Purpose of an Individual Development Plan

pen to paper

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.

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UC Davis Career Management Toolkit