Hints and tips for writing reflectively about your professional practice
Writing reflectively as a geographer is a valuable skill. it is useful for many aspects of your career development, from reflecting on the effectiveness of CPD to preparing for performance appraisals. If you are applying for Chartered Geographer, the Professional Self-Evaluation is written as a reflective statement.
You will naturally reflect in your day-to-day job. Thinking about why things occurred, how you handled a project and what you learned. Despite this, it can be a difficult to put this in writing. This guide will enable you to evaluate your work and professional practice.
Asking yourself questions is a great way of structuring reflective writing. You can do this prior to a project, during and after.
Before a project, consider:
What you think might happen?
What could the challenges be?
What do you need to know/have to be adequately prepared?
During a project, consider:
What is happening to the decisions you make now?
Are things going as expected?
How are you dealing with challenges?
What are you learning?
After a project, consider:
What are your thoughts directly after?
What are your thoughts having taken time away from your work?
What did you value and why?
What was the benefit of your work?
What did you value and what did others value?
What did you learn?
Writing reflectively does not mean you should describe everything that happened. It is important to be analytical. It can be useful to look at your CV when you are writing a reflective evaluation of your work. A reflective statement should be complementary to your CV, which holds the factual record of your career progression and professional development.
Consider the competencies or requirements that need to be addressed when writing. How does your work demonstrate the ways in which you apply your geographical skills, knowledge and understanding?
Think about your influence and who you have worked with. This can be a good way of considering your impact. If you have collaborated with others, what was your input and what did they gain?
Use the Chartered Geographer Framework of Competencies to consider your accomplishments. This can support you both in identifying things you have accomplished, and opportunties for the future.
Discuss your achievements with others to aid you in reflecting. Reviewing your work verbally is a good start to reflective writing.
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Having a professional CV (curriculum vitae) will showcase what you have achieved to date in your career in a concise and appealing way.
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