Individual Career Development Plan (IDP)

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

What is the IDP?

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) helps you - either as Postdoc or Doctoral Researcher - explore career possibilities and set goals, in order to follow the career path that fits you best. It represents a personal roadmap to enhance your knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as highlighting possible career paths. In addition, the IDP includes your specific interdisciplinary learning goals, analysis of personal strengths and areas for development.

The IDP within Helmholtz Munichis a personalized, interactive, and dynamic action plan. It can be used for the purposes of outlining a path to career success, tracking progress, providing feedback, and/or facilitating ongoing communication.

In future, you will be responsible for creating and renewing your IDP in collaboration with the Career Center.

IDP Framework and Components

The IDP Framework addresses four different topics, called IDP Components (see illustration).

  • Each IDP Component addresses a different area of career planning.
  • All components are included in the IDP Workbook, the heart of the IDP.
  • The IDP Workbook includes exercises, that guide you through the self-assessment process.
  • Throughout the IDP process, the Career Center and other departments will offer workshops, webinars and one-on-one coachings.

The IDP Workbook

The IDP Workbook is the heart of the IDP and leads you through all four components. In the workbook, each component has its own chapter, including an introduction to the addressed component, definitions and exercises, as well as the opportunity for self-reflection.

The workbook is designed in such a way, that the chapters are carried out chronologically, ideally leading you on the path of your dream career –

Chapter 1: Discover Yourself – Self-Assessment
In this first chapter, you are invited to reflect on your own values, interests and skills. As these factors have an impact on what kind of job you will ultimately thrive in, the exploration of these will help you find a career that fits well with you and your goals. Another result is that you will be more versed and convincing during the entire application process.

Chapter 2: Explore Your Options – Career paths in academia / industry
Exploring and researching options that fit well with your identified skills, values, and needs is the next step in planning your career. Before deciding on a particular path, we strongly suggest using this chapter to become empowered in researching job fields you see yourself in and to identify and examine the reasons why you think this job would be a good fit. This research is also preparatory work for the application process.

Chapter 3: Develop Your Roadmap – Choosing career options & setting goals
Once you have collected all the information you need on career options that are interesting to you, the next step is to first prioritize these and pick the top two career paths (Career A and Career B). By answering the given list of questions, you will be able to create a career vision on how you plan on achieving each of these two options, enabling you to develop your personal roadmap.

Chapter 4: Take Action – Tasks, timeline & review
The final step in the IDP process is to take action and implement your developed roadmap, supported by tips and tricks that we have gathered to help you stay on course and achieve your goals.

Following the Career Center’s holistic approach, we highly recommend combining the IDP Workbook with one-on-one coaching sessions with the Career Center coaches, as well as participation in our events.