Anna, from Manila, Philippines, wrote:
“My boss keeps asking me to lie for him. I have to tell people he’s out of the office when he’s in the office. I have to tell suppliers their cheque has been mailed when it hasn’t. I have to tell his wife he’s in a meeting when he’s out at a bar. These things happen all the time. I hate lying, but I need the job….”
What should you do when your boss asks you to do something that compromises your values or beliefs? It’s one of the toughest workplace situations we can find ourselves in. On the one hand, you want to be a ‘team player,’ but on the other, you also want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror. And, of course, the whole ‘having a job’ thing is nice too…
Think Of The Long Term Risks
The solution becomes a clearer as you begin to look at your options from longer term perspectives. Yes, in the short term you may be risking your boss’s wrath. You may be risking advancement, or even employment, within your company. From a short-term perspective, the thought of compromising your values can seem a small price to pay. But let’s take a look at the long term risks:
1. If you do something unethical for your boss (or anyone else), and people find out, the long-term damage is considerable. Coworker’s will never be quite sure if they can trust you. Advancement into higher management roles will be hindered by question marks as to the strength of your character.
2. If your boss is consistently doing things which are unethical (including what he’s asked you to do), there’s a good possibility he (she) will eventually be found out. The ‘good will’ you have created with this boss becomes meaningless as he faces the consequences.
3. From a personal perspective, you completely dis-empower yourself and put yourself in the position of victim. This will impact your self- confidence and happiness – which can in turn impact every aspect of your life.
So the question is – and only you can answer it – is any job really worth all that?