There is a really interesting Editorial in Science this week Planning Career Paths for Ph.Ds. Here is part of it describing Individual Development Plans (IDP)
A free Web application for this purpose, called myIDP, has become available this week. It is designed to guide early-career scientists through a confidential, rigorous process of introspection to create a customized career plan. Guided by expert knowledge from a panel of science-focused career advisers, each trainee's self-assessment is used to rank a set of career trajectories. After the user has identified a long-term career goal, myIDP walks her or him through the process of setting short-term goals durected toward accumulating new skills and experiences important for that career choice. After each step, the user updates the plan, documenting efforts and progress. The user can opt to receive monthly e-mail reminders from myIDP to stay focused on goals and update progress and plans. Very importantly, the plan can be altered as skills develop, interests change, and career objectives are reconsidered.
This sounds like a great initiative.
I look forward to hearing from people who have used this new web resource.