Let me start out by saying I love my job, as far as I know my employer is in great standings and will be in business for years to come, and as of this moment, I’m not actively looking for a new job. With that being said, if an offer-I-can’t-refuse lands on my lap, I’m probably outta’ here. The problem with that statement is why should an offer like that land on my lap? I have this website (which at the moment doesn’t do much showing off at all), a LinkedIn profile, and a community theatre website, on a generic WordPress theme, to show to my name and abilities.
I work a 40+ hour week, have a wife and new child, and participate in a number of activities and have quite a few hobbies, so my time is definitely at a premium. In the past I’ve done freelance work but none since I’ve worked here, and none I’d want my name associated with today. (Experience has taught me a lot.) My work here is in most cases hidden behind firewalls on corporate intranets or protected by non-competes or privacy clauses that keep me from saying I’ve done work for Client A so that Company B doesn’t know who their competitor is using. The work I do complete that’s publicly available and open for discussion is rarely more than 10% mine, and more often than not does not exercise any of the design ideals I believe in. Even if it was I don’t believe it’s in my right to use these in a personal portfolio that exists to potentially take me away from my current job. Which basically means I have nothing to show from four-years professional experience and ten years web experience other than a unstyled blog and a low-traffic, locale-specific website I don’t have time to make amazing.
I guess the point of this post goes back to something Andy Rutledge said a few weeks ago regarding design professionalism. In the words of some insurance company
life comes at you fast; I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and I have a family to support should my job disappear for some reason. I feel I should have a portfolio and a resume, be it from freelance or from some side business, or even from my work at my current employer. I don’t think it’s a matter of unprofessionalism, it’s a matter of self preservation. My high-school guidance counselor said statistically speaking I’d have something like fifteen jobs in the length of my career, I’m on number five, (maybe six or seven, depending on your definition of a job), I can’t afford to be unemployed, so where does that leave me? Right now, partially by my own fault, possibly by my employer’s intentions (which I can’t blame them for), I’m stuck in a hole, destined (or doomed) to work here as long as my job exists. Again, don’t get me wrong, I like my job, I don’t think it’s going anywhere, but there’s a lot of wisdom in not placing all of one’s proverbial eggs in a single basket.