Design thinking, a process used by leading companies like Apple and IDEO, has revolutionized the way we approach problem-solving and innovation. By applying this methodology to your career, you can set clear goals and achieve them in a more efficient and enjoyable manner. In this article, we will explore how to use design thinking to design your career and achieve your goals.

Understanding Design Thinking

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem-solving that involves empathizing with users, defining their needs and problems, developing new insights, using convergent thinking to reduce ideas, iterating and prototyping solutions, and refining and testing solutions based on feedback. This process is particularly effective in resolving ill-defined or ‘wicked’ problems through innovative solutions. Humor and play are key ingredients of human-centered design solutions.

Applying Design Thinking to Your Career

Start by imagining and designing your ideal day to improve the quality of your life. Consider what you would like to achieve in your career and how you can align your goals with your passions and values. Next, use the design thinking process to empathize with your future self, define your career goals, and brainstorm ideas for achieving them. Create a plan that includes actionable steps and milestones, and be prepared to iterate and refine your plan based on feedback and new insights.

Supporting Your Career Goals with an Individual Development Plan (IDP)

An IDP is a valuable tool for supporting the ongoing growth and development in employees. It helps you succeed in your current position and prepares you for increased responsibility in positions aligned with your career goals. The IDP process requires collaboration between you and your supervisor, creating a climate of trust and psychological safety in which you feel comfortable discussing your aspirations and performance.


Creating an Effective IDP

Follow these steps to create an effective IDP: identify your professional goals and motivations, determine your strengths and development opportunities, plan objectives and action steps, discuss and refine the plan with your supervisor, and act on the plan. Key components of an IDP may include strengths, development opportunities, long-term career vision, short-term career plans, and immediate growth areas. By incorporating design thinking and an IDP into your career planning, you can set clear goals and achieve them in a more efficient and enjoyable manner.