It is a beautiful crisp day here in Washington D.C., it should be a care free day where you feel everything is right with the universe. You want to take a walk, smell the flowers and enjoy the plush green grass after a week of rain but I have that dreaded feeling. A shadow sits on my shoulder and I just cant shake it. I should be used to the sensation, I have gone through this so many times before. The shadow whispers “time to get the portfolio together” and just like that….catharsis planning begins. There are so many questions, all somewhat self obsessed nagging questions. The painful self evaluation and re-examining of where I am, where I have been and where do I want to go next? Annnnnnnd, where do I begin? Do I dust off the old resumé? Update my LinkedIn? Browse and gather old samples? Evaluate my current work and start pulling pieces? How do I frame myself and dissect my life efforts into well portioned morsels for others digestion? Ahh the familiar agony…will I be able to survive this process this time?
As I begin, I am immediately overwhelmed. All the highs and lows start rushing in as I look at old work, they remind me of past successes and challenges. Looking at current work, I like this…but will they like this? What did I bring to this project? What tools did I use, would the portfolio viewer care about this? How do I tell a story through these many seemingly unrelated efforts I made to another employer or client? What value can be derived from this exercise? In short, working on your portfolio is a long good hard look in the mirror and sometimes its hard but it is a necessary part of truly being at the top of your game, to propel yourself forward and to evolve both spiritually and professionally.