Teach the Earth > Early Career > Getting Tenure > Preparing Yourself > Career Planning Worksheet

Career Planning Worksheet

Contributed by Kristen St. John (James Madison University) and R. Mark Leckie (University of Massachusetts, Amherst).

Pok-a-tok goal ring, Mexico
View through a pok-a-tok goal ring in Mexico. Pok-a-tok was a Mesoamerican ball game. Photo by Sebastian Paquet.
The following description and worksheet is adapted from a faculty planning document provided by Steve Leslie (James Madison University).

How is the worksheet organized?

There are two parts to the worksheet:

Part 1. Major Career Goals
In this section, you describe the vision you have for your career. Indicate the broad interests or goals that guide your anticipated activities and bind your work into a coherent whole. The vision provides a context for the anticipated activities that you will write in Part 2.

Part 2. Anticipated Activities
In this section, you list your anticipated activities in the areas of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service for (a) the upcoming year, (b) the academic year after next, and (c) two academic years from now. The level of detail will be less as you project into the future, and that is OK. The value in articulating anticipated activities 2 years out is that it helps you track your short and long term plans (or lack thereof) for teaching, research, and service.

How do I make the most of this worksheet?

  • Be as specific as possible when describing your anticipated activities in teaching, scholarship and professional service for the upcoming academic year. Address your plans for the following two years in a more general manner.
  • Emphasize major goals, expected changes in status of ongoing projects, or new initiatives. Identify any major change of emphasis since the previous year.
  • Indicate what resources (departmental, grant-funding, other) you anticipate are required to accomplish your plan.
  • Completed the worksheet before the start of an academic year. It then can be revisited and revised throughout the academic year because it serves as both a guide and a record of what you are doing and why.
  • When it comes time for preparing your actual tenure package, the information you put in this worksheet can serve as the foundation for writing your narrative (personal statement).

Download a blank copy (Microsoft Word 34kB Jan2 09) of this worksheet for your use.



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