I have a question: Do you have a portfolio? If you are nodding your head, then congratulations for you have already put in a place a great ally; however, if you don’t have a portfolio, start creating one today.
You might question why I am insisting on having a portfolio. Well, a portfolio goes far beyond just showcasing your talents. It plays myriad roles.
Your portfolio acts as a spokesperson for your skills, technical expertise, creative ideas to name a few. For example, you might tell me that you are an expert with web designing languages. However, show me something like this (shown in the screenshot), and I will straightaway gauge that you are a pro at these languages, even if you don’t say a word.
Your portfolio motivates you to try out new things. For example, one of the first demo course I made for my portfolio – I am into e-learning, which means I make courses – was a combination of animation and narration. That was the first time I used Audacity, a sound recording and editing software. Likewise, the need to create a hazy effect for another demo course made me explore GIMP, a software to edit images.
The point is that a portfolio spurs you to experiment with different things. Moreover, since no deadlines or a nasty boss is breathing down your neck, you can make mistakes, try out different permutations and combinations, or even abandon an idea.
More than a year ago, Matthew Guyan – he is now a part of my Linkedin network – published a post on his new portfolio. I happened to see the post, visited his website, enjoyed reading his articles, and became a part of his network. From then on, I have learnt a lot from reading his articles and viewing his demo courses. Had Matthew not had his portfolio, he and I would probably not have got connected.
My second experience is with regards to my own portfolio. While building a website to host this portfolio, I decided to include a Personal Learning Network page. I shortlisted a couple of websites that I found useful, contacted the site owners, and asked them permission to include their site. One such site owner was Dianne Hope. A couple of e-mails were exchanged between the two of us, and she asked me to write a guest post focussing on e-learning. I had never written about e-learning before; hence, writing this guest post meant getting out of my comfort zone. The experience, nonetheless, proved enriching. My confidence also got a boost, and motivated me to write this article.
So get down with creating your portfolio, and do share it with me. If you already have one, I would love to see it and also learn how your portfolio has helped you.