Believing and Living our Professional Values and Ethics is all about making the Right choices in our career and making them consistently. These are our guiding principles which provide us fabulous clarity to take well thought through decisions in our life. While they can differ across Profession but they serve a common purpose to enlighten an individual and show path that leaves no room for decisions which are way beyond the expected norms. Professional values and ethics gets build over a period of time. From any given list or paper, there are some that are norm of the industry while there is other which depends upon the individual situation. How we fare in them consistently acts as excellent source to determine success in our career both at individual and at a group level.
Professional values and ethics are the principals which help us determine our actions and conduct in any given profession. These are the rules which are available in a prioritized manner that help us determine what is right and wrong in our profession. While Professional values is a list of items that tell us about things which are important, ethics guides us and drives our sense of what is right or wrong within each given professional value. To take an example- A professional values of the judge is impartiality, integrity, honesty, etc. Within each value there are things which are right and there are things which are wrong. A Selection of Professional values would help a Judge determine what constitute important part of his duties and conduct, ethics are the selection of choices that help him perform his duties in a right manner.
Values and Ethics that constitute part of our professional life get imbibed the moment we take our first step in any given profession. It is a two way initiative where not only government bodies, organizations, corporate etc. determine what values constitute part of profession but it is on an individual too to live up to the expectations. There are formal induction of people who join any profession related to values that got build over a period of time and ethics determine their response to any stimulus in any given environment. While these values may be enforced but it largely depends upon an individual on how they take these values and imbibe them in everyday working. The direct impact of this is on an individual career and how it gets molded. There are three related parts when it comes to living with our professional values and ethics
1) What are our professional values and ethics – The first and foremost part in any profession is to give individuals a clarity on what are their professional values and what constitutes being ethical or non-ethical. There are some values which are consistent across any profession but there are other values which are related to certain professions only.
2) How we live with them– Living with professional values and ethics is all about spending our time on things which are right and needs to be done and eliminating those which are unnecessary. It is more about having a clarity and then focusing our energy on things that matter the most.
3) Consistency- The next and most important part is being consistent about them. It is all about the types and form of distraction we face in our professional life and how we need to be consistent in our performance related to our professional values and ethics. It is more about putting ourselves right on track every time we face a distraction.
I personally see it an important duty of not only an individual but organizations too to come up with values that are most relevant in any environment. Fixing values that satisfies more of the norm, ignoring the practicalities involved, is bound to fail no matter how much best effort is put into it. There is absolutely no harm in changing values that suites the environment. While some values would always remain fixed, there are other which can be comfortably replaced.
Professional values and ethics are an excellent source to get success in our career mainly because of
1) The satisfaction an individual can drive from within.
2) The recognition one gets externally in job or any given profession.
The implied growth is not about the rise in terms of paycheck or position but it is also about the respect and level of recognition one gets when one tread rightfully according to norms of professional values and ethics. Money and position are obvious parts when we live according to our values but a successful career goes a step ahead and influence things that help us derive both internal and external respect. The area on which it has an effect on our career way above the normal norms of growth like money and position are
1) Authority- It is not easy to live and mould our conduct in line with our professional values. But if one is doing it and doing it consistently there is an authority which is associated with it. It is position to which people look up to and give respect mainly because of the influence it tend to derive from its vary existence.
2) Responsibilities- In every area responsibilities goes to the people which are worthy of it. People who live in line with their professional values and ethics are more obvious choice by virtue of their capability. One who can control the mind and actions are responsible enough to take care of important things for others too.
3) Unquestionable Trust– When trust is the name of the game, Professional Values help us determine what can trusted and what can be ignored. Having the capability to get the trust of people in any profession is of paramount importance. It is the single most capability that can help individual rise to unexpected levels.
4) Role Models- People look for their heroes and models from whom they can get a direction. Walking the thin line of professional values and ethics gives you a chance to be part of that elite group. Yes they do matter mainly because it is reward that has the satisfaction of living our life of the truth and righteous.
Their vary existence and the investment of time and resources in itself highlight the importance and stature of Professional Values and ethics. These act more like a light house in a dark night that gives both – the path and sense of direction. Living our professional values and being ethical about it is a challenge but it is worth it. Live thrm and you would see the real difference in your personality and outlook towards life.
Photo Credit – Lorenzo Herrera
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