It is very important for your reputation that you remain ethical as you network. This can make or break you in your business. Writing is more than just putting words to paper. It involves everything you do connected with your work. You need to be ethical at all times.
What Are Ethics?
Per Webster, ethics is “a set of moral principles.” It helps to guide between right and wrong. It helps you not make major mistakes that could you get in trouble.
People like those with ethics. Politicians who are not ethical get in trouble and can lose their careers. Same can be said about any profession. Ethics are that important. It can make the difference between success and failure.
Ethics is not equivalent to legality. You can do something legal and still be unethical. There can be a fine line between the two, but they are not necessarily the same.
There are many unethical practices. The best way to explore them is to look at examples.
I was the wife of a pastor when I was asked to become the church treasurer. They asked because I was the most qualified for the job with over a decade of being an accountant, but it was the fact that I was the pastor’s wife that made the act unethical. For me to have control of the church’s money wasn’t right. Was it illegal? No, but it put me in a position that would have allowed me to do something illegal and also could have cast suspicion on my actions even though they might have been good.
Should you judge a contest at your kid’s school if one of the contestants is your nephew? Technically, only the rules of the contest can dictate if you can or can’t, but ethically you shouldn’t. Even if you are fair, others might not see that.
Many times, ethics comes down to how suspicious it might to other people.
Ask yourself if you would feel right if you were someone else looking on the same actions you are about to take. Would it seem fair? Would it seem unbiased? Would it open doors for suspicion or temptation.
If you are unsure, ask a trusted friend. Once my husband was in a situation where he was not sure something he had to do was ethical. It had to be done, but he wanted to be above suspicion. So he asked a trusted and respected member of the community. They advised him and witnessed his action. When others looked on it, they were relieved that all the corners were covered.
If you see someone doing anything unethical, you do need to distance yourself from them. It’s that you are being mean or betraying someone. Reputations can easily be sullied just by casual association. If you work with someone on a project and that person is caught doing something unethical on it, you might be questioned as well. Others might look at your actions with a questionable eye.