the time.

I wondered what opportunities I would have there, but our desire for a new adventure won.

As a result of the move, I gave up my fulltime job.

When I was a young, my mother gave up her career to work in my father’s company.

Unfortunately, my parents ended up having an acrimonious divorce and my mother had little to fall back on.

At the time I vowed never to let that happen to me.

Following our move abroad, initially I was financially dependent on my husband and my personal growth ground to a halt.

So, I started working with a career coach to figure out my next step.

In the Netherlands I’d trained with an outdoor sports company called ‘Mom in Balance’.

Mom in Balance had all the same values as me.

I retrained and became a franchisee.

Being an entrepreneur and a sports trainer was completely out of my comfort zone and I loved it.

After just 18 months, I had a team of trainers and more than 60 women training with me.

Then in May 2017 my husband came home from work and asked: “How about England?”

I knew that life abroad had brought our family a lot of wonderful things and that I had been able to realise my ambitions in another country.

Fortunately, I was able to sell my business in Austria and I knew what I wanted to do next: supporting women in taking successful steps in their work lives.

In 2017 I started the Co-Active coaching course in London. I founded my company ‘She does it’ in 2018 and finished my Co-Active certification in 2019.

I then completed the INSEAD Gender Diversity Program and became a licensed Firework Career Coach in 2020.

The philosophy of ‘She does it’ is built on three C’s – clarity, confidence, and commitment.

It’s about supporting my clients to gain insights into the limiting beliefs that are holding them back, get clear on what they want and make steps forward.


I wanted to support women in taking successful steps in their work lives.


Why did you decide to become a Firework-licensed Career Coach?

Initially, I noticed a lot of my clients were generally unhappy with their jobs.

They had doubts about whether they were in the right jobs. They were soul searching.

I wanted a structure and exercises to support my clients with these kinds of challenges in a better way.

I did my research and a lot of people recommended Firework to me.

Clients might come to me and say, “I'm in a job and I'm not sure if I want to stay here or do something else”.

I’ll take them through the whole Firework structure – all three phases. With other clients I’ll just use some exercises from the Firework toolkit.

I always begin the process by helping the client to explore their ‘Saboteurs’ and ‘Powerful Self’. It’s important to identify any limiting beliefs that could hinder them during their coaching journey. Otherwise the rest of the results are less impactful.

By the end of the first phase, clients have a clear picture of their best self. A shift often happens when we combine this with the ‘Ideas Bank’ and the ‘Spectrum of Possibilities’. Clients open up and feel positive about exploring new opportunities.

In the final phase, besides an action plan, we work on Career Experiments. They are important to help get clients into motion. They know change won’t happen if they’re just sitting behind their computer.

I’ll encourage them to go out and talk to people, shadow someone and explore other real-life experiences. This gives them important information about the new opportunities they’re thinking of and they’re working on building their network at the same time.


Change won’t happen if they’re just sitting behind their computer.


Who do you typically work with?

Most of my clients are women aged 35 to 45. Many of them have school aged children and after the chaotic baby years, these women find themselves at a transition point with more time to reflect on their professional and personal goals.

I receive requests from individual women and organisations.

Some of the women are no longer happy in their job and want to create clarity on what a next step in their career could look like.

Others feel they’re playing small and want to lead in a more powerful, authentic way.

I also support women who still love their job but want to find a better work-life balance.


How have you built your coaching practice?

To complete my coaching certification back in 2019, I needed paying clients.

I reached out to my network – family, friends, and former colleagues – to get my first clients.

Those clients sent their friends and family to me. My business has largely been built on word of mouth.

I have a presence on social media – mainly Instagram and Facebook, which helps my business remain visible and be at the front of people’s minds. I've recently started to post more regularly on LinkedIn and write articles. That’s something I wish I’d started doing earlier because LinkedIn is where my target clients are.

Although some people believe you don’t need a website, mine has helped bring in some new clients. I try to write a blog there every month.

I did some analysis recently which suggests that 60% of my clients come from referrals and personal recommendations. 25% come through my website and 15% via social media.

Unlike some coaches, I don’t mind the marketing element that comes with running my own business. I like creating posts, writing blogs, and developing my website. I like how my business is evolving.

Last year I was approached by a company for the first time who wanted someone to coach a group of female employees. I run group coaching sessions with them around different themes like confidence, feedback, values, work-life balance and happiness at work.

This group work is powerful. It’s a safe space where women can learn using coaching tools and techniques, alongside their peers. The group scenario increases women’s willingness to talk openly, take risks and be vulnerable, without the fear of being misunderstood or judged – particularly when more sensitive topics are being discussed such as gender bias or their own professional challenges.

They build meaningful connections and are supported by their peers in their leadership development journey. It’s a precious resource for women in their career advancement. My goal is to grow the group coaching part of my business over the next two years.


I have a presence on social media…which helps my business remain visible and be at the front of people’s minds.


What results have you helped your clients achieve?

I coached one client who worked for a luxury retailer and came back after maternity leave with very little self-confidence. Her company was going through a massive organisational restructure, and she didn’t know what she wanted anymore.

I took her through the whole Firework process, and at the end she decided, being a diabetic herself, she wanted to pursue something completely different in the health and wellbeing industry. She developed a three-year plan working towards that goal.

I also coached an occupational therapist who was miserable in her job and couldn’t see how things would change.

Through our coaching sessions she realised she did enjoy her job, but she needed to be in a different working environment. She left the NHS and now splits her time as occupational therapist between a college and a primary school.

I’ve supported a couple of clients through a specialist veterinarian centre. Besides their challenging jobs, these women study many years to become a veterinarian specialist. They often also work in shifts and many of them have young children. It’s been great to support them in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

I worked with another client who had been a stay-at-home mum for six years. She’d completely lost her confidence but after working together she’d found a great new job as a planning manager for an international company which is completely in line with her strengths and skills.

I strongly believe that when women have fulfilling jobs, are financially independent and are positive role models, our society benefits.


I strongly believe that when women have fulfilling jobs, are financially independent and are positive role models, our society benefits.


What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a coach?

I love working for myself, but it can be isolating. So, I try to meet up with other coaches and do group mentor work as much as possible. It’s a great opportunity to interact with and learn from other coaches – and to network too!

Another thing I’ve found difficult was finding my professional identity when I shifted from being a senior manager to having my coaching practice – or rather the perception that others held of me. Sometimes other people's comments have made me feel small, or that what I’m doing is somehow of lesser importance than my previous career.

I’ve done a lot of work to get to a point where I can own being a professional coach. And it’s why my Co-Active coaching certification, my Firework licence and the ICF credentials are so important to me.

It’s also been challenging to find and use my voice. Getting clarity on the ‘Why’ of my business was a turning point for me. With ‘She does it’ I contribute to a more gender equal society.

Focusing on this mission statement makes it so much easier to put myself out there. When I feel resistant to share something on LinkedIn for example, I focus on how it will serve women and how it could make a difference in their careers and our world. That’s what keeps me moving forward, despite any fear or reservations I might have.


I love working for myself, but it can be isolating.


What advice do you have for new coaches who are just starting out?

Do what gives you energy. Follow that path and give yourself permission to evolve.

During my coach training I started with the focus on work-life balance, then I shifted to career coaching and now I'm growing into more group work for organisations.


How do you see your work evolving?

Currently, 90% of my work happens online.

I serve women from all over the world, which is great.

In the future I’d love to do more face-to-face work.

I also plan to focus more on helping organisations create a workplace where both women and men can flourish.

I like collaborating and designing a bespoke solution for organisations, whether it’s a workshop, one-to-one coaching or a group coaching programme.

I’m currently working towards my PCC credential from the ICF and next year I’d like to specialise further in group coaching.


I like being able to design a bespoke solution for organisations, whether it’s a workshop or coaching programme.


What’s the most rewarding aspect of coaching for you?

I love seeing the women I work with acknowledge their aspirations and needs.

Coaching gives women the fortitude to step outside their comfort zone and experiment with new behaviours.

This results in greater confidence, self-awareness and a more authentic impact in their careers.

In the discovery session with a new client, I always ask, “What makes you unique?”

Most of them answer, “I don’t know.”

When I ask that question again a few months later, my clients answer that question with confidence. It’s lovely to see that transformation.


Eefke Jansen is a Firework-licensed Career Coach, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ACC). She is a passionate advocate for gender equality in the workplace and enjoys supporting women to achieve their career aspirations and financial independence. Originally from the Netherlands, Eefke now lives in the UK with her husband and children. Find out more about Eefke at