How Professional Values and Ethics Can Impact Career Success

Mary Gormandy White
Ethics and Values
expert fact checked

Are you wondering how professional values and ethics can impact career success? Whether you are just starting out in your career or if you have been in the business word for a while, this is certainly an important question to consider.

How Professional Values and Ethics Can Impact Career Success: Reputation Management

If you want to find out how professional values and ethics can impact career success, it's important to consider how important it is to have a good reputation if you want to get ahead in any profession. Aside from having the basic skills necessary to do one's job, the most valuable asset that any professional has is his or her reputation. It's truly impossible to underestimate the importance of protecting your reputation if you want to enjoy long term career success.

The Importance of a Positive Professional Reputation

Since your reputation will play a major role in whether or not you are likely to enjoy a successful career throughout your lifetime, it's essential to take steps to make sure that you earn and keep a positive reputation. No matter what field you are in, the professional values and ethical principles that guide your decisions and actions form the basis of your professional reputation.

Never forget that other people decide what kind of person you are based on the decisions that you make and the actions that you take. The behaviors that you exhibit at every stage of your career contribute to creating your professional reputation.

Consequences of a Poor Professional Reputation

Building a positive reputation takes time, but it's possible to develop a negative reputation almost instantly. Once your professional reputation is tarnished as a result of making decisions that are not right from an ethical perspective, it can be difficult-impossible even - to repair the damage. If you become known as someone who skirts the boundaries of ethical decision making, for example, then that's the type of reputation you will develop.

If you develop a poor reputation, you'll lose the respect and trust of the people you do business with, both within your organization and outside of it. This can lead to lost business, missed opportunities for advancement, job loss and difficulty finding new employment. In extreme cases, when unethical decisions are also illegal, such actions can lead to civil and criminal penalties within the legal system.

Take Control of Your Professional Reputation

Fortunately you can control what your reputation is by making certain that you are seen by your co-workers, customers, and other professionals within your field as someone who thinks and acts in an ethical manner and who exhibits appropriate values. The key to ensuring that people see you as an ethical professional, of course, it to act in a manner that makes it impossible for them to perceive you otherwise.

Enjoy the Benefits of Your Positive Reputation

When your actions and decisions are based on sound ethical principles paired with expertise in your profession, you'll earn the respect of others and position yourself to be considered - and even sought after -- for career advancement opportunities within your field.

Make Ethical Decisions for Long Term Career Success

While it may seem at times that those who behave in a manner that goes counter to the principles of actions that are considered ethical get ahead in business, often that is not truly the case. Those whose actions aren't based on sound ethical principles may achieve their objectives in the short term, but their poor decisions often backfire over the long term. Making an unethical decision today might lead to a quick dollar, but can quickly lead to a tarnished professional reputation that will hurt you in the end.

How Professional Values and Ethics Can Impact Career Success