EX02 - Career Inventory

An early reality check

It’s better to build with what you have than dream about what could have been.

Updated July 02, 2020

When you’re building your first portfolio, the mind’s eye has a difficult time accurately projecting the possible. Designers who have built portfolios before will instantly recognize the issue at hand.

The problem has nothing to do with taste or skill and everything to do with the reality of the project being portrayed in the portfolio. Even great projects can fall victim to poor record keeping while in progress. It’s impossible to show a before and after if the before was not somehow preserved.

Ultimately, the final result will hinge directly on the material you have to work with.

When you discover that content you were relying on for your portfolio is missing, it is nothing short of deflating. These portfolio gremlins bite job seekers especially hard when a significant amount of time has passed since the project was completed.

Most of the time, this issue is limited to visual assets, but I’ve seen entire projects go ‘poof’ into the darkness because of job changes, account downgrades, etc.

So before you begin to construct or overhaul your portfolio, you should first do the following:

  • Make a screen recording of all product prototypes you have created.
  • Organize visual assets by type of work within the project folder.
  • Write a short intro for each project you might include in your portfolio.

With these steps, you’ll build an accurate inventory of the material you have. However, if you have much content it won’t be long before the details associated with each project begin to blur. This is where a career inventory spreadsheet can be beneficial.

The spreadsheet should be used to documenting assets, process, team members, URLs, and any other content that you deem useful.

Now instead of worrying about the details you’ll forget over time, you can focus on how you’ll edit the content to effectively position you for the job search ahead.


Length: One-to-two hours to complete.

Before you can begin the job search process, you’ll need a portfolio. As we begin the planning process, it is essential to fill out this portfolio inventory spreadsheet. Selecting ‘copy base’ will duplicate the file into an Airtable account.

This spreadsheet provides you with a document of reference material that will guide you through the process of creating your case studies.

In addition to your portfolio inventory spreadsheet, please update your Program Journal with links to any existing resume, LinkedIn bio, or cover letters that you have available.

Post a link to your Journal in the #Feedback-Loop channel for review.


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