Confronting Ethical Dilemmas

We’ve all been there.

Your friend calls you up saying they have an extra ticket to a concert in Chicago tonight. Your response is an immediate and resounding “YES.” You are lost in a frenzy of planning an outfit, packing a bag, and getting ready to go when it hits you.

You had committed to babysitting  for one of your mom’s friend tonight.

So what do you do?

Do you suck it up and honor your committment?

Or do you send a text to the child’s parents saying you have a fever and don’t feel like you’ll be up to watching little Susie tonight?

We all confront ethical dilemmas every day.

If you were asked in a interview, if you have confronted any ethical dilemmas, how would you answer?

Would you say no and deny ever being put in that position?

Would you say yes and assure your potential employer that you always make the ethical decision when faced with a situation like that?

Take a second and put yourself in the following situations, what would you do?


While out to lunch with a couple of coworkers, one of them lets slip that they heard two of your coworkers are involved in a secret romance, even though your company has a strict policy against that. Do you tell upper management? Do you confront your coworkers directly to let them know that people are onto them? Do you do nothing?


Your boss asks you to run a couple of errands for the company and tells you to track your mileage because you will be reimbursed. Do you give them your mileage for only the work related errands, or do you include the mileage used for your run through a drive through and side trip to get gas?


The person you share a cubicle with has been cutting out early the past couple of days, claiming they need to go home and check on the new puppy they just got. Your boss approaches you and asks if you’ve noticed your cubicle mate shirking on any of their responsibilities? Do you tell your boss the truth? Do you warn your coworker that your boss is onto them? Do you act oblivious?


Doing the right thing is almost never easy. We live in a world that so many people see as black and white, when in reality, it is filled with grey areas.

The truth is, we are acting unethical when we take sick days for personal reasons, lie to get out of social engagements, cut corners, and blame others for things that are partially our faults.


It is important as we venture into the professional world that we start to focus more on what is right, rather than what is easy.

Doing the right thing every time takes practice, but once that is a skill that you have mastered, it will make life a lot easier.



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