Whether you are exploring options at UC Davis or beyond, an Individual Development Plan (IDP) can help guide your career.
A well-prepared IDP might include occupational exploration and research, professional development, skills training, formal education or a job search campaign.
What is an IDP?
- A written plan that outlines what career goals you want to accomplish and what steps you can take to meet those goals.
- A tool you can use to identify, organize and plan your career.
- A tool for creating a personalized plan that best reflects your career aspirations, whether you want to plan for professional development, promotional opportunities or retirement in the next few years.
Why have an IDP?
- To focus your professional efforts and identify individual work goals.
- To use as a communication, development and/or planning tool.
- To assist in obtaining resources, (e.g., scholarships, fee assistance or training funds); some departments request an IDP as part of their professional development program.
- To serve as your career action plan for skill building, professional development and career management.
Know the Purpose of Your IDP
- Prioritize and develop a plan of action to reach your short and long-term career goals.
- Focus your personal efforts in the areas that you have selected.
- Identify, outline and use resources.
- Create an action plan that is clear and achievable.
Put Your IDP into Action
- Discuss your IDP with your supervisor and other appropriate individuals such as a career counselor. Use this time to state your goals, clarify expectations and agree upon modifications as needed.
- Work your plan — take a first step.
- Evaluate your plan along the way and modify it as needed.
- Expect obstacles and work to overcome them.
- Celebrate your successes along the way!