The Internet, Your Presentation of Self and Success

Positive personal impact is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to create positive personal impact, you need to do three things.  1) Develop and nurture your unique personal brand.  2) Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.  3) Know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.

Last Friday I came across an article on called “15 Dumbest Ways to Lose Your Job.”  Guess what?  The first three dumb ways to lose a job involved inappropriate information the job holders posted on line.  They are cases of extreme stupidity – and cruelty, but they illustrate my point about being impeccable in your presentation of self on line very well.

In the first case, two nurses were fired for using their Facebook accounts to discuss x rays they saw of a patient who had a sex toy lodged in his rectum.  The comment – “Violating a patient’s privacy is just plain wrong. Violating a patient’s privacy, then advertising it on a social networking site is just plain stupid.”  I agree.

In the second case, two Domino’s Pizza employees took pictures of themselves sneezing on sandwiches and cleaning a pizza pan with a sponge one of them used to wipe his bare bottom just moments before. They posted their video on YouTube, and it quickly became an internet sensation. Both employees were fired and now face criminal charges for tampering with food.  That’s just not stupid, it demonstrates a complete lack of regard for other human beings.

In the third case, a guy in South Africa posted a comment on his Facebook page calling his boss a “serial masturbator.”  A co worker saw the post and reported it to the employer.  The poster lost his job. says, “Don’t say anything on Facebook you wouldn’t want your boss, spouse, parents or children to see. Ever.” 

I really agree with’s advice on the third point.  That’s why I always advise my coaching clients to be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line. 

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  You create positive personal impact by being impeccable in your presentation of self.  I used to think that dressing neatly and appropriately for your work situation was enough to make a good impression.  Of course, I grew up in the pre internet age.  These days, you need to think before you post things on the internet – even if they seem very funny to you at first glance, like a picture of you at a party.  And, you should never post anything that is hurtful or demeans another person.  It’s common practice for people to Google someone who they are going to meet for the first time.  Make sure that what turns up when someone Googles you is the first impression you want a stranger to have of you.

That’s my take on the internet, your presentation of self and success.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.