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Spring is the perfect time to refresh your goals and update your IDP tool. When I started my blog years ago I did a blog post on how to use the IDP tool. If you are not familiar with the IDP tool check out my blog post and visit the website to create your IDP. Since spring is here I decided it was time to share what I learned from the Creating and Owning Your Individual Development Plan workshop hosted by The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). I encourage you to update your IDP tool and see how you are doing with your goals. Remember goals and plans change so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are ready to take the next step with your IDP check out the CIRTL follow-up workshop (I Completed my IDP…Now What?) on April 9. On the CIRTL website, you can register and find more resources to help you in your career. I’m looking forward to the follow-up workshop next month and I am ready to tackle my goals. Are you?

By participating in this workshop I was able to chat with others in the science field and learn how to make SMART-er goals. Also, I learned that many of us share similar stories and that we have more in common than we think. This is one of the reasons why it is important to have a science community and have spaces where we can talk about different issues. It was nice hearing other scientists share their SMART goals and how they even struggle with their own IDPs. When you have a community and share your IDP you won’t feel alone and are more likely to achieve your goals.

With that said, I’ll share one of my goals: I want to put myself out there more so I can broaden my network and meet more people. Since I am an introvert this does not come naturally. This might seem like a small goal, but this is something I find challenging. I am happy to report that I am making progress with this goal. Now that I have shared one of my goals, share one of your goals in the comment section below.

Top Takeaways from Updating my IDP Tool and the Creating and Owning Your Individual Development Plan Workshop:

  • Continue to make SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) Goals: As I mentioned earlier one of my goals is putting myself out there. I have been tapping into my network to see what new people I can connect with. Also, l am attending events and committing to meeting at least two people at each event so I can have meaningful conversations that actually lead to follow-ups. When it comes to networking events less is more if I want to have a good follow-up. When creating your goals you have to really know yourself and your limits.
     
  • Articulate what you want for your career: This is such a simple thing to do, but it is very important. No one knows what you want to do more than you. When meeting people you want to be confident about what you want and keep your values in mind. You should never have to comprise your values for your career and when you are confident people will want to listen to what you have to say. In addition, to be confident, you want to articulate your transferable skills (technical and non-technical) that are relevant to what you want.

How I Will Refresh for Spring:

  • Revisit the Pomodoro Technique: If you are in need of a refresh and want to increase your productivity and time management I highly suggest using the Pomodoro Technique. In a busy world filled with distractions, the Pomodoro Technique is a game changer. By setting a 25-minute timer and taking breaks between tasks you will increase your productivity levels and reduce your stress levels. Most of the time we are overly stressed because we are burnt out. I know when I use the Pomodoro Technique I am able to complete my tasks in a more efficient manner.
     
  • Professional Spring Cleaning: No matter what point you are in your career this is a good practice. Every couple of months or when you have a new position (whichever comes first) you should update your professional profile. This includes updating your board profiles, CV, resume, elevator pitch, LinkedIn, network and social media if needed. Since this is a hefty list of tasks you can break it up over a span of a few days/weeks depending on your situation. While you are cleaning, if you are up to it, spruce up your professional wardrobe. It can be something as simple as adding a touch of detail to your Power Suit like a new blouse or work bag.

What are you doing to refresh for the spring? Share below.

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