Your portfolio shows the world what you’re capable of and if you’re lucky will lead to offers of work. But what if you’re not looking for work? Maybe you’ve got a job you’re totally happy with and think there’s no point in keeping your portfolio up to date.
I recently went on the hunt for a web designer to take over my old job role. I found myself on dribbble, systematically opening profiles for all the UK designers I could find. I took into account that dribbble is somewhat in its infancy and shots may not fully represent the ability of the owner. If the quality of a person’s shots was promising enough I’d follow the link to their personal website for a more in-depth look at what they had to offer.
It surprised me to find at this stage just how many of these links went to either a dead URL or a “coming soon” page. From the perspective of someone trying to find out more about this person, I’d hit a brick wall and they never got an email.
It left me wondering how many of these people actually had great work to show off or indeed how many would welcome the chance to look at an exciting job offer. They would never know because I had no way to see the full extent of their work.
I think there’s a part in everyone that secretly imagines that one day a big man in a big expensive coat will turn up at your door, point his cigar at you and say “Kid, I saw your work. It’s good. It’s very good. I liked it so much I’m offering you a million clams to work for me in Funsville, USA.”
Okay, that might not be exactly how everyone pictures it but you never know who’s looking at your work and a dead link or a coming soon page isn’t going to impress anyone.
Your portfolio is your identity and it defines your entire ability to a complete stranger. Even if you have no interest in new job offers it’s a shame to think that by not having an up to date portfolio your work may going unnoticed or your reputation is not as strong as it could be.