Career planning for postdocs

During your postdoctoral appointment it is important to plan the next steps in your career. Creating a professional development plan allows you to map out how you will develop the skills you need to achieve your career goals. Use the tools below to make your plan and research your career options.

Professional Development Plan and Skill Assessment

We recommend that all postdocs complete a professional development plan and a skill assessment at the beginning of their appointment. This will give you insight into what your career goals are, and what professional skills you need to in order to achieve them.

We recommend the myIDP Individual Development Plan online tool for postdocs in scientific fields who wish to conduct a robust assessment of their skills, values, and interests in order to find the career path that is right for them.

For postdocs in other fields, and those looking for a condensed professional development planning tool, we offer our own professional development planning worksheet.



myIDP is a free online career planning resource that helps you make an individual development plan (IDP). It is run by, and offers a great deal of information tailored to your research area, skills, and personal values. It is targeted at postdocs in the sciences, but postdocs in other field may find value in its method and planning tools. 

“myIDP provides:

  • Exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values
  • A list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests
  • A tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track
  • Articles and resources to guide you through the process”


Resources and templates are available online through Career Services to help you with drafting CVs/resumes, career planning and preparing for interviews. In person services are not open to postdocs, but there are extensive resources openly available at online.

LinkedIn Learning

Sign up for your free LinkedIn Learning membership through HR

Career Development Library 

Online, video-based courses on a number of topics related to advancing your career, including: building business relationships, coaching employees, asking for a raise, writing business reports, using LinkedIn, online job hunting, managing teams, and more.

LinkedIn Library 

Online, video-based courses on how to effectively use LinkedIn before and during your job search.

Science Careers

Science Careers from the journal Science aims to match qualified scientists with jobs in industry, academia, and government. The online career magazine features articles from postdocs, grad students and professionals sharing their stories and advice. Science Careers also provides resources on understanding your career options, looking for a position in your field, and preparing for your job search. 

Careers Webinars  *To view a past webinar you must click the “Register” link and sign up to receive access to the recorded webinar video

Provincial and Municipal Resources

Online sources such as the Alberta Learning Information Service and the Calgary Public Library provide exceptional resources for when you are making the initial steps in your job search.

Sessional Teaching Jobs

Postdoc Associates may consider sessional teaching appointments at the University of Calgary in accordance with Article 5.10 in the PDAC Collective Agreement, provided they have approval from their supervisor in consultation with the department head and course coordinators involved. Some teaching positions are also available through:

Careers at the University of Calgary

Employment & Careers at Mount Royal University

Athabasca University Human Resources

Careers at Bow Valley College

Career Opportunities at St. Mary’s University