What is your portfolio?

…rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science. (Gary Zukav)

 I recommended Ben for a job as a programmer.  He had been programming intensely for 6 years.  He had proof of his skills with C++.  He had produced a video game that was more complex than many in the stores at the time.  I was enthusiastic and said he was a junior, perfect for a 3 month programming job.  The hiring manager agreed to an interview.  I forgot (really just forgot) to mention he was a high school student, not a college student.  The manager, out of courtesy, let the interview go on anyway.  The portfolio (the game), the enthusiasm and knowledge of the kid were so great, that he was hired.  Let’s not forget he was cheap too.

How can a high school junior get a job as a college junior?  It took an enthusiastic mistake and a portfolio.  You can create your own enthusiasm.  See my post about motivating your friends to help. Don’t try to make a mistake, just capitalize on them.  The portfolio is not as easy as it looks.

Your portfolio is separate from your resume.  Your resume is a list of accomplishments. It is a list of what happened because you were at a job, a list of improvements.  Your portfolio is concrete examples of your output.  In marketing it is letters, brochures, ad campaigns and internet links.  In programming it is websites you created or programs that actually run, all with examples of your coding.  Graphics artists often carry a huge folder of their art with them.  Some leaders actually write a book about their performance and get it published.  A network technician can dial in to the five computers in his basement from the interviewer’s office. A writer should have documents he produced.

Put proof in an envelope, on a CD, or in an internet site.  Show what you have done.

Proof can flat out get you hired.  No question about it.  Can you prove what you have done?

Something To Do Today

Ask your boss what you could put in your portfolio that proves you deserve a raise.  Put together that portfolio and see if he gives you one.  If he doesn’t, show that portfolio to other employers and get a new job.

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Coming next:     Blackmail your boss?

I just quit and my old boss wants me back!

Quit or be fired?

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