Proof of a Portfolio Vs. Promise of a Resume

chasejarvis_lulu lemon athleticaPeople that have “done it” will be able to do it again. Whether it’s shooting a successful commercial assignment, hanging in a museum, making a music video, or whatever. It may not be a de-facto truth, but that’s what’s believed on the open market. It’s SAFER for the person hiring a creative if they can point to something that you’ve already done. One reason I get a lot of work is that I’ve done a lot of projects. They’re banking on my portfolio–work I’ve actually completed, work that I can point at, not a “resume,” or work that can be surmised.

I’m not saying it’s right or fair. It’s just the way it is.

But what if we’re not on the up-side of experience? For someone trying to get their first chance at anything where the keys to the kingdom are closely held by someone else, this can be a huge paradox.

If what you think you need is a new platform to show you can do something, you’re barking up the wrong tree. “Just gimme a shot and I’ll deliver” won’t cut it, no matter how loud you say it or how much you hope for it. The people making the decisions want proof. After all, if you fall flat, it usually means their ass is cooked.

So instead of lamenting “woe is me”, try this: Don’t create a resume, create a portfolio. Create actual WORK that looks like what you want to get “discovered” for. And make that work very strong.

Stop waiting for someone to take a chance on you. Do the work. And then show it to whomever’s got the keys to the kingdom. Once you’ve “done it”–and done it well–the phone will ring.

[inspired by a recent post featuring Randy Nelson from Pixar]

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