I was supposed to be submitting my chartership, via the trial e-portfolio system, before 31/12/09. This is not going to happen.

I am meeting my mentor tomorrow, and I was supposed to have done a CV, an updated PPDP, and a draft evaluative statement. Most of this is not going to happen.

Why? I jokingly remarked that it was because I was too busy developing professionally to spend time on my portfolio. While this was a flippant remark, it does have a grain of truth. Since I agreed to submit by the end of December, I have become more involved with SLA E, and my work as co-chair of the Early Careers Committee has increased. We have also been very busy at Mimas, with all my projects taking off at once!

Another contributing factor has been my frustration with the e-portfolio system. I have found it very un-intuitive to use, and found the lack of documented help/instructions very frustrating. I’m normally quite keen to be an early adopter of these things, but just found that I couldn’t get to grips with this system.

After contacting some other people who were using the system, and finding that they wanted support too, I set up the ning, where we could share ideas and tips. This sense of having a peer group did help, and I started to feel better about the system.

Then I tried using it again. It might just be me, but I found that it was really detracting from my chartership experience. I had no feeling of something coming together, just of odd pieces of evidence stuck on at various times. I found that I was really dreading coming to look at it, and really wasn’t enjoying doing any chartership work. So I have decided that I probably won’t be submitting using that system.

I hadn’t realised quite how stressed I was, both by the e-portfolio system and the December deadline, until I decided that I wasn’t going to make it. I hate missing deadlines – it feels like such a failure! – but in this case it’s actually an enormous relief.

What this extra time (I’m hoping to submit around March/April) will give me is a chance to completely revisit how I am thinking about my chartership. I realised that while some of my disjointed feel was down to the e-portfolio system, much of it was due to the fact that I didn’t have a coherent plan for my portfolio. I knew in a vague way what should be in it, but I’d just been picking things out as I went along. I hadn’t been using my PPDP properly, as a basis for the structure. Frankly, I didn’t have a structure! I’d been assuming that as long as I was doing the development activities and the reflection, that the portfolio would pretty much organise itself. I was very, very wrong.

So, what I will have for my mentor tomorrow is this blog post, explaining why I don’t have any of the things I was supposed to prepare. But I do now have a better appreciation of what is involved in putting together a chartership portfolio, and am feeling geared-up to get going with it. And a little enthusiasm is worth a boat-load of paperwork, right?