5 Lessons I Learned Building My Portfolio

Are you a perfectionist?

Are you struggling to build your first portfolio?

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?

STOP! Right where you are. Save yourself wasted time and effort by learning from my mistakes.

Here are some revelations I had while working on my portfolio:

Set realistic expectations for what your portfolio should look like based on your current abilities and experience as an instructional designer. If you are new to the field, aim to demonstrate your proficiency and understanding, instead of skill and expertise.

While the portfolios of experts and leading industry practitioners are great sources of inspiration, your portfolio will likely not look like theirs. As a novice, you do not have the experience to create a portfolio equivalent to the portfolios that took others years and sometimes a decade-plus to work up to.

Here are some examples of what your first portfolio website might look like:

Christine Prince

Bonnie Lou Davis

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Building a Portfolio Without an ID Job

 It is a little overwhelming (to say the least) to transition from being a classroom teacher to instructional designer. Once you decide to make the switch, how do you get a job?

See this post by Roshon Goode: "Degrees Don't Get You an IDOL Job, Experience Does."  To prove you have the experience, you need a portfolio. And to create a portfolio, you have to be working as an ID.

 

Or do you?

 

Building a portfolio is something I never had to think about in my 15 years as a classroom teacher. It isn't easy to know where to start! But the IDOL courses Academy takes you through each step of the process. When building a portfolio, most people use their past experience and past projects. But since I was coming from K-12 and wanted to move into corporate, none of my previous work samples would do.

Here are my suggestions and experience with building real portfolio pieces without having an ID job.

 

  1. Reach out

Once I began my journey to becoming an ID, I told my...

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