When last did you Google yourself?
It was back in 2012. I was an intern in a media company. Aside from my daily task of writing news articles for the website owned by the company, I also had to curate content for special columns on the website.
It was back in 2012. I was an intern in a media company. Aside from my daily task of writing news articles for the website owned by the company, I also had to curate content for special columns on the website. There was a special column called, “30 Days, 30 Voices” that I really loved. I had to find 30 unique voices to contribute articles on any topic of their choice. The variety of the perspectives, subject matter chosen and the voice of each writer made the column quite thrilling for me.
Finding writers to contribute wasn’t too difficult. I usually leveraged social media and Google. Google allowed me to ‘check out’ the person before I shortlisted them as a contributor. One day, while working a fresh list for the column, a thought crossed my mind ever so softly, “Why don’t you Google yourself?”
Sheer curiosity resulted in me typing “Doyin Jaiyesimi” in the Google search bar; utter amazement cleared away that curiosity as I scrolled through the search results. There was a Doyin Jaiyesimi quite alright; it just wasn’t me. I did eventually find a search result that related to me but it was about an award I received as an undergrad in university two years before that and it was on page six of the Google search result.
I wasn’t pleased with the outcome of this Google search. It felt like I was ‘invisible’ digitally. Not only did the single result that had to do with me appear on the 6th page, the Doyin Jaiyesimi that owned the rest of the search results was a man. Imagine if someone had to research me to find out more information about me, maybe for an opportunity, just the way I did for the 30 Days 30 Voices contributors? They definitely wouldn’t have found anything useful.
How many opportunities had I missed because of this? How many people were on the lookout for someone with my skillset but I didn’t show up on their radar? It was clear to me that I needed to do something to change that. Eight years later, I completely own the Google search result for my name.
Saying that we now live in a digitally connected world will be stating the obvious. More than ever, we spend a significant number of our daily hours on the internet and we get most of our information from there. It is therefore critical for you to have a good digital presence, especially if you are looking to explore opportunities beyond the boundaries of your physical location.
Want to know how well you are doing digitally? Simply Google yourself. What do you see? Did you find yourself? Did what you found accurately represent what you do and stand for? If the answer here is no, then you know it’s time to do something about.
I encourage you to Google yourself today (and periodically too), scroll through to at least the fifth page of the search result and document everything you find about yourself.
Adedoyin Jaiyesimi is the Chief Communications Consultant at The Comms Avenue, a capacity building and knowledge exchange platform for leading and innovative communications professionals across the world. The Comms Avenue offers high-level knowledge sharing meetings and training programs for communications professionals and corporate organizations. She has vast experience consulting for international organizations and top corporate executives and specializes in providing strategic communications consulting for development, philanthropic and corporate organizations, helping them to develop and implement a robust communications strategy.
Adedoyin has successfully executed projects for the W Community, Women in Business, Management and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Leading Ladies Africa, Heritage Bank, African Philanthropy Forum amongst others. She has been profiled on She Leads Africa, Leadership Newspaper and Lionesses of Africa. She was also featured as one of The Spark’s Visionary Women in 2019.