As we head into the holiday season, for many it's a time where business slows down and the fiscal year wraps up, signaling a time for reflection. This also makes the holiday season an ideal time to plan what’s next.
With the new year ahead, think about the work you enjoyed working on and what direction you want your career to go.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- What did you like working on? What did you not?
- What projects were not as successful as you thought? And what did you learn from those experiences?
- What projects were a huge success and should be added to your portfolio?
- Do you have the approval to use them?
- Where do you see yourself in 2 and 5 years?
Tailoring your portfolio around these answers will allow you to create a stronger, more focused portfolio. Even if you aren’t ready to switch jobs in 2021, this downtime still makes for a fantastic time to update or redesign your portfolio- because as we’ve seen in 2020, you never quite know what is coming down the pipe.
When beginning to update your portfolio it’s important not to lose sight of the following big ideas that are driving the candidate side of any search a company has for a Designer:
2021 will be an Employers Market
Similar to 2020, there are more applicants for every role which means you are competing with more people for the job you want. More candidates and applicants means the market becomes “noisy.” Recruiters and hiring managers will continue to have to go through more portfolios which means if yours does not capture their attention in a matter of seconds they move onto the next one. Just like no one thoroughly reads a resume, no one spends time on a portfolio that doesn’t make them stop.
In 2021, you’ll need to be ready to compete for the job you want. Get in the ring and fight for it and one way is with an eye-catching and unique portfolio.
As we’ve mentioned before, good designers enjoy designing. If you are a Designer, and you haven’t designed a strong portfolio, what does this say about you in the market? Have you ever heard of a photographer not having an updated website when meeting a couple who need to book a wedding photographer? What would you think if they said “I don’t have one” or apologized for it being obviously outdated? I am guessing you’d either think they were not very good or not very invested - the same goes for hiring managers looking for a designer.
As we know, most designers make a move in the first three months of the year or in September/October. At the same time, product and headcount planning for 2021 is well underway. Always being in a position of readiness helps to ensure you can make the most of any opportunities that happen your way. A ready portfolio also helps a candidate act quickly should there be a downturn, furloughs or layoffs. A prepped portfolio can also help to create side 2021 hustle opportunities or even be used as a showpiece to help secure a raise/promotion - there are many uses so now is the time to get cracking.
Certain times of a year bring with it a welcome sense of new, of starting over, of beginning a journey, of change. The new year also brings with a time of resolutions and getting organized. Use the downtime in the holidays to take stock of the year, plan for the future and design a beautiful portfolio that will more than likely come in handy during 2021.