Portfolio Building After Layoff

I was laid off early on in the pandemic. I was told my job was safe two weeks prior to being laid off, so it came as a huge surprise when the company decided to dissolve my entire division. I was not prepared and was unable to collect any work samples to use in my portfolio from my two years with the company. The company offered to put together some of the work samples for me, however, they have since laid off the people who were supposed to be handling this task. My portfolio now appears to have a two-year gap. How would you go about handling this situation, either with the company, or with prospective employers who are asking to see your recent work?

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Recreate it. You have no choice. But see this as an opportunity to make it look stronger than where you landed with the company.


Hi Dsquared, I would strongly suggest that you asl someone at the company to let you get copies of your files! As long as you left the place on good terms, they will probably not mind and or let you know what they are not cool with you showing.
This has happened tome a few times before and it has never been a problem. Either they will let you go in and do it, or go in and an IT guy or someone will escort you to do it? Or they can just send them via Wetransfer?
Losing workk is awful I wouldn’t give up so easy. There is no reason they shouldn’t let you get your work! Best of luck! LMK how it goes!?

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Wow I really hope you find a way to get access to your files. I think this is a teachable moment to let others know you should be periodically saving your work. Pick a time frame every 3-6 months set up a system because you never know when something unexpected could happen.


I’m still waiting to hear from them. Last I heard, the office is still closed and they have laid off their IT team. As long as they don’t go under completely, I think I’ll eventually have access, but I have no idea how long it could take.

If there is anyone you can think of that will definitely survive? a receptionist? VP’s assistant? or HR? anyone that can keep you in touch with them & maybe get in there when the time is right! Best of Luck!

If they have a website check if anything you helped with is on there, or if they have a catalog with new product hidden on the site.

You can always find e-commerce photos of your designs (post production) via the company website, I was able to find photos of product that I designed up to 2 years back, and this worked well for filling in my portfolio.

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I had a similar situation pre-pandemic. My boss fired me out of the blue, and I had no work samples for my portfolios for the past 2 years I worked there. They told me I wasn’t allowed to take anything home, because it’s property of the company now. I had a 2 year gap in my portfolio, and I could NOT get hired. Every interviewer would say, “do you have any work samples to show me?” and I’d explain my situation. I’m still struggling to this day, 3-4 years later to explain what I did at that company whenever an interviewer wants to go over my resume with me since it was one of my last jobs. I can tell them in words, but they always get disappointed when I can’t show anything visually. They don’t believe me. It’s absolutely awful.

I ended up having to do lots of trial days and extra projects for the interview process. Unfortunately, all that work I did can never be re-created, can’t be sent to me, and is lost forever. A lesson learned the hard way. Sorry to hear this happened to you. I wouldn’t expect them to send you any of your work, but if they do, that’s a life saver.

If you can recreate anything, it’s worth a shot. If you have coworkers that worked on the same projects, maybe they could share their portfolio with you if they’re comfortable doing that.

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