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Did Your Job Ever Contradict Your Beliefs?

The company’s owners and managers determine your work as an employee; you choose the methods, they choose the ends.


However, accepting a job does not imply renunciation of moral obligation.


Even though someone else selected the objectives, you are still in charge of your own behavior.


As a worker, you must consider whether the objectives you are pursuing are desirable and whether those you are assisting are deserving of your loyalty.


Let me tell you about the first time I was forced to ask myself this question.


 

September 2005 An Executive Assistant position was offered to me at a company in the Diamond District of New York City.


My first task was to hire tradeshow coordinators and assistants for an upcoming tradeshow.

Having done this many times before, I knew I could handle it.


The main job board back then was Craigslist, so I posted my ad there and vetted resumes as they came in.


I scheduled interviews for the following week.


 

🤝 Interview (Day 1)

As a few people entered, I noticed one of the older executives hovering nearby.

While I sensed something was amiss, I didn’t feel inclined to inquire because I hadn’t been there that long.


At the end of the day I was called into the office by my manager.


This was the conversation as I recalled but full disclosure — I left out the really raw parts because when we repeat something we don’t believe, we give it power.


 

Me: “I feel like there is something I am doing wrong?”


Manager: “Nothing you’re doing wrong, my dad is concerned about the quality of candidates you’re bringing in.”


Me: “Quality? I am bringing in candidates based on qualifications and tradeshow experience. If there something else I’m missing please let me know.”


Manager: “No my dad only likes specific “types” of people working in this office and I could help provide more direction here if needed.”


Me: “I’m not sure I follow!”


Manager: “Well we don’t hire people who my dad does not like!”


Me: “So to clarify you need me to eliminate candidates based on their race?”


Manager: “Well it’s my dad’s preference and this is his company.”


After a brief pause, I got up, walked towards him, shook his hand, and thanked him for the opportunity.


I quit!


 

At that point I knew one thing to be true: No amount of money could ever make me compromise my beliefs.

I REALLY needed that job because it was year # 2 of living in America and things were still tough.


I also needed to show I was gainfully employed and paying taxes because immigration rules you know?


 

A Gallup Poll has found that what everyone in the world wants is a good job — but that pursuit is made harder for Black Americans, of whom one in four say they experience discrimination on the job.


Using graphics and quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King are cool, but don’t make yourself look hypocritical.


Practice what you preach Corporate America!


 

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