Personal Proof of Work: Portfolio Building

10/27/2022 15:15

When Satoshi Nakamoto penned Proof of Work in the initial Bitcoin whitepaper, it was a means to decentralize power and control over how money is controlled and regulated.

But, the concept of Proof of Work has taken hold in Web3 far beyond being a mere (to be glib) consensus mechanism. This idea applies in many ways to how the space operates and where value lies.

For instance, the most important factor for getting a job or funding in Web3 is often your experience…or what you have to show for it. Your very own Proof of Work, if you will.

🔥 Want some tips directly from Web3 recruiters? Listen to our Twitter Space: How to Land Your Dream Job in Web3! And, follow us on Twitter to catch our bi-weekly discussions with Web3 leaders!

Why is this even more important in Web3?

As a still nascent industry, but one that is on the cusp (excuse me for repeating the hype of the last five years, but I can see the changes….) of becoming far more professionalized and mainstream, the reasons for this are clear.

First, of course, go back to the ethos of the space. Web3 has a side that is just money driven. But, there is also a large contingent of very heavily belief-motivated people here. And many are putting their money where they're mouth is. They’re investing in the projects they believe in. But, it also goes much farther than just money. Many people also invest a significant amount of time and work in the projects they really believe in. Just look at how DAOs — especially service DAOs — have exploded in the past year or so. The issue? Taking your experience with you, especially for anon contributors.

Second, though, comes back to how young the space is. When an industry (not the tech) is at its absolute best 10 years old, becoming an expert is often a matter of learning quickly and eying forward thinking enough to start forging your own path in the space and building products and services that drive the whole space forward. As Enara Nazarova, a Top 30 Voice in the Metaverse, said:

“Instead of there being a process that you must go through in order to be qualified, you get to qualify yourself and you get to go through those practices.”

The one thing to note, is to make sure to do this in public.

So, what can you do?

Build in public and showcase your past work in a portfolio.

Source: Twitter via @WrittenMastery

And, if you're looking for your first job in the space, don't feel left out. You can still build a great portfolio based on case studies to showcase your understanding of how to navigate the space and help you land that first job!

Portfolio Building

Now it's time to get down to work! This is Web3. And, here, we build.

1. Pick your Platform

The first thing to do is to decide the best way to demonstrate your experience. This may come down to your area of work.

Are you a dev? Probably go with GitHub, but if you’re not a fan of that, you can also Wordpress. And, if you do UX/UI, you’ll probably want to build your won website.

Graphic designer? Website or a site like Behance.

A marketer or community manager? A website, deck, or fully recorded presentation.

No matter your line of work, displaying how you work, and why you understand the space, can help you find a job!

Tip: Not sure where to build? Here are some of our recommendations!
  • Pitch — easily design nice looking decks
  • Notion — not confident building your own website? Notion is a bit easier to tackle!
  • Loom — record your work, either walking through your deck or an example!
  • GitHub — Record your code.
  • Behance — Display your designs in public.
  • Can’t code, but still want to try building a website? Check out:
  • Wix
  • SquareSpace
  • Webflow

2. Collect your Work

If you're already active in Web3, use the work you're already creating! Take a lot of screenshots and document your workflows and the most important questions that you use to guide your work.

Digital marketer, Murad, collected screenshots with the actual metrics behind his work. Check out his full website or the deck!

If you're not, you can always opt for creating case studies that show how you approach real world situations.

Not sure how to build a case study? Don’t worry, here’s a fast eight steps to building a great case study! What do you need to remember? Keep it short and clear. Just because this is eight steps doesn’t mean that each step needs it’s own slide in a deck or paragraph of explanation.

  1. Introduce the client or project.
  2. Present the problem or goal.
  3. Recap your role.
  4. Share your suggested solutions.
  5. Walk through the reasons behind your suggestions.
  6. Describe the results, real or expected.
  7. Note any key takeaways.
  8. Wrap it up!

What's key here? Make sure that your work is in Web3. Or, at the very least, highly applicable to the space. And, as a note for those with real world experience, case studies can supplement your displayed experience by providing the logic behind your work!

Tip: This is a bit of a flex and should be approached cautiously. But, if you know exactly which project you want to work for, you can always use them for your case study, and show them how you can apply your skills to improve their work. Just make sure to do this in a very respectful manner.
Approach it from the standpoint that they're already doing great work that you respect, but there are a few areas you could see some improvements in. And, make sure you research well. The hiring manager is the expert in the project, not you. So make sure that you research, and mention that this is based on your understanding from outside the organization.

3. Set a Structure

This is key. Your portfolio needs to be intuitive. Ideally whether you're there to explain it in person or not.

Start with an introduction to yourself and the topic. Explain your logic throughout your work, and try to format it chronologically if possible. Make sure that your decisions are presented in a manner that makes it clear they're strategic.

4. Edit

This is essential throughout…including at the end. But, it's also much easier to edit undesigned work, than editing your designed work, often because you'll have to go back and redesign to account for missing or new pieces of info!

So, once you have your overall structure and content in place, go through it. Make sure it makes sense and that there are no jumps in logic. And, on the flipside, make sure that nothing is irrelevant. Typically people won't have a lot of time, so you want to communicate the most important overview quickly, provide enough  details  to back it up, but not so much that people can't easily get a grasp on what's going on.

5. Design It

Unfortunately, no matter how high quality your work is, it has to look appealing. I cannot stress how important this is to gain the initial interest of your audience, who I might remind you, is a potential employer. This may be a bit different if you're a backend dev, but everyone else, listen up!

Make sure that your images are high quality. And, to back up, make sure that you have some images. (This is potentially less applicable for a GitHub, but everyone else, please take note.)

And, finally, break up your content into different, digestible sections. Ideally, this work will have started in your structure, but it always helps to add visual queues to supplement your structure and make it more clear for users.

6. Additional Content

If you've opted for a website, this is a bit more important because you can add extra pages and information. But, regardless, there is information that should be part of every portfolio.

What should you include?

  • Contact information
  • Links to your socials.

What optional information can you include?

  • About me
  • Profile picture, whether a real image of you or a PFP (this is still Web3 after all)
  • Press
  • Publications
  • Past clients
  • Skills and services

With additional information, you can go in the direction you want. But, remember, that the bulk of your portfolio should be brief and concise. Most hiring managers spend a woefully small amount of time reviewing CVs. And, while portfolios tend to be a bit more interesting, you should assume whoever is looking at your’s won’t want to spend 20+ minutes wading through information.

Presence Building

Potentially equally important is investing in your digital presence as a leader in the space. Not sure where to start?

First of all, take a page out of the Web3 book — build in public. Document your thoughts and actions on Twitter or another social media that makes sense for you.

Tip: Start by asking questions or share your views on Web3 platforms. These are tactics Enara Nazarova, a Top 30 Voice in the Metaverse, uses to “start conversations…and build up public image.”

If you're not there yet, you can always start writing Tweets on topics relevant to your area of work. You're a writer? Dive into the Web3 narratives?

Marketer? Break down different marketing strategies and how you apply them to Web3 projects and audiences.

Dev? Discuss the tech, the state of dev rel, or what turn you on…or off…of a particular project.

Essentially, start creating content that is relevant to your career and will set you apart as a leader.

Start Benefiting!

Now, it's time to start sharing your portfolio. You can always be hyper proactive and start sharing it on your socials so that your followers see it. But, if you have the chance, also upload it with job applications, bring it with you to interviews, and, if it's pertinent to the conversation, you can even introduce it to give your talking points in an interview. This will give your answers more structure and proof.

Good luck! And, if you want more guidance, feel free to check out our courses, which come with built in portfolio and presence building opportunities, or hop in our Discord and ask for a hand now!

Have any experiences to share or want to learn more? Join our Discord to talk now, or contribute directly to the Third Academy Library by applying to be a contributor below!

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