Career Center

Individual Planning


The Individual Development Plan (IDP) and annual planning meeting with your advisor are intended to help you take ownership of your training, facilitate an open dialogue with your advisor and plan for the future. See Individual Development Plans on the Stanford Biosciences website for more.

Many jobseekers find that working within a framework of a four step Career Management Model helps to effectively focus their efforts throughout the job search process.

Step 1: Identify Information about yourself. Before starting any job search, it is important to have a good sense of what you want and what skills you bring to the next level of your career. Thinking through the following questions about yourself will help you in this phase of individual planning.

Step 2: Identify information about options. Apply information you’ve learned about yourself and begin identifying options that meet your priorities, skills, and interests. Start by using the SoMCC library to help you research industries and companies. Then, identify prospects to build your network and gather more information through informational interviews. Refer back to your answers to the workplace priorities and interests and preferences questions above and compare your needs with the opportunities available in the professional options you are exploring.

Step 3: Target your employer. As you narrow your search, use the information you have gained to determine the companies and jobs to which you will apply. Develop your credentials (cover letters, resumes and/or CVs) with a focus on your understanding of the employer’s industry and goals and how you meet these requirements. Refer back to the personal and professional skill sets questions above to highlight those qualities which best reflect your fit for each position.

Step 4: Develop an action plan. In this final stage, promote yourself to everyone in your network and to those with opportunities that match your qualifications. Be well prepared for your interview and ready to speak to the organization’s mission and needs as well as to your background, interests and fit. Following an offer, negotiate an appropriate salary and benefits package for your level and background. Once in the position, stay engaged in your professional development through networking, additional education, and involvement in professional associations.

Career Interest and Personality Inventory – Administration and Interpretation:
the SoMCC offers the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory to help trainees identify information about themselves which may be useful in making career decisions.



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