Thursday, November 6, 2014

Why Create a Portfolio?

A conversation with a client in Dubai, introduced me to an interesting new understanding of the way people judge an individual’s credibility.
The client wanted to see my work.  
The first question I was asked was...

‘Do you have a portfolio?’ 

He did not ask me which school I went to or which college I had gone too. He wanted to know, how much work I had gotten done in my field.

I did not have a portfolio! 

It made me think hard, about how I spent my time growing up. What if I spent my free time after school and college, developing and adding work to my portfolio? 

I could have started freelancing and working on interesting projects related to my field while at college. It would surely have helped strengthen my work prospects when I got into the job market.

Now if we wait until we get a P.H.D to start working then we are making a big mistake. Because even after you get a P.H.D you will have to start from scratch. An academic career is an exception here.

If we start building your portfolio early, we have a channel to direct all our youthful energy. You can use this time to actually create and add real value to your field, rather than simply build a portfolio. You are most energetic and enthusiastic at this stage. This will surely contribute to your career prospects over time.

The power of a 2nd chance 

By putting in the time and working on your dream job while at college you also give yourself the power of a 2nd chance. Which means that even if things do not work out with one career you can immediately start work in another.

But if you start work after a P.H.D you rarely can take risks in your field or another. This is because now the responsibilities have increased for you and this may hold you back at times. So when I was asked that question by the client, I decided to start work on my portfolio. Here are some ideas

Ideas for Developing a World Class Portfolio

1.  Document your Work Online and Offline – Write reports about the projects you work on. Click pictures at events you organize or are part of. Take notes of conversations you have. Constantly update your online portfolio (website, blog, video channel). Amitabh Bacchan, the Indian actor, documents his everyday experiences on his personal blog. He has been very disciplined in his posting schedule and has over 2000 posts. His blog here

2.  Update your Linkedin Profile – Fill in all the details on the professional networking site Linkedin and use the site to connect with other professional in your field. Create one here

3.  Create a Field Specific Blog – A blog about the history, innovations and future trends in the field you are interested in will add further credibility to your portfolio. You can start here.

4.  Create a You Tube Channel  - This can be use for documenting your work and for videos on other fields you are passionate about. Create one here.

5.  An Updated Website – With and introduction about your work along with an updated collection of photographs, project reports. Links to your blog, video channel and social media profiles online can also be provided. You can start at

Let us learn together
Tweet @AbhishekShetty_

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