Navigating Professionalism in a Digital Universe

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Navigating Professionalism in a Digital Universe

We know the world is digitalized and our professional and personal lives are available for the world to see.  We know we can reach anyone in the world at any time.  The biggest question we need to ask ourselves is this.  How do I want to present myself to the world? Which is no different than the question you ask yourself when you wake up in the morning and get dressed.  How do I want to present myself in my work, my community, to family and friends?  Managing both your personal presence and your digital footprint will have a lot to say about you.

Here are my top 3 recommendationsfor managing your professional life in the digital universe.

Google yourself.  Be aware of your online presence.  Be mindful of what you post.  Focus on things that add to your credibility and build trust with your personal brand. You are responsible for your online image.  The freely available and permanent nature of digital communication offers us both opportunity and risk. Amplify posts and content that speak highly to your professional image and remove the content that doesn’t. Don’t let the worldwide web control you. I’ll say it again, you are in control of your digital self.



Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete as this is your real time resume.  LinkedIn is the first and largest digital platform for business networking.  Your photograph needs to be professional and reflect the image you want to represent in your business and in life.  The goal with LinkedIn is to build and sustain a network of business relationships.  Take notice of what your connections are doing and keep in touch.  You should request recommendations individually and with a personalized message.  Don’t overuse templates (as tempting as they may be).  The goal is to communicate with sincerity and build/maintain trust.  Share and post information that adds value.  Focus on quality rather than quantity.  Spend at least five minutes a day on your network and often, more. Thank people who share your information. Expanding networks are far more valuable than stagnant ones.  Ask yourself one more time before you post, does this add value?  And just like with emails, ensure no typos!


Be aware of your presence on social networking sites.  Always communicate with sensitivity and awareness. Facebook was once a social networking site, however, now it is increasingly used for business.  I recommend keeping your personal Facebook account personal, and if you wish to use FB for business, create a separate business account.  Dont air dirty laundry or discuss controversial topics as this can reflect poorly on you. Manage your online presence the same as you manage your personal presence. If you see that someone else has posted a negative or inappropriate comment or photo that reflects poorly on you, ask to have it removed.  People are watching.  Manners matter.  Always put your best self out there.  Social networking sites represent your personal brand as well as reflect on your professional image and reputation.  Be intentional in all that you do.

In todays digital world, being mindful of our professional image matters now more than ever! Let me know if you found these tips helpful in the comments below and if you’d love to hear more!




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Mary Williams

Mary is a business etiquette and protocol expert for executives and rising stars who want to unleash their best self and achieve their goals. A veteran of the C-Suite, Mary is a passionate advocate for utilizing the best skills in business etiquette and protocol to ensure meaningful actions for success in business and life. After more than a dozen years in her role as chief of staff, Mary launched her own dream business, Mary Williams, Your First Impression Authority. As a graduate of The American School of Protocol and a certified Business Coach, in addition to working at the highest levels of national and international organizations, Mary understands both the demands and the complexities of maneuvering effectively through business and life.   She is a regular presenter at university business schools, nonprofit organizations, trade association conferences, as well as corporate events. Her mission is to share all she has learned along the way, and in doing so provide effective business coaching to ultimately help people reach their true potential, utilizing distinct techniques and simple steps that guarantee success.


  1. Perry on May 18, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    First Class Lady as always Miss Mary –
    These things can be so easily overlooked (guilty myself) in our social media driven world.
    You have always set the bar high in a good way from the first time I worked for You, and still always managed to keep the friendly down to earth atmosphere in the conversation. Great article as always

    • mm Mary Williams on October 24, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you so much Perry for your kind words. It’s good to hear from you! You always delivered on your promises in all of the work you accomplished for us. We appreciate all you do! Thank you!

  2. Joyce Brown on May 19, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I couldn’t agree more!! I think sometimes we are unconscious as to our digital presence. It needs that daily attention as do many of the other things in our businesses! Thanks for the reminder.

    • mm Mary Williams on October 24, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you, Joyce! Always great to hear from you. Hope things are going well in your world. Thank you!

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