What Are Your Tips for Developing an IDP?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Victoria A. Runkle 6 years, 7 months ago.

  • Author
  • #181201

    Terrence Hill

    GovLoop is sponsoring a webcast on January 9th on “Making Your Individual Development Plan”. In these times of restrictive training budgets, this can be a challenge. Training (and travel) is often the first item cut out of budgets. It seems like we will never return to the days when we actually had a training budget for development, other than the basic training required of your profession.

    What tips can you share about creating an IDP in a constained budget environment?

    To get the ideas flowing, I’ll prime the pump with one of my own – I highly recommend tapping into the often free online webcasts provided by professional organizations, as well as MOOCs.

  • #181229

    Victoria A. Runkle

    Read one book and write a review.
    Ask to job shadow one day a week and write a report about how that experience illustrates where divisions or departments can partner or improve a process.

  • #181227

    Steve Ressler

    Good tips. I like the job shadow idea

  • #181225

    Steve Ressler

    Other ideas:

    -Volunteer roles for professional organizations
    -Pick 1 paid training that really want to go to and make that case really strong
    -Volunteer assignments like CFC, etc

  • #181223

    Terrence Hill

    I like the “read one book” idea. In fact, I have had a goal to read at least one “business” book a week since I started with the government. I don’t always make it, but there are a lot of great books out there on topics relevant to all professions.

    Shadowing is also great, as well as informal mentoring.

    The bottom line is that you can’t afford to simply wait for a senior manager to take you “under their wings.” You need to take an active role in crafting your own development agenda.

  • #181221

    Terrence Hill

    Had a great IDP webcast experience with Steve and Ginny Hill (YGL President) yesterday. Over 700 attendees joined our discussion of IDPs and developmental opportunities in today’s constrained budgetary environment.

    If you attended, what are YOUR tips for developing IDPs and searching for development opportunities?

    Here’s one that came up in yesterday’s webcast – join a professional association. Not only do they provide certification opportunities, but often sponsor free webinars and discussions of professional topics relevent to your career. Most people know what these are for their chose profession, but if not Yahoo has a nice search engine for professional associations. This one happens to be for the DC area.

    Here’s another source of developmental experience – volunteer with a local non-profit by working pro bono to gain experience. It won’t cost you anything other than your time and you’ll be able to make a difference in your community.

    Let’s keep this discussion going! Add your tips for developing a great IDP for 2014!

  • #181219

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #3: If you are an IT professional, you might want to check out the NextGov Prime On Demand Webinar Series:

    Available to view on demand – Nextgov Prime 2013! Sessions focus on the issues at the core of government IT such as cloud computing and data & analytics, emerging social and mobile technology trends, threats and security challenges, and harnessing the power of technology to better service citizens, industry partners, and agency missions.

  • #181217

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #4 – There was a question from a Grant Administrator about professional development opportunities at yesterday’s IDP webinar. It turns out, there is a professional organization for them – GPA. GPA also provides conferences and webinars for Grants Administrators. If your agency can’t afford to send you to your professional conference, you might be able to convince them to at least pay the annual membership dues.

  • #181215

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #5 – Read a professional book – every week. I know, you are saying to yourself, “Books? Who reads books anymore?” Trust me, there are lots of great ones for free at a place called a “library” or available online. If you want to super-charge your career, I recommend starting with the book Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett.


    OK – If you aren’t into books, you can watch her a YouTube presentation at


  • #181213

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #6 – Explore YouTube for pertinent educational material. One of my favorite sources of professional inspiration is the TedTalks and TedX videos. Here directly from the experts in the field in short, 20-minute or less presentations. Great for breaktimes.

    • TEDx is an international community that organizes TED-style events anywhere and everywhere — celebrating locally-driven ideas and elevating them to a global stage. TEDx events are produced independently of TED conferences, each event curates speakers on their own, but based on TED’s format and rules.
    • TEDTalks shares the best ideas from the TED Conference with the world, for free: trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses, all giving the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. We post a fresh TEDTalk every weekday. TEDTalks are licensed under Creative Commons, so you’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with the people you know.


  • #181211

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #7: Explore your agency’s Learning Management System (LMS). Your LMS is more than just a repository for your “mandatory” online training. If yours is like ours, it also includes online books (Books 24/7), video-based learning (SkillSoft), and other resources. Check it out!

  • #181209

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #8 – Check out Skillshare for free/low cost online learning:


    Here is Skillshare’s mission statement:

    Education is what someone tells you to do. Learning is what you do for yourself.

    The traditional way of education forces square pegs into round holes. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution that forces people down a predetermined path.

    Our mission is simple. Reunite learning with education and make it accessible to every single person on this planet. Anyone can learn anything, at any age, at an affordable cost, anywhere in the world.

    Learning has no roadblocks, prescribed paths, tests, quizzes, or outdated majors and degrees. It’s driven and powered by students. Here, students never ‘graduate’ because they are lifelong learners. Caps and gowns don’t see the light of day.

    Teachers are passionate. Students stay curious. Because curiosity is the compass that leads us to our individual passions.

    Learn by Doing

    Rather than memorize equations for a test, learn by taking action. Learn from your peers. Learn by getting feedback. Learn by making mistakes. Learn by making things.

    Your statement of accomplishment no longer needs to be a degree, certificate, or stamp of approval. Instead, frame the pictures you’ve taken, bake a cake, and wireframe your future website.

    Proof of learning is in progress and action. Now, a piece of paper is just that, and your creations are your accomplishments. Learn new skills that are transferable, adaptable, and applicable in the world today.

    Everyone is a Teacher

    You can learn from anyone – which means we’re all teachers. The best way to confirm your understanding of something is to share it with someone else. We all have things we’re passionate about sharing with the world. If you’ve done something for even a few days more than someone else, you have valuable knowledge to share.

    Why teach? Because teaching is inspiring, motivating, life-changing, challenging, and all of the above. The best teachers simply ask the right questions, facilitate students to discover, and find their individual passion. Amen!

    Learning Can Happen Anywhere

    Our cities are our best and biggest campuses, and any address can be a classroom. Forget desks and projectors. Use your hands, talk over coffee and cake, print out pictures that tell the story you want to share. Walls? Never mind them. Teach in a park, at the library, on a boat…and, ok, even in your kitchen. Share your skills online to thousands of students across the globe. Learning can happen online, offline, and everywhere in between.

    We Can Change Education

    The world’s most abundant resources are excess knowledge and skills. They just need to be shared and made accessible to everyone.

    Learning and teaching are essential to keep the world spinning. All of our progress is dependent on it. This cycle turns magical when a student becomes a teacher. If we all share our knowledge and skills with each other, it becomes an endless cycle of awesomeness, and the world becomes a much better place.

  • #181207

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #9: DigitalGovUniversity is a great source of free training from GSA for Government Communicators. DigitalGov University (DGU) is the federal government’s training program for digital media and citizen engagement. DGU provides high quality, cost-effective training to thousands of federal employees each year. Check it out at:


  • #181205

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #10 – Explore Skill-Based Volunteer opportunities to hone your skills. Employers don’t care whether your gain experience in paid or unpaid work, as long as you have the experience. Linked has recently launched a search tool for skill-based volunteer opportunities –


    For more information on skill-based volunteering, visit


  • #181203

    Terrence Hill

    Tip #11 – Put this down on your IDP – resolve to get a mentor in 2014. January is National Mentoring Month. OPM’s new Director – Katherine Archulata – wrote a blog about the importance of obtaining a mentor. She mentioned “Speed Mentoring” (sort of like speed dating), that is catching on more and more. If you don’t have access to speed/flash mentoring, set one up in your agency. It’s easy – here’s a place to get started. Never hurts to have a mentor on your side when it comes to searching for developmental opportunities.

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