For some context, I work as a graphic designer and have been wanting to update my portfolio for a while now with some more professional and real work from my employer, whom I work full time for as an in-house designer.

Although I'm worried that by asking permission to post work that I've done online they might see that as me trying to bolster my position to find a better job, although that is not my intention.

Would you see this as an attempt from an employee to find something better or am I worrying too much?

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    You are worried too much – Ed Heal Nov 3 '19 at 21:06
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    Why worry about something so trivial? – ChrisFNZ Nov 3 '19 at 21:15
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    Because most graphic designers I know have only updated their portfolio when leaving, my role isn't exactly protected, in other words, I could be easily pushed out of a job if they think I'm trying to leave anyway. – Shixma Nov 3 '19 at 21:18
  • @Shixma Check your contract. Most ofgraphic designer (in the US) update their portfolio after leaving (with small fraction of work) because they are bind by contract to not disclose work they are currently doing. – SZCZERZO KŁY Nov 4 '19 at 9:12

It's good practice to always keep your portfolio up to date with projects as you complete/work on them. By having this practice in place, with your portfolio having relatively regular updates (say, once a year around the same time), you easily remove suspicion that might surround that kind of move.

On top of which, any workplace that would fire you for updating your portfolio isn't a place that I would work at. Granted, there might be privilege here, but that kind of pettiness doesn't speak well of them if it happens. Corporations should be working to retain strong talent, not cast it off. Worse yet when they demand loyalty, while providing none.


Would you see this as an attempt from an employee to find something better or am I worrying too much?

Yes, either that or you want to show off, either way I'd say no. But I'm not your boss. The danger is that after saying no or even yes, your boss may start thinking about replacing you.

Unless you have a solid reason for it, then it's not a risk I would take.

  • This is such a normal request, While your scenario can happen, it would be very rare and only with an extremely poor leadership. – Sander Skovgaard Hansen Nov 4 '19 at 6:39
  • @SanderSkovgaardHansen it's not normal, normal is to update afterwards, not during. – Kilisi Nov 4 '19 at 7:18
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    Almost everyone I've worked with always updates during. It's a way to show what you are working on. So people who follow your career (Friends and famine e.g.) have a place to look. This is a super normal procedure. I agree that updating afterwards is also normal, but that doesn't make updating during not normal. I've never heard of a boss seeing this as a red flag in any way. – Sander Skovgaard Hansen Nov 4 '19 at 7:20

Why do you want to update your portfolio? In absence of a better reason, the worst one (you preparing to leave) might be assumed. So giving your real reason might prevent that.

Edit after Comment: I dunno what estabilishing as a professional means in your industry. But in most industries, if you have an interview for a new job, you get asked what you did, and which parts of that. Because yeah, you usually can't carry out your work. As Designer, Id assumme, a lot of your work would be at least somewhat accessible. (On websites, videos, in games, something like that). As alternative, try do give a conference talk. A lot of companies like that, because it's advertising for them. And you get to show off you know something.

If you want to do side jobs, check your contract or ask for permission to do that. I completly understand you want a portfolio for that, but your company might not be thrilled about that.

  • I'm still fairly new to the industry and want to establish myself in it professionally & possibly take on side projects, but currently have nothing public to show for it apart from personal projects. I guess this could be taken as trying to leave although I'm not actively looking for a job. – Shixma Nov 3 '19 at 22:43

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