This topic is a tricky one, as I don’t want to name any names in my delivery of my thoughts on this topic, so you will have to excuse the occasional vagaries.
Having reached the half century mark in age recently, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my life and experiences. This means I have been in the workforce in one form or another for over thirty years; in this time I have worked for a wide variety of personalities. Within these personalities lies a diverse list of morals and ethics, and this at times I have found very challenging personally. I have worked for a few men and women that I HIGHLY respect and appreciate their unwavering ethical standards. I have also worked for people that have been highly suspect in their approach to these things, and it has weighed on me heavily at times. Now I am in the position of possibly compromising my own ethics and beliefs while under their leadership.
One thing I have done to insulate myself in these situations is to draw a line in the proverbial sand and vow that no matter what, if this line is crossed, I walk away. When I was younger, I didn’t have the same moral compass I do now, but I had some idea of where that line should be drawn. Now I have a much better idea of that, and I also have accumulated walk away money as well to ease that transition should I need to exercise that option. When I was younger I didn’t have much, didn’t need much, and it was just me that I was responsible for financially. That made it easy to leave and find another job. Now, I have six months of salary saved up to allow me time to find a new opportunity without the stress of the next paycheck being a long ways away.
In my own case, I can tell you that this is always something I am evaluating within people. I don’t want to surround myself with people I can’t trust to be in my inner circle of friends. The criteria for being a person I know and occasionally associate with is of course different, but gaining my trust to the inner circle takes a high degree of integrity. I do my best to return this same level of ethics and reliability to those who I bring into that circle as well. It’s only fair that if I am holding them to a high standard that I walk that same path myself.
When it comes down to it, you have to decide what you are willing to tolerate, sacrifice, and in some cases just put up with, for yourself. There is no hard and fast rule for everyone, but when in doubt aim on the high side. You can’t go wrong in the long run with taking the high road; it may cost you short term profit or other rewards, but at some point you will understand how that impacted you as you lie awake at night staring at the ceiling. You cannot bury things that happen and think they are going to cooperate and stay there. These crossroad decisions have impact, life-long impact in many cases, and you need to understand this as soon as possible in life. These things will erode your soul if you are not careful; at the least they will keep you awake at night.
The best advice I can share with you on this topic would be as follows:
–Evaluate the big picture–> is this going to be a win for everyone involved?
–Stand your ground, regardless of the personal consequences
–Listen to your thoughts when you are in a quiet place, they will tell you how you’re doing
–as soon as possible, get some money put aside so that you can turn on a dime and walk when necessary. Don’t allow money to delay the right action, and don’t make that stance any harder than necessary. Stockpile for the future so the only thing to consider is the ethical dilemma you are in, and make a decision accordingly.
If you work for someone who cheats the system, screws clients, bends the rules in their favor frequently, etc. you may wish to step back and really look at this behavior and the trickle down affect it has on you. If it is really bad, and sh*t hits the fan, are you going to be guilty by association? Are you close enough to the source of the problems that you too will be in question? For me, that is reason enough to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Choose wisely, and as always, I wish you luck in your endeavors.