What is a professional portfolio?
A physical or digital platform that showcases your work, projects, articles, strengths, accomplishments and achievements. A compilation of the amazing activities of your professional life.
So what’s the purpose?
.. it allows potential employers to identify and understand your capabilities. But it can be much more! Sometimes it is required before you to take up a new role, other times it is important when you need a promotion or an endorsement. It could also help distinguish you in your field…
One of the most important things in building a professional portfolio is being “deliberate”. Being deliberate implies having a plan, writing it out and following through with…
Being deliberate helps you gravitate towards achieving this goal of having an amazing professional portfolio. Meanwhile, you would be surprised how much you would naturally want to put in, when you consciously “prepare” to show off your accomplishments…
Take the right courses, attend conferences/seminars/webinars (while you are it, take pictures, make a post, share lessons), get certified, get a mentor (physical or virtual who measures up to the standard you aspire, or at the least gives you a template of the professional portfolio you want), oh and that LinkedIn profile, work on it! Be sure it presents your best you. Finally give yourself time… it all adds up.
In addition there is no shame in publishing your little beginnings and failures. Fact is, it validates your process of growth and helps you evaluate this process. It also shows your potential employer, evidence of where you have been and the possibilities your potentials portend. It is therefore important to consciously document your process.
In this age of easy, frequent and flexible use of social media, documenting your professional portfolio should be fun and rewarding too. Professional portfolios are no longer your catalogue of articles, certificates or accomplishments! They are now much more.
It is no surprise that many “professionals” leverage the power of social media to constantly build their portfolio, by showcasing their work at every opportunity. Your professional portfolio doesn’t have to be about your resume, certificates or research materials alone.
Underpinning your public and many social appearances should be a deliberate efforts at building that professional portfolio. Pay attention to the details.
For some people, your portfolio would be measured by your sphere and level of influence. In other words… your network. I cannot overemphasize the power of network.
In summary, a professional portfolio is built over time, and you can start now, if you don’t consciously have one… you can start by being deliberate, preparing and taking advantage of opportunities. Get certified and get a mentor. Start with whatever skills or qualifications you have… you can start now.
All of these may not apply to all profession… Building this type of professional portfolio may be difficult for some profession… however following some of these rules may be just what is needed to get you that role, that promotion or even that level of fulfillment!