L7 and struggling to get started... any advice?

Hello All, I have recently chosen to start my CIPD level 7. I have over 10 years HR and management experience, hence I am jumping in at level 7. I am really struggling starting and over whelmed with all the reading. Do you have any advice for me? Thanks.

  • Could you swap to level 5? It could support you with getting back into learning… I started with level 5 as it was 9 years since I finished uni.
  • It is intense, but I would make sure that you make time for all the reading and writing, don't leave it all at once and making notes has never been needed more. So that might be setting 2 hours each week day so you have your weekends free for essay writing when it comes. The most important thing that I forget regularly, is to make sure you also find time for a break. You have such a rich foundation of knowledge that reading will just add theory to your practical knowledge and provide you with great resources for your assignments. You have got this!
  • Good luck Michelle and stick with it. I started my Level 7 in my mid 40's and never regretted it. Work out when you can spare time to read - 5 minutes over breakfast was often my start to the day. Arm yourself with highlighters and sticky tabs so you can bookmark anything of interest. I also devoured my copy of People Management for interesting articles and would highlight them for the relevant module.
    You will already have masses of knowledge so do try and remember that - it is all of that which will come into play when you start writing assignments and completing tasks. Also use the support of your group - I made some fantastic friends and networks. Plus use this group - you are not alone which I always think extremely relevant for HR when you can often find yourself working solo on something that can't always be shared.
  • Hi Michelle, I started a L7 award October last year and found the same, I struggled with the amount of reading and getting myself motivated alongside working from home and being in a redundancy situation. I found planning the time I was going to spend and sticking to it helped me to feel like I was progressing. I kept to this when tackling the assignments too and set goals on completion of each assignment. Stick with it, it'll be worth it - I keep telling myself that especially as I'm about to start writing my final assignment.
  • Hi Michelle,

    Firstly, well done for starting at all. I put off doing my CIPD Level 7 until my late 50s and I too am struggling, having not done any real studying for 20 years. The thing that I have found helps is to keep a diary of what you need to do and what you have done so that you can see progress. Look at the templates for the modules too (if your training provider does these) because they are full of useful articles that relate specifically to the topic you are studying and use your PM magazine and Personnel Today and Human Times for keeping up to date with current affairs (sign up to the latter two to get regular emails). Keeping going is the main thing - if you take too much of a break it will be hard to jump back in so just keep plodding along. Once you reach exam modules you have tight deadlines to stick to and that has really focused me but of course much of it is done on assignment so you just need to keep your eyes on the prize - just think how proud you will be to have completed!

    Good luck.

  • Hi Michelle
    I suggest you make contact with two or three other students and become each other’s ‘buddies’. It helps to read something and then compare findings and opinions with others. It needn’t be long conversations . Also discuss your struggles with you personal tutor and see if they can advise. Good luck!
  • I did my experience assessment with 12 yrs of HR Experience and it felt much easier than a colleague who was doing the full course... assuming you have enough experience obviously.

    Going back into a full course having not had anything like that in 20yrs scared me away from it..
  • Hi Michelle, you can do this! Break it down, keep it simple and if you want to bounce ideas off, I am happy to be a sounding board to coach you through! we all need it when we are usually the ones coaching!
  • In reply to Ria:

    FYI i have 15 years experience and doing my experience assessment at present so i would love to buddy up!
  • Hi Ria. I'd love a buddy!
  • In reply to Michelle:

    Hi Michelle, I'm also doing the new L7 qualification - started in March. I'm in a couple of study groups I'd be happy to add you to... drop me a message .
  • I think if you have been out of a learning environment for a while it can be really overwhelming. I found it easier to read through the whole assignment first and then leave a day and re read it. You will find that it does start to make sense and the answers are all there. Whatever you do don’t just dive in because you think you will run out of time there are definitely no short cuts. Take advantage of your tutors as well they know what you’re going through … best of luck
  • Sure you will not be the only one feeling like this! Hope you can find some peers for support. I did my Level 7 through a uni Masters course and they put us in groups in induction. Best thing ever and still friends after 15 years!
  • In reply to Michelle:

    Hi Michelle - I am doing a couple of modules that were not submitted for me by my coach's organisation 15 years ago - so I remained a student member but just thought it was a mistake on the paperwork I got from the CIPD regularly! I am working to do the two missing modules now though (7SBL and 7IBI) so if you want to buddy up for these I'd appreciate it! Thanks very much!
  • Hi Michelle, is started my Level 7 in November ( online only) I too have struggled, I started off well, read and took notes for the Employment Law module and then just have never got the time after work and childcare responsibilities to sit down and do my assignment ... If you need a buddy or someone to bounce ideas from let me know. I just need to get organised and stop procrastinating !!!!! Good luck.