Life & Career
After my studies ★ Ir. Human Nutrition (Wageningen University and Research) I went with my partner to Africa, Mozambique. I worked there for 5 years as a nutritionist and trainer in health care and TVET education for paramedics. Mozambique was (and still is) a poor developing country. It took a lot of money to get something done. So I started looking for financing for all kinds of projects and got my first experiences with project management.
The “we” of African culture (Ubuntu: "I am because we exist") has had a lot of influence on my education as a person, professional and entrepreneur. My oldest son was born in Mozambique and I learned how African culture treats their children. When I was pregnant with my second son, the country was at war. It became too dangerous and we went back to the Netherlands. I found work as a project assistant at NOVIB, where I worked for five years.
In the period after that (1990-2004) I worked as a behavior trainer and management consultant for three different project management consultancies. For SAWA and MDF I traveled to Latin and Central America as part of the international cooperation for projects in Brazil, Chile , Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Guatemala. In Asia I visited projects in India, Bhutan, and Cambodia. I preferred to be in Africa: Angola, Mozambique, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Guiné Bissau, Cape Verde, Tanzania, South Africa. Traveling broadened my view, outwards and inwards. It turned out to be endless journeys, because the people and the cultures I got to know there changed me – as a person. When traveling could no longer be combined with caring for my children, I shifted my focus to work in the Netherlands. In my 5 years at Schouten & Nelissen in the Human Capital Development unit, I learned about talent development, career guidance and leadership. I gave skills training such as advisory skills, coaching skills and immersed myself in competence development and talent management.
Life lessons keep taking me on new paths. The most beautiful thing is the reflection in conversations, when a sense of connection and depth arises in the conversation. I followed a part-time two-year study ★ Supervision Science at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen. After that I followed all kinds of international courses to specialize in concepts and methodologies for reflection, behavior change and interaction. I am certified in: ★ ORSCC: Organization & Relationship System Coaching ★ C-IQ: Conversational Intelligence® ★ Focusing® practitioner NAC NeuroZone® Enhanced Coach and ★ NCEP: Narrative Coach Enhanced Practitioner and currently (2021) at The NeuroScience School.
For my customers I am a travel companion, sounding board, thinking partner and accelerator of change and transformation.
I keep learning. With De insights of these studies and experiences I stay work on the connection in conversations. Conversations with Impact is an Attune program and also my life motto.
On June 23, 2004 I founded my company Attune. I exchanged my job as a professional / manager at Schouten & Nelissen for independent entrepreneurship. In the first years of the company, the emphasis was on guidance with reintegration and outplacement. Below the clients of Attune were gifted and highly sensitive people who wanted to take a different direction in their career or life. Attune grew steadily. with 5 Staff members Attune we became a BV and we aremade it View of Work Quality Mark (a kind of ISO quality mark for reintegration & relocation agencies).
In 2010, the onset of the economic crisis in Europe, collapsed the market for reintegration and outplacement in. I had to de fine dismiss colleagues and fired myself of the employer's role. That was painful and Educational. From that time, Attune is Sonja Vlaar's one-man business and I work regularly together with other independent professionals in the execution of assignments.
In 2021 Attune is 17 years old. Under external pressure (such as in 2010 with the economic crisis and in 2020 as a result of COVID-19) and also because I wanted to, I adjusted my niche and revenue model several times. All transformation begins after all within ourselves, when we know what moves us and why we do the things we do.
I work online from Boxtel and like to receive customers at De Zaak in Vught or work at the location of the customer organization.
I'm affiliated with some international communities for professionals such as World Business Executive Coaches (WBECS), The C-IQ Eeuropean collective, and the Global Supervisors'Network GSN).