Creating an Individual Development Plan - Capital University Law School

Creating an Individual Development Plan

  • An individualized professional development plan (IDP) allows you to tailor your career discovery and action plan specifically to who you are and what you are looking for in life. It requires your commitment as this is intended to be an ever-changing document, growing and developing as you do. It also emphasizes the gathering of input from various sources and encourages you to synthesize the information into an action plan, complete with goals and time projections. 

    First, you will need to do a self-assessment to inventory skills, strengths, and weaknesses, values, life preferences, and personal responsibilities.You will later need to evaluate how you will incorporate these into your future career.

    Employment Preferences 
    Second, you will explore your employment preferences by considering career options, practice settings, geographic locations, workplace environments, and compensation benefits. 

    Action Plan
    Third, the final stage of your Individualized Development Plan is a call to action. You will identify career areas, explore the market, identify resources, and set goals, outcomes, and dates by which you will have your action steps completed.  

    This is not a task that is intended to be completed and then filed away. This is intended to be a living, breathing document that will hopefully assist you in your career pursuits throughout your professional life. It will develop and change as your skills and experiences grow and change. 

    Therefore, it is important to commit to staying on task toward your goals and expected outcomes. It is suggested that you set aside time each week to check your progress toward your goals, create your weekly “to-do” list, and follow through with your action plan. 

    Combining all the steps of the IDP may appear to be an overwhelming task at first. However, it is recommended that you complete each step in progression, finishing one task before moving on to another. After you have completed the worksheets, it is suggested that you make an appointment with the Office of Professional Development. Besides providing career counseling, we also offer career programming, resources and networking opportunities to help you gain the information you need to make informed career decisions. We are available to offer assistance and help steer you toward your own path to success!

    Individual Development Plan (PDF)