These tools are free and created specifically for postdocs, spanning STEM, humanities and social sciences.
The helpful features are:
so you can return and pick up where you left off, including goal setting and automated reminder functionality.
Sharing with others
“What was really good is that I could download a blank version, fill it in more than once and I even sent it to my PI to complete and I could compare with my own results. This is I think an important point because it’s very hard to self-assess these skills” (Psychology postdoc, University of Liverpool).
Goal setting and automated reminders:
“I like the ability to put together SMART goals that I can take into my next PDR” (Health and Life Sciences postdoc, University of Liverpool).
“The steps towards making a final career choice are systematically laid down” (Engineering postdoc, University of Liverpool).
Not all the questions about likes and dislikes are obviously relevant to career interests, values or skills.
There is a limited range of suggested career directions: most suggestions are academic or academic adjacent. University of Liverpool postdocs rated both myIDP/ImaginePhD with only an average score of 3/5 for thinking about career planning beyond academia.
Both tools suggested careers that were not new to participants:
“the results are not unexpected at all; all of my top matches I have already self-identified as worth pursuing and in some cases I have already taken steps to pursue them.”
Biochemistry postdoc, University of Liverpool.
The career suggestions are based on the employment situation in North America and don’t all translate to other locations.
Both tools’ skills rating system is a double edged-sword – it forces you to prioritise but the downside of this is that it can feel unnecessarily restrictive.
“You have to rate your interests with a broad distribution across all scores, the system doesn’t accept if you rate too much at maximum or minimum level.”
Health and Life Sciences postdoc, University of Liverpool.