When you start your first portfolio pieces, the temptation is to do too much all at once.
It’s like when I do complicated yoga poses. I twist my arms into the eagle pose, AND try to put my foot higher on my leg. Oh no! Too much, too soon. Now, I’m tipping and bound to fall over.
So how about you just try the arm pose first? Then position the leg? Now you’ve got it!
To give yourself a better chance of small success, try the new pieces for your portfolio in small chunks. I like to use familiar content and tools for the bulk of the portfolio project. Then I add one thing, one challenge that’s new or hard for me.
For example, when I did the Leadership Sources of Power SlideShare project, I had several familiar things going for me. I had learned the theory in a college course. In my work, I had lived the stories I was telling, and I knew the tool (PowerPoint) extremely well. So my stretch or challenge for that project was in three small areas: 1) the graphic design; 2) in creating an interaction, a new poll with PollDaddy; and 3) manipulating the PowerPoint template so that SlideShare would generate the perfect transcript.
By sticking with several familiar tools and formats you know from your work or school, and mixing just one or two new ingredients, you will increase your chance of success on your portfolio project.