Individual Development Plan

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!