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Why You Need to Stop Compromising Your Values for Work

Have you ever worked in an organization where you were asked to do something you just felt was wrong? Or you were a little uncomfortable with a task because it came dangerously close to crossing a line towards being illegal or immoral. Or realized there were some hokey things going on that weren’t quite above board?

You were uncomfortable because your integrity and your values were being challenged and that feeling was perfectly normal. Your inner conscious was telling you to STOP.


Definition: a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.

Synonyms:  principles, ethics, moral code, morals, standards, code of behavior

Now that you’ve read the definition, doesn’t it make sense that you didn’t want to proceed? So what did you do about it? You knew the directive was wrong and potentially what the right path should have been, but maybe you were unsure whether you should say something to your boss.

An alternative could be to just hide in your office and hope the issue goes away.

Let me know how that works out for you.

Or, let’s say you did some research and found an alternative solution and presented it to your management, explaining the issue and why the original solution was a problem. Kudos to you for doing the right thing. But what if your boss or the company management says no? Do you let it slide because you at least tried to make them see the error of their ways?

This is where your choices come into play. You have the choice to do what you believe is right. The organization also has the choice to proceed or change. Then it’s up to you to decide whether you want to stay or go.


This is an ostrich. No, he isn’t going to put his head in the sand (since they don’t really do that)… but the point is, neither should you. Pretending that something illegal, immoral or just plain wrong isn’t happening doesn’t make it go away. When your intuition tells you something is wrong, listen to it. You have gut instincts for a reason, your intuition helps keep you from harm. It knows what your values really are, even if unconsciously.

Everyone has values they live by, although you may not think about them very much. They are always there just the same and when compromised they cause us stress. Working in an environment like that isn’t fun, it isn’t healthy and it can potentially cause harm.

If any of this hits home for you and you want to discuss options, let me know. A career coach can offer help in gaining a better understanding of your values so you can avoid compromising them for work, or anything else for that matter.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you find a job that you can feel happy at? Connect with Terry, browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Terry DellaVecchia

I’m a certified professional coach specializing in career with 35 years of corporate information technology and 5 years of transportation management behind me. I’ve traveled to 10 countries within 4 continents as an IT director and enjoy working with other cultures. My traveling and working with my diverse department is actually what led me into coaching. I realized that I received more enjoyment working with people one on one than learning more about technology. Connect with Terry through Noomii and her website.

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