“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary,” Vidal Sasson, the hairdressing business tycoon is reported to have once said. It’s a quote that is very relevant to anyone thinking about juggling studying for a professional qualification with a fulltime job, family and simply life! Adding extra work such as studying for a CIPD qualification can be an overwhelming thought for many, but it really doesn’t have to be.
Watson Martin has supported thousands of candidates through their CIPD qualifications, so we know exactly what it takes to be successful whether you are just starting out in your career at Level 3 or studying for an Advanced Diploma. Here we ask our expert advisers to share some of their top tips to getting CIPD qualified without putting your life on hold.
- Make sure you discuss with your family, friends and colleagues about the qualification before you begin and think about when you can make time for studying. Work out a study plan with your adviser around time frames. The most successful students are those who introduce a study plan right at the start and stick to it throughout their qualification.
- Think about your study environment. Create a comfortable space to study even if it is just a corner of a room at work or at home to encourage you to learn. You need to give yourself the best opportunity to focus on your work away from distractions.
- Time management is important. Dedicate a regular time to study and tell everyone so you don’t get disturbed. Use your time for studying sensibly. Speed up and do more when you have a bit more time, slow down and do less when you are very busy. Our programmes are designed to be flexible, so you can plan around peak periods at work or important events at home.
- How do you like to learn? CIPD qualifications with Watson Martin are not just based around textbooks. You can immerse yourself in things like podcasts, TED talks and journal articles to add variety and interest to your learning. Some of our students listen to podcasts on a run before work. Using different media means you can study on the move, at home or in the office.
- Take your unit step by step, break it down to each learning outcome when starting your research and you will quickly see results. Complete one unit before you start looking at the next means you will not be put off or become distracted by what is still to do.
- It’s obvious but read the question and answer it. Don’t try and answer the question you would like it to be! Your adviser will always help you interpret questions but try to read and understand the command words. Are you being asked to describe, analyse or critically evaluate and respond accordingly? Always read the grade descriptors for each question and understand what the assessor will be looking for before you start your answer.
- Your ability to apply what you have learnt in the workplace is key to qualification success. Try to ensure you have exposure to aspects of the programme that will allow you to build your knowledge and have greater experience. Look for opportunities to evaluate practice and make suggestions. This will improve your standing and get you noticed. It will also help with your qualification by providing examples to use in your units.
- Don’t underestimate the value of the 1:1 tailored support from your personal adviser. Not only will it help you achieve qualification success, but it will build your self-confidence and increase your credibility among your peers and senior stakeholders.
- We all know that life can sometimes get in the way of studying but please don’t keep quiet if you face an unexpected challenge. Communication is key and your adviser will have lots of strategies to help.
- Don’t be a perfectionist! Use your adviser and send in your draft – it doesn’t have to be perfect. They will give their opinion on what you have done to date so you can take on board their feedback and progress.
- Build your network! Join your local CIPD branch. Get involved in social learning platforms. Tune into forums on LinkedIn that complement the units you are working on and read the conversations to find out the current challenges organisations are facing and how your learning can be applied in practice. This up-to-date information will help with your assignment.
- Take advantage of the support materials all in one place on our VLE to make it easy for you to access. Everything is there to help you complete your programme at a time that suits you and wherever you are based in the world.
Find out more …
If you are interested in becoming CIPD qualified with Watson Martin, do get in touch by contacting one of our specialist advisers on 020 7932 2760 who can talk you through your options. We offer all CIPD levels, flexible 100% online learning methods and expert support plus interest free payment plans for self funders.