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How to Create an IDP

Fellows' Career Development

How to Create an IDP

Fellows' Career Development

How to Create an IDP

Each trainee is responsible for developing the substance of his/her own IDP and then agreeing on its contents with his/her mentor. To effectively use an IDP as a career planning and communication tool, it is helpful to practice the following steps:

Knowing/Assessing Self

Conduct a self-assessment to identify your personal style, values, skills and interests. Find out your own work preferences. Identify areas that need improvement.

Exploring Options

After a self-assessment, you may have clarified your interests and things that you enjoy doing. With this information in mind, it is helpful to explore broad career opportunities and select from those that match your skills, values, and interests. Next, compare your current skills and strengths with those needed for the career path(s) you intend to explore. Based on this comparison, prioritize skills that need development and discuss with your mentor how to best go about addressing this development.

Setting SMART Goals

After you know the skills you need to develop and the career path(s) you are interested in exploring, it is helpful to set SMART goals to fill the gap between your personal skill set and those required for the career(s) you are interested in.

  • Specific: Well defined. Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project.
  • Measurable: How will you measure whether the goal has been accomplished?
  • Achievable. It is possible to achieve the stated goal.
  • Realistic or Relevant: The goal can realistically be achieved within the availability of resources, knowledge and time; the goal is relevant to your ultimate plans.
  • Time-Based: The goal has a deadline, and you have provided enough time to achieve the goal.

Implementing the Plan

Now you have a road map to guide you through the career development process. It’s time to take action!

  • Put your plan into action.
  • Revise and modify the plan as necessary. The plan is not cast in concrete; it will need to be modified as circumstances and goals change. The challenge of implementation is to remain flexible and open to change.
  • Review the plan with your mentor regularly. Revise the plan on the basis of these discussions.
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