Over 8.5 years in NYC, I've moved 5 times and when I move, the landlord has always given me 100% of the deposit.
Because I'm a neat freak.
I'm not OCD about it, but I don't have trouble keeping things tidy either.
Past 4 yrs raising my daughter, it's been a bit more of a challenge, but with a little bit more effort, it can be done!
We keep things (relatively) clean all year round, that way we never have to do a big spring cleaning or (when we move) a major overhaul.
Granted, as we'd finished up a move this past weekend, I had to spend time yesterday evening vacuuming forgotten crevices, scrubbing back corners of the fridge, washing sizable smudge marks off the walls, and finishing up one final sweep - but it took just under 2 hours to finish because I'd been keeping the apartment clean week by week.
Keeping a clean apt is not only helpful for day to day efficiency (we have clean dishes to eat with, we aren't tripping over our clothes, we can always find our keys), but the tidy order that goes along with cleanliness is also more attractive to guests, and ultimately - makes it easier when the time comes to make a move.
Replace "clean apartment" with UPDATED PORTFOLIO, and you'll quickly see the connections:
- Some people wait until they're actively job hunting to update their portfolio: This takes A LOT of time & energy.
- Some designers I know even leave their current jobs to take time off and update their portfolio: because they know how much time it takes.
- This ultimately leads to lost opportunities.
- Taking time off to rest, for reasons of mental health & wellness, makes sense.
- Leaving a job to dedicate your energy full time toward the search for a new (work) home, with money saved, also makes sense
- but you have stronger negotiating power if you hunt for a job while currently employed (or with multiple offers)
- and a good number of opportunities won't reveal themselves until you have an updated portfolio
- recruiters (internal or agency) and hiring managers look at designers' portfolios, even when they are not actively hiring. If they're impressed, they bookmark you for later. If they see a portfolio of work from 2013, they're less likely to take a second look.
- keeping your portfolio updated also has benefits for networking reasons and for side hustle (remote freelance, part-time) gigs
- working hard (too busy) might be a reason you use to put off updating that portfolio. But there's something to be said for working smart.
- it's a matter of doing a little work every few months, or doing A LOT of work all at once: which might not be stressful if that's how you like to work or you're doing it over a holiday. But honestly, moving jobs (like moving apartments) is stressful enough as it is.
Keep things focused. Keep things simple. Don't leave your portfolio to the last minute. Keep it current.
An up-to-date portfolio, like a clean apartment, makes you more efficient, more appealing, and ultimately saves you time and money.
Even if you don't plan to leave your company for another year or more, update your portfolio!! You won't regret it.
Not sure how to create your UX Portfolio? Many resources, free & paid, available. Sarah Doody is a great place to start