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Doing it Messy - An IDOL Mentor’s First Portfolio

#becomeanidol #careerchange #careerpivot #doitmessy #education #elearning #feedback #instructionaldesign #peerreview #teacher Feb 03, 2022

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, especially in new situations like the first week in the IDOL courses Academy. People can discourage it all they want. But when you haven’t found your personal mile markers, it’s far easier to look at someone else’s map.  

Here’s my current portfolio

Two years of polish and I still feel like it needs work. Just the other day someone pointed out a typo in my About section. But even with imperfections (that I see!), I'm proud of it and grateful I worked so hard to build it up.  


But if this is your first cohort, you’d be comparing yourself to the wrong map.

And that’s what I told my mentees this week. 

Here is my first portfolio

After eight weeks and one badge, this is what I had to show for it. 

This is how I got my first remote ID job.

It needs so much polish—and a facelift—but I am proud of Mandy 2020. 


I was in daily trauma at my workplace, attempting to support my family on one income in the middle of a pandemic with an autistic daughter who was spending 3rd grade in an online classroom, AND trying to change my career. 


Messy was all I had left.

Give yourself permission to show up for yourself in the ways that you can. 

Do it messy. 

The rest can sort itself out.

If you’re curious, here’s a brief explanation of my revision choices:

  • I chose to move to Weebly so I could have more options in web page formatting.
  • I realized including my creative writing was more filler than helpful. No hiring manager or recruiter has time to read all of that. Maybe I could have kept flash fiction or had an animated story-piece, but it wasn’t needed as it was.
  • My branding was all over the place. Every color and font I liked became my darlings. And, as any writer knows, one must kill their darlings. So I edited it down significantly so that the website could showcase my work more than get in the way.
  • I revised my Herbalism 101 job aid. (The first version has icons for each taste, as though the learner doesn’t know what tastes are--ha! Again, revising it down to the essentials seems to be an area of growth for me.)
  • I revised the Herbalism course in general--I found a better, more minimalistic template to use. It felt more modern and less clunky. Also, some of the slides I had in the eLearning weren’t needed. 
  • I streamlined my resume. Instead of keeping everything, I only kept work that I actually wanted to do in the future (not list everything I could do--imagine that!). I also dropped the logo. Gave me more room.
  • Added pieces that feel like better examples of my work now - storyboards, microlearning, multimedia pieces... 
  • Removed weaker pieces & added new learning badges

Written by: Mandy Brown

💜Mandy Brown (she/her) is a fiercely neurodivergent, all-boats-rise kind of person who loves emojis and would be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn. 😉