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Home > Audio, Podcast, Show > Archive: Who do you trust? — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

Archive: Who do you trust? — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

May 30th, 2014

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I received a great letter recently from someone who was asking just that question, who do I trust? They are feeling used and abused in their career and wondering, with all honesty, if the entire world has descended to the level of last century’s snake oil salesmen. Sadly, I often talk to people who feel that they can’t trust anyone.

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First, ethics have not “gone to hell in a hand basket” despite what many would have you believe. I know and love many trustworthy people, be they clients, business partners, friends or family. These people are out there. You simply need to find them.

In some cases, it could be that the business area you work in is one that is infected with bad ethics overall. Not to paint everyone with a broad brush, but there are certain businesses that seem to harbor the worst ethics. If it seems that everyone you deal with is ethically challenged, or businesses are engaged in activities you find repugnant, then you need to find another area of business.

While we can bemoan other’s lax ethics, we are often to blame for our own bad experiences. Sometimes, we harm ourselves by wanting to “believe” too much. We want something to succeed — we want a business to be successful so much that we ignore the red flags that surround it. If you continue in such a relationship, even when the red flags appear, you are nearly assuring that you will abused by others.

You MUST be selective about who you work with. Very selective. By choosing to work with some unethical people, you are virtually insuring you will always work with unethical people. You need to choose who you bring into your life. Some say that if they turn down all the red-flag situations and clients they encounter, they’d have no business. I don’t believe it. What they are really saying is that, to them, money matters more than ethics and they end up attracting the sort of element that believes that. If money is your sole, driving decision-maker, you will always find yourself in bad situations.

Consider this — what is worse, choosing not to work for someone and not earning the money, or slaving away for days and weeks, and still not earning any money when they refuse to pay? Which situation would cause you more pain?

It is a hard truth, that we are often responsible, at the core, for our own worst experiences. We can blame others and curse them for their poor ethics, but it is we that make the final decision of with whom and where we work.

Your intuition is your first line of defense when if comes to trusting someone. I seem to have a pretty good “trouble” detector when it comes to people and have always suffered when I ignore it, whether I am taking on a client, working with a partner, or selecting to work for a certain company. You need to trust your own intuition in these matters, as it is often a much better indicator of people and situations than you might think. It seems so unscientific, but as Shakespeare said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Trust your gut. It will save you lots of pain.

For my own part, I trust do-er’s, not talkers. I want to see action in a business project before I dive in wholeheartedly. Take small steps with someone new and get to know them and their business. Note how they treat their customers and those around them. This limits your exposure until you can get a read on their methods and their ethics. Then, don’t be afraid to walk away when a red flag goes up. It won’t get better. It won’t change. The only thing that will happen is you will be abused…and worse still, you let it happen to yourself.

Be aware of who you are inviting into your life. Do you want to believe too much? Are you a willing partner in your own abuse? I can guarantee that there are good, honest and trustworthy people in the world. Your job is to seek them out and allow them to introduce you to others they know. A happy life and successful career depend on it.


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