myPath Videos Series

Creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP) can be overwhelming. You may not know where to begin. That's why we've created this new video series to help guide you through the process. You can use these videos along with our downloadable template or workbook or watch them for inspiration.

Click here to view the videos on our YouTube playlist

Introduction to myPath

myPath is a toolkit that provides students and postdocs with ways to identify their goals and create an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This new video series guides students through the process of creating an IDP.

Making the most of your doctoral experience: How to use the IDP, LOU and PTF

This video explains how the Individual Development Plan, Letter of Understanding, and Progress Tracking Form are related and shows you how you can use all three to make the most of your doctoral experience.

What is an IDP?

IDP stands for Individual Development Plan. You can think of this as a personal road map that leads you from where you are now to where you want to go next. By creating an IDP, you will figure out what direction you want to go in, and then establish the steps you want to take in order to get there.

Reflect on last year: exercise 1

To create a plan for the future, it is helpful to begin by reflecting on the past. This video will guide you through creating a timeline in order to reflect on past events.

Create your skills matrix: exercise 2

The aim of this exercise is to reflect on your abilities and interests in a variety of areas so you can select goals for your IDP that target the ones you want to develop or are important to you.

Understand your values: exercise 3

At the heart of the IDP is the question: why are you here? What are you hoping to get out of your university experience? What motivated you to pursue graduate studies? How do you want it to change you or society? As you contemplate these questions, you may notice that your answers are driven by your values. Understanding your values can help you to find your core motivations.

Your IDP and career planning

Imagining life after your degree can be overwhelming. Many graduate students start out their studies with the aim of pursuing an academic career; however, outcome data show that up to 85% of graduates end up pursuing careers outside of the professoriate, with high levels of career satisfaction. But how do your figure out what careers might be a good fit for you? To get started you will need to have a good understanding of your skills, interests and values. This video explains the process of planning for your career through your IDP.

Imagine alternative paths: exercise 4

Making an IDP involves envisioning multiple career and life paths. There probably isn’t just one future that would make you happy! Imagining multiple future possibilities can be a wonderful way to open your mind to different options and ideas.

IDP and wellbeing

The Individual Development Plan incorporates wellbeing into every step of the process. By taking the time to think deeply about what your priorities and goals are, you will be able to go beyond planning for what is required of you and use your IDP to be more intentional about how you spend your time, and clearer about your own definition of a meaningful life.

Establish your vision and priorities: exercise 5

Your vision statement is a big picture description of who you are, and what is important to you. Its purpose is to help you identify your priorities so that you may reach your goals and be better prepared to navigate any potential challenges. Your priorities are essentially an extension of your vision — they are more concrete and focus on what is most important to you in the near future.

Set your goals: exercise 6

It is important to choose your goals wisely as they are at the core of your Individual Development Plan and represent the concrete steps that you will take toward reaching your priorities and fulfilling your vision. The reflection and envisioning exercises in this series are designed to help you identify self-concordant goals that are aligned with your interests and values.

Create your IDP: exercise 7

In this exercise, we will walk you through the steps to bring together these elements into your own IDP document. By creating an Individual Development Plan, you will plan out a detailed roadmap to follow in the next 6 to 12 months. This will help to increase your chances of attaining your goals.

Stay on track: exercise 8

University life is demanding and unstructured, and it can be easy to get distracted or diverted from your priorities. It can be helpful to make an active plan for how you will stay on track. This includes mapping out your time and identifying how you will stay motivated.

Review your progress: exercise 9

In this video, you will review your progress by reflecting on what went well and what challenges came up as you pursued your IDP goals. This will help you to be clear about what criteria you will want to have in place when you revise your IDP.

Sustain your IDP

This video will go over what is required in order to sustain your IDP, including the process of revising goals and developing good habits so you can stay motivated to focus on what matters most to you.

Back to top