The benefits of redesigning your portfolio
You never know what the future will bring.
Yep, I’m here to nag you a bit about that portfolio that you haven’t updated in a while.
Yes, it’s time to get to work on it again.
Yes, even if you don’t plan to look for a new job right now.
Yes, even if your client roster is full and you’re up to your neck in upcoming projects.
You don’t know what’s coming, what the future will bring, or what it won’t bring. So let’s make sure you’re prepared anyway.
It’s Too Late to Start When You Need It
So you got a safe job. You’re comfortable with your role, you like your colleagues (except for that one guy, damn is he annoying, right), and you don’t feel like changing things up.
This is good. You like it here.
And then your manager asks if you have a minute. The numbers aren’t as good as they were hoping lately, and in fact, they haven’t been in a while. And management needs to act on this. They have to streamline things, and they’re sorry that it had to lead to this, and they’ll, of course, give you good references, but unfortunately, they have to let you go.
And there you are. If you’re lucky, you have a few weeks before emptying out your desk drawers, and then you’re on your own.
Just like that.
Now you need to not only worry about finding a new job, or how else to cover the bills next month, but you also realize that you probably, oh, definitely, need to update your portfolio. It hasn’t changed in what is it, two years? Three? And even then, you only made minor changes.
Who spends time on their portfolio when they have a job already, anyway?
You should, though. For this very reason.
“Taking some time on a regular basis can you give that ease of mind”
The day you have to worry about looking for a job, you don’t want to worry about how to update your portfolio, what to remove from it, what to add, and how to write about it.
Taking some time on a regular basis can you give that ease of mind that you will benefit greatly from when something like this happens.
You Never Know When The Next Opportunity Arrives
Let’s say you’re lucky enough to have a good job, and you’re not in need of finding a new one.
Suddenly there’s an opening you weren’t expecting to see. It’s your dream job, at your dream employer. And they’re describing a person like you, in a role you’d love to fill.
And the deadline to apply is in two days.
And your portfolio hasn’t been updated to properly show what you’ve been up to, and how you’ve grown over the last few years.
You wouldn’t stand a chance with your current portfolio, so you’ll need to work harder than hell to find the right pieces to add, write great stories (good won’t do, this is your dream job after all), and then you need to update your resume, write a cover letter-and all this while still doing your day job.
Now, imagine for a second that you had kept everything up to date. Perhaps you’d be a month or two behind at most. Your portfolio is highly representative of your work and the skills you’ve attained lately.
You’ll have that application ready the same night.
And three weeks later, you sign your new contract of employment. Wouldn’t that be something?
Updating Your Portfolio Makes You Rethink Your Past Experiences
On top of what I’ve already covered, there are a few hidden benefits of keeping your portfolio regularly updated. And who doesn’t like a nice bonus or two?
When you spend time revisiting your portfolio every now and then, you can’t help but go over older projects, what you did well, what you could’ve done better, and what you would have done differently today because of how the world has changed since then.
It’s basically a recurring lesson that will help you grow, and let you see how you have grown.
… And Where You’re Going
Speaking of growth, going over your portfolio isn’t just a retrospective process or a learning process. It can also help you see where you’ll go next.
“Is your portfolio of today representative of what kind of a job you want to have a year from now?”
What pieces do you want to include in your portfolio now? How does it compare to two years ago? Is your portfolio of today representative of what kind of a job you want to have a year from now?
Having a more active approach to your portfolio can help you reflect on where you want to go next in your career. Does your portfolio still lead you in the direction of where you want to go?
Reflect on your portfolio and your future goals regularly, and it might help you when dealing with the old question of “is this still what I want to do?”.
It’s all too common that we treat our portfolio like it’s something you only bring out, dust off, and update every few years when it’s time to apply for a job again.
A portfolio like that means a lot of work, and a lot less value compared to if you take an active approach and rework it every other month or so.
Keep your portfolio up to date, and it will serve you well and always be ready when you least expect it.
You won’t regret it.
Originally published on medium