In the fast-moving industry of marketing, there is nowhere to hide. It’s a marathon and a sprint at the same time and skills need to be updated continuously to both keep up the pace and manage your own career path. A key part of this is reflecting on your development through producing reflective statements.
Chartered Marketer status recognises those marketers achieving the highest level in our profession and can be achieved through knowledge, experience and continuing professional development (CPD). In order to achieve the status from Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), you must be either a Member (MCIM) or Fellow (FCIM) grade for at least two consecutive years. You are also required to complete reflective statements on a minimum of two core and two technical competencies (detailed in the above) during each CPD year.
So, if you have decided you are going for it – where do you start? Here are our five tips to help you write effective reflective statements for CPD.
1. Use the competencies wheel
Your reflective statements need to cover learning activities and personal development. Here, the range of CIM competencies should offer you a fair amount of flexibility that will fit with the context of your job role and organisation. A logical place to begin then is with this framework, so spend some time making yourself familiar with its various components and find the ones that suit you.
2. Set aside a specific time to reflect
With a busy job and lifestyle, it can be hard to find opportunities to reflect, so it is crucial to make a commitment to set aside some specific time. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that all of your statements need to be based upon attendance at formal learning or training experiences. The options are much wider and can essentially apply to all of your activities as a marketer. Perhaps you have prepared training for colleagues, attended seminars or networking? The chances are that you gained valuable insights along the way.
3. Think about your everyday work tasks
The technical standards within the competencies framework are more likely to relate to on-the-job activities that you may think of as everyday tasks. If you think about every experience that you have had or every activity that you have completed, it will either have gone well or not so much. You win some; you lose some, as they say. Dig a little deeper and you may realise that you already know how you could have done better. And if you don’t – hey presto, you have identified a specific development need. See, it’s all part of the process.
4. Reflect on your working week
It’s only human nature; we think about our working day or our week, perhaps on our journey home or at the weekend. Reflective learning is the sometimes-subtle difference between casually thinking about what happened and structuring those experiences to gather insights that will help us. So, here is your free licence to become an over-thinker for the time being; take time to pick over the ashes to uncover areas where growth has taken place. Do this regularly at scheduled intervals and you will soon be on the right road.
5. Take notes
Perhaps you think you can store it all in your head but let’s be honest; there is enough to deal with. So, to save your mental notepad from letting you down at a crucial stage, think about using post-its, a journal, voice memos or apps on your phone to record your thoughts. Don’t keep it all to yourself though; talking with colleagues, peers, managers, or even clients can also help, especially if you hit a wall and are looking for new ideas.
Although there are a number of sample statements on the CIM website that may provide inspiration, there is no right or wrong way to complete your reflective statements, and it is essential that they are unique to you. Stay true to your preferred learning style, manage your time and links will soon form, to close the gap between theory and performance. Reflect, connect and enjoy your journey towards chartered status. Good luck!
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This blog post was written by Oxford College of Marketing tutor and Managing Director of Heads Up Marketing, Sue Ollerhead.