The Importance of a Clear Conscience

Posted by: Francesca Di Meglio on May 20, 2009

With the economy in turmoil, many MBA graduates are finding the job search tough going. To give readers some insight into the strategies they’re pursuing and the difficulties they face, BusinessWeek has recruited four out-of-work MBAs to write about their experiences for a new feature called “The Hunt” that will appear periodically on the Getting In blog. Comments, as always, are welcome.


By Juan Manuel Meneses Buchanan
Ethics for me has always been a critical issue. Ethics, therefore, played an important role during job hunting. It is difficult to compete with my classmates from London Business School, because they are the best in the world at what they do. At the same time, I feel lucky because I have never witnessed moments where their ethics or morality had been compromised, even as they sought jobs.

It is important to be honest with yourself and with the company where you will be working for 15 hours a day. It is different to tailor a CV or resume than to exaggerate it. If you tailored it to show the company that could hire you exactly what skills you bring to the role they need you to play, then you will have a better chance of getting an interview and you’ll have a clear conscience. The possibility of being called for interviews is also higher when you exaggerate or lie in your CV. But during the interview, those who exaggerate will have a rough time explaining and proving themselves.

In my case, ethics is also related to the companies for which I might work. An ethical dilemma is posed whenever you are offered employment somewhere that makes you uncomfortable and does work of which you don’t approve. Once I was called for a tobacco company and the job was terrific, purely finance, which is right up my alley. But I knew deep inside that I would not feel good about myself knowing that I could be helping to generate more money for a business that I don’t support.

Maybe that is why one of my long-term goals is to work in a governmental agency or nonprofit, where I could use all my financial knowledge and my network to do something that makes me proud and helps me sleep soundly at night.

Reader Comments

Lili Dauphin

October 24, 2009 8:25 PM

A clear conscience is the key to happiness. It's impossible to be happy when we're not honest with ourselves and others. Honesty is important whether we choose to utilize it at work or in our personal lives.

You are making the right move as far as your long-term goals are concerned. A governmental agency or nonprofit will be more suitable to someone like you.

There is nothing like a good night sleep. Pride may also be hard to achieve when the conscience is not clear.

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