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. Don’t 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 today’s 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!