Workout that Portfolio baby!
I have always felt and encouraged designers to update their trusty (probably rusty) portfolios at least every 6 months. While many designers feel that they should only update their portfolios when they are looking for new work or job hunting, I find there are another few reasons why it should be done more frequently.
The period you stay in a job can last anywhere from 1 year to 5 years or more. If you were like me in a busy consultancy, you could be working on new projects every 3 to 6 weeks. At the end of 1 year you could have accumulated upwards of 20 design projects! This would be a major investment in time and effort if you needed to update your portfolio right away. Furthermore there could be instances that you can’t find the right images and data for your portfolio because it was lost in that data pile of mess you call a server, or some errant intern could have deleted it. (Has happened!)
Often times, a portfolio crunch comes when you need to update your portfolio for a potential job opportunity, and like most good job opportunities, they do not wait. I had interviewed designers that kept on saying they have better and newer work, as well as gave up waiting on designers to submit their portfolios. Needless to say they did not even get considered for the job. Having a constantly updated portfolio, means you are ready to grab that fantastic job opportunity that rarely comes by in our all too competitive world.
Finally and most importantly, frequently updating your portfolio means you get to take stock of what you have accomplished. In our daily grind of spinning 3D models, managing vendors, and sanding foam etc. we tend to forget that whatever we do is an extra notch in our belt or that it is a foundation stone that builds our career as designers. So by regularly updating your portfolio work, you might find that you feel a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment of what you have done so far. It also allows you to access areas in design that you might or want to improve on. Hopefully this will allow you to rise above that daily grind many designers gripe about and from my experience, its only when you do rise above it that you will achieve greatness.
So do try updating that dusty portfolio and let me know how it feels?
On the side note for my non-designer readers, the same effect can be felt by updating your resume or CV frequently.