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Professional Values and Ethics

The way individuals behave is usually based on their personal set of values and ethics. Values and ethics are established early, and are guided by what a person believes is moral or immoral, respectable or not. Individuals come from many different ethical backgrounds, and when many people from various groups come together in one workplace, the need for a standard of values and ethics becomes apparent.

Businesses often set standards for ethical behavior within the workplace in order to maintain a respectful and positive work environment for everyone. They often encourage values fairness, teamwork, and honesty. Most employees have a pre-established set of values and ethics that they bring with them to the work place. Weather they are good or bad, the sources of their values probably vary widely.

Professional values and ethics can originate as a branch of the values and ethics instilled in a person by their family growing up, or the lessons in morality they learned from teachers or mentors in school. They may have been obtained through the observation of social interaction and societal norms. Positive values and ethics might not be established in a person until they make an unethical choice, only to learn that it was the wrong one. Values and ethics in the workplace are derived from the same value set that you have outside of the workplace, but are applied to a different area of life. Rarely is someone an ethical person at work, but unethical outside of the workplace. Usually, a person’s character will ultimately reveal itself in the workplace as well.

Professional values and ethics can have a direct impact on career success, and that impact can be positive or negative. Unfortunately, sometimes the most hard-working ethical people can be impacted negatively in the same company where lazy, unethical people are reaping many benefits. Many very ethical people have seen little monetary or career success while cheaters and crooks enjoy luxury, acclaim and very much financial success. I think this depends on your definition of success. I personally value honesty and integrity and believe that are they far more important than social status or money. Others may think the opposite. There are plenty of people in the world that will do anything to be wealthy, even if it means lying, cheating, stealing and risking their reputation. 

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