A Senior's Thoughts: Honesty & Integrity

Our next topic should be rather obvious. It is entitled “Be honest, have integrity.” Sadly, many new employees overlook the importance of good morals in the workplace. Not only does your conduct represent yourself, your family, your university and your hometown, but you also now reflect your company. No company wants a cut-throat, sneaky employee, no matter how great of a sale representative, doctor, lawyer, teacher or nurse you may be.

If you are like me, you feel pretty good about your integrity. I’m not stealing money from my organization or committing tax fraud. I’m a good person. However, let’s think about the following:
  1. Do you sneak off from work 10-15 minutes early? If being paid an hourly wage, leaving early means you are taking money that you actually did not work for. This is also referred to as stealing. 
  2. Do you take home office supplies for personal use? This is also called stealing. Your organization bought these supplies for office use. By taking them, you are forcing your organization to buy more supplies sooner than they should, thus they spend more money. 
  3. Did you say you were proficient in a skill or application that you really aren’t? We see this a lot. Many people say they are proficient in Adobe Creative Suite or all of Microsoft Office when really they only have working knowledge of them. If you say you can do something on your resume, you will be expected to perform at your job. Tell the truth on your resume!
  4. Did you say you were fluent in another language, when really you can only hold an elementary conversation? This is another example of lying on your resume. In many instances employers will hold you accountable and begin speaking Spanish or French to you in the interview. If you know you wouldn’t be able to converse, then don’t say you are fluent. 
  5. Do you participate in workplace gossip? Talking about other employees or your boss in a negative way is an incredibly painful thing to do. You may think you’re not gossiping because you aren’t saying anything, but listening to others gossip makes you just as guilty. Gossiping can tarnish your reputation, cause co-workers to lose respect for you and seriously hurt the person you’re gossiping about. Even if you are frustrated, do not vent to your co-workers. Remember, if people gossip with you, then many times they will gossip about you! Stay out of any and all drama! In the words of Thumper the Rabbit, “If you can’t say nothing nice, then don’t say nothing at all.”
In conclusion, we are all held accountable to our actions and words. We’ve all heard the common saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” If you have ever been the one that is lied to or talked about, then you know this is completely false. Employers do not want to constantly wonder whether their employees are telling the truth, can actually complete the assignment or are talking badly about them. Take some stress off of your superior and be a dependable, honest, morally-sound employee. I guarantee it will pay off!

Paige Robinson '12
Career Center Intern

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