One of the most powerful tools you can create and promote during your career search other than your resume is a career portfolio. Your portfolio is a great opportunity for you to display your professional accomplishments and awards. When developing your career portfolio the presentation format and creative ideas are endless. Your presentation can be produced as a brag book or through an online portfolio source. Your portfolio should be professional and consistently industry relevant. Do not rush the process and have fun formatting your portfolio with quality copies and clear pictures. Take a moment to view your great work with pride and confidence. Your portfolio can be an empowering conversation point during your interview that ushers you to opportunities to speak more in-depth about your accomplishments with verifiable data present beyond some interview questions guides. Your portfolio can be the deciding factor for you being considered for a position or a promotion.
Career Portfolio Content Ideas
- Non-confidential metrics
- Letters of Recommendation
- Previous non-confidential industry related project outcomes
- Community outreach projects with pictures if applicable
- Media tears
- Mock industry related projects to show your creativity or plan execution ability
A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation. ~ Mark Twain ~
Your conversation engagement goal should consistently be to leave a positive lasting impression when speaking with various industry professionals. Beyond being a subject matter expert; it is great for you to be open to share a few of your own personal interests, goals, and hobbies with others. Strive to share something different in each conversation. The ability to dialogue a mixture of topics; displays your range of diversity of your life experiences and studies. Embark upon conversations with novice and seasoned industry professionals that you can learn from. Every conversation has the potential to deliver you valuable knowledge that you can potentially incorporate into your everyday success activities. Position yourself to be a part of conversation to remember frequently.
Possible Conversation Activity Sparks
- Learn a new word. Many dictionary sites will email you a new word to assist you with increasing your vocabulary daily.
- Attend culture events. Take time to attend events, festivals, and concerts locally and nationally.
- Be adventurous daily. Try new foods. Shop in different locations throughout your city.
No matter where you are on your current career path or succession plan; you must remain current and relevant in your skills and knowledge. Identifying education, mentorship, industry certification, or success coaching opportunities beyond what is provided by your employer are beneficial to your professional development. Own your professional evolution and do not be reluctant to take immediate action to determine which form of professional growth you need. Research your options well and with a purpose of being promotable, trainable, and/or a verifiable Subject Matter Expert. The professional and personal development time you invest in yourself always yields a solid return. Being current and relevant is a requirement for your career stability whether you want to retain or advance in your position and industry.
Current and Relevant Self-observation Inquiries
- Can you easily share the top five current and forecasted industry trends for your profession?
- Are the same development opportunities surfacing during annual reviews or statuses with management continually?
- Do you have the education and/or certification credentials needed to be considered for your next desired position or to be retained in your current position?
Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: “Are your ready?” ~Johnny Carson~