In my weekly podcast “Find a Job Like a Pro” episode #3 we talk about Integrity! This podcast is for you if you’re looking for a job, you’re willing to change your job, you just graduated from college, maybe you’ve taken some time off and you want to get back into the workforce. If you want to learn everything and anything related to finding a job – you’ve come to the right place! I’m sharing all my insider knowledge to help you to navigate your job search!
This time, let’s talk about honesty and integrity. I call these “soft skills” and it’s really important to have them, both professionally and personally.
You can also listen to the podcast here:
Integrity is crucial for your career!
Here’s a story I’ll never forget. I was in a business for a couple years already and I had a position for a compliance role. Compliance deals with the world of auditing and legal issues – compliance is what ultimately protects you when you invest with firms.
I had a client who had worked at a government entity within a compliance role. His Resume showed an end date for this compliance position and he hadn’t found a new role. I found him interesting since I really liked the Resume, he had a good education and his experience was great, albeit having an end date with this government firm. I was definitely looking forward to speaking with him and learning why he hasn’t been able to secure a role. I reached out to him and we talked about his background experience. He told me something that was an eye opener for me.
When he was working for this government firm, he was auditing investment firms. One of the things this government firm requires of all it employees was to pass a very robust security exam. Apparently, there were answers to this test being passed around and he told me that somebody approached him offering these answers but he had no interest in cheating. He said no thanks and took the test and passed with no issues (and without cheating).
Around 4 months later one of the employees went to a key manager, told them about the “answers” that were being passed around for people to cheat om the test. Management did an investigation, with pulled everyone in a room, including this candidate, and announced that everyone was getting fired on the spot. Why? Because not only did this people in this room cheat, but many did not cheat but were aware that cheating was happening and did nothing about it. So they were cheaters too! Thus there was an issue with integrity! And this is what happened to my candidate! His boss believed him that he didn’t cheat but because he knew about it, about the fact that these answers were passed around, the integrity was not there and he was fired. Besides that, it was a government entity that’s there to protect us from cheating… so kind if ironic that this was going on there but all the more reason to act agressively by firing everyone that even knew about it even though they didn’t cheat. This lesson is about integrity.
Honesty is the key
Obviously, this is a very severe example but these things happen! Many times we don’t know it but at the end of the day it’s integrity and it always catches up.
It hurt this guy and I wasn’t able to work with him either because I have a responsibility to my clients too. I said, ultimately, you need to find a job with somebody who knows you. That’s also what happened. A few months later he reached out to me and said he got a job with someone he had worked with previously.
This candidate could’ve also lied to me about what happended. But he didn’t. Lesson learned. We all are human beings and these things happen but you really don’t want to get into that situation ever! So have integrity!
If you’ve ever put in a compromising situation, always protect yourself! It’s something you really have to think about and you have to do it delicately, to understand what’s right and what’s wrong. But protect yourself, your job, and your career!
At least, he learned a lesson for his life! That’s something we understand as we get older – all the lessons learned. From the biggest challenges and the biggest mistakes is when you learn the most! It’s not meant to be easy. If it’s easy for you then you better change something! Easy is not good. It should be challenging and always a bit uncomfortable.
“Respond! Don’t react!”
Integrity is critical and you have to ask yourself if you have that! I always stress that we’re all human, we all make mistakes. But think before you react! One of my favorite sayings is “Respond! Don’t react!” The difference is that reacting is immediate action while the response is a thoughtful process. It’s not about the gut reaction, it’s about your mind looking it through.
I hope that I’ve enlightened you about some new things to think about! Explanation of termination is sticky. It’s always something difficult to explain. I’ll definitely have a lot of other podcasts about termination.
Look out for my e-course “On Your Marks… Get Set… HIRED!” which talks about this in further detail.
Have a great week and let’s meet next Monday!