Let that log fall (and be heard)
It's not enough just to do CPD. You need to log it too, as Cecilia Lipovsek points out.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Likewise, if you do a lot of CPD and fail to log it, does it count?
I doubt I have to convince you of the importance of continuing professional development, especially when it comes to our core skills as interpreters and translators. Strategic and well-planned CPD is a great way of keeping abreast of the changes in our professions as well as growing in our chosen fields.
However, those are – very valid – ‘internal’ benefits. In a way, they are the tree in the forest falling. Full stop.
But what about the opposite? What about the ‘external’ benefits of CPD? And, most importantly, what is the point of taking a few minutes of your time to log it as you go along?
Three main benefits to bear in mind
The way I see it, there are three main benefits to logging your CPD and getting (and displaying) your badge:
One: it shows commitment. It tells the world that you take yourself seriously as a professional linguist and that you invest in the quality of your work and the way you run your business. A CPD badge from a well-regarded organisation also helps to set you apart from the pseudo-linguists lurking on the outer edges of the market.
Two: it boosts the reputation of our professional community. If we are judged by the company we keep, then why not make that company the best it can be? My CPD plus your your CPD plus everyone else’s CPD boosts ITI’s standing as a professional body and, in turn, raises our own professional profiles as its members There is indeed strength in numbers, especially if those numbers are shiny, well-polished ones.
My CPD plus your CPD plus everyone else's CPD boosts ITI's standing as a professional body and, in turn, raises our own professional profiles as its members.
Three: it makes an elegant affair of tooting your own horn. Those of you who know me know that I am not a big fan of look- at-me marketing; this is one of the reasons I rarely condone the ubiquitous self-promoting selfie. Mind you, I am not saying that we should not promote our work or our businesses – on the contrary! What I am saying is that experience has taught me that it is often more effective to be talked about (positively, that is) than to toot one’s own horn. That is why I am a big advocate of indirect, value-added marketing. And showing your CPD activities, including your CPD badge, is an integral part of it.
For example, let’s suppose you wish to add a new specialism to your portfolio. Instead of simply announcing to the world that you are now an expert in, let’s say, green energy, you can proudly – and humbly – share that you have undertaken training in that subject and, while doing so, thank those who taught you and helped you prepare for your new endeavour. It’s a way to kill two (actually, three) birds with one stone! In a swift move you a) show you’ve learned what you needed to, b) promote your business by being gracious instead of pushy, and c) network effectively with potential new clients and their circles.
Another example: you are invited to be part of a panel or give a presentation at a professional event. Share how proud you are to have been asked! Doing this will position you as an expert, show that you are a team player, and prove your generosity without your actually saying this. Want to take it up a notch? Wait until the reviews come in, and someone posts or comments about it, and then reply thanking them for their comments. So much more elegant and effective than singing your own praises!
A final example: you have read a book or attended an interesting webinar. Write a review about it. It is a great way to indirectly talk about yourself while contributing to your professional community.
And do not forget to share your ITI ‘CPD Achieved’ badge, together with a summary of your CPD activities, and/or add it to your email signature or website if it fits your brand. It will have the power of everything listed above as well as the tremendous added value of one of the UK’s leading professional bodies vouching for you, your skills, your commitment, your generosity and your business.
I have posted mine, as I am very proud of having clocked up over 500 hours of CPD last year – many of which involved giving instead of receiving. How is that for the sound caused by a falling tree?
This article first appeared in the March-April 2022 edition of the ITI Bulletin.
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