Create Your Plan

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To be successful both in graduate school and beyond, it is important to: define your priorities; identify resources and areas of development; develop goals and a timeline; follow through with your plan; reflect on your achievements and growth; and reevaluate your plan periodically to make adjustments as your interests, skills, and goals evolve. Cornell has a range of resources to help you with every step in this process—such as personal assessments or a goal-setting tool called an Individual Development Plan (IDP)—which are listed in more detail below.

Cornell Resources to Help You Create Your Plan

Self-Assessments

All graduate students are encouraged to meet with a Cornell career advisor to take an assessment to understand their personality, interests, values, and career goals. Postdocs may discuss their interests, values, and career goals with Christine Holmes (ch18@cornell.edu), Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Studies.

External Resources

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The IDP is an excellent tool for self-assessment and developing goals for yourself during your academic years and beyond.  Although you can create your IDP by yourself, graduate students and postdocs often find that co-developing their IDP with their faculty mentor is a good way to ensure there is awareness and support of their career plans.

IDPs for humanities and social science fields:

IDPs for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields:

Books, References

  • Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career For You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul Tieger (available in 103 Barnes Hall and Cornell Library System)
  • So What Are You Going To Do With That? A Guide to Career-Changing for MAs and PhDs by Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius (available in 103 Barnes Hall and Cornell Library System)
  • Effective Phrases for Performance Appraisals: A Guide to Successful Evaluations by James Neal, Jr. (available in Cornell Library System)