Career Development Resources

In his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey wrote:

“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.”

He was talking about keeping a clear destination in mind as you navigate life so that you know the right steps to get to where you want to be. So, how do you figure out which wall you want to climb in your professional career?

Develop an Individual Development Plan

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a document used to facilitate a conversation with your supervisor. It outlines your goals and actionable steps to accomplish them. This conversation allows your supervisor to recommend additional resources and to set timelines and budgets for helping you to accomplish your professional development goals.

Explore the “Ultimate IDP Guide” here on the Common Learning Portal to learn more about creating your own Individual Development Plan.

Find a Mentor

A mentor is someone with more experience than you who has agreed to guide you through your career. They are someone you respect; you value their opinion and you feel like you can ask them questions.

Explore theses resources on mentoring here on the Common Learning Portal:

Find Opportunities to Interview or Shadow

Find people who have positions you think you could see yourself in. Ask if you can interview them, or shadow them for a day if they are in your park or a park nearby.

Consider asking questions like:

  • How did you get to this position?
  • What education or certification credentials will I need in order to do this job?
  • What other words of advice do you have for someone considering this as their career?

Connect with them in the Commons Groups or Connections!

Find a Detail Opportunity

Details are temporary, 60-120 day assignments to different jobs. They can be within your job series, or other job series. Keep an eye out for positions that are listed as “Temporary Promotions.” These types of details are an opportunity to work at a higher grade than your current position.

All internal positions and details are advertised on InsideNPS.

Natural Resource Professionals

There is already a professional development plan for Natural Resource Professionals.

Explore more in the Common Learning Portal: Professional Development Plan Natural Resource Employees


Covery, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind, Quote Page 98, Free Press: A Division of Simon & Schuster, New York: 2004.

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