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Career Assessment/Goal Setting

Individual Development Plan

07092015mcw-887"If you don't know where you are going, you'll probably end up...someplace else."

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) provide a planning process that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives. We suggest using the free website myIDP Science Careers as a guide.

There are three desirable outcomes from creating an IDP. First, the process aids in identifying long-term career options and helping establish milestones along the way. Second, it defines short-term goals which will focus current performance and give a clearer sense of expectations. Third, the IDP can also serve as a tool for communication between graduate students/postdoctoral fellows and their faculty mentors.

Adapted from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)'s Science Policy Committee.

Step 1

Step 1

self-assessmentConduct a Self-Assessment

Assess your skills, strengths and areas which need development.

Step 2

Step 2

BIOETHICS LAND TOP 2Create an Action Plan

Identify career opportunities and prioritize your developmental needs.

Step 3

Step 3

Bioethics topReceive Mentor Feedback

Write an IDP then discuss with your mentor to receive their feedback.

Step 4

Step 4

statue-060542Implement and Reflect

Put your plan into action and at the end of the year, reflect on your accomplishments.

Imagine PhD


Imagine PhD is a free, online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences

ImaginePhD users are able to:

  • assess their career-related skills, interests, and values
  • explore careers paths appropriate to their disciplines
  • map out steps for degree completion alongside career and professional development

Developed by experts from over 50 universities, ImaginePhD offers a unique platform that teaches PhDs about popular job sectors, search strategies, and how to transfer skills across settings.

We encourage you to create accounts at Imagine PhD.


Additional Career Resources

Additional Career Assessments
Career Goal Setting