Empower your career with an Individual Development Plan (IDP), an essential tool embraced by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows worldwide. Explore and strategize your path to success, whether in academia or beyond.
What is IDP?
An IDP serves as a comprehensive document outlining your current professional skills, qualifications, career aspirations, and a plan for your professional growth. You have the option to share your IDP with others or keep it private, depending on your preference.
By revisiting your IDP annually, you allow your career narrative to evolve and take shape, providing you with a framework for success in your chosen field.
Why create an IDP?
Navigating today's job market requires more than just a general idea of the career path you desire. To ensure success, it is crucial to have a clear strategy in place. By actively engaging in professional development activities during your time in graduate school, you can gain a valuable advantage in the job market while simultaneously bringing focus and direction to your academic pursuits.
Early on in your program, it is recommended to allocate dedicated time to evaluate and document your current skill set. Additionally, establishing realistic short-term and long-term professional goals will help guide your journey. One effective method for accomplishing this is by creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP).
How to create an IDP?
Concordia recommends two different IDP tools, depending on the field of study. STEM researchers benefit most from myIDP, while ImaginePhD is best suited for Humanities and Social Sciences. Both tools are online and free.
The tools begin with a self-assessment based on career-related skills, interests and values, followed by career exploration and setting relevant goals. The tools recommend areas or skills that may be weak or lacking and provide a framework for implementing the plan and tracking progress over time. The tools are designed so that researchers can share their progress with their supervisors and mentors, facilitating communications and providing an overview of progress toward the specified goals.