Matt Peperell's Blog

I is for "Integrity"

Written: 10 Apr 2024 (Index by date)

Tags: a-to-z  nostalgia  work  (Index by tag)

My sense of integrity is important to me, including in the workplace. I’ve a few stories but two scenarios in particular come to mind.

The first is: I was working for a government agency which provides funding to various organisations. I was speaking with a family member about this work and was told “Oh, yes, my employer received money from them”. I didn’t work anywhere near the funding committee or decision process; I was working on software at the time. But I still immediately contacted my superiors and alerted them to this possible conflict of interest. It was all cleared without problem.

The second story is from over a decade ago. I was employed, but looking for a new job. I found a recruiter and they described a role which seemed interesting. As they gave more information, I had a suspicion who the client might be. I queried with the recruiter and my guess was correct. I explained “I’m going to have to withdraw because they’re a client”. I wasn’t actively working on that client project. Additionally I vaguely recalled that my contract didn’t have any prohibitive clauses, but it still could have been a possibly awkward situation later on when already established in that potential new company.

A colleague at a more recent employer used to refer to me as his ethical canary: “What would Matt think about decision X?”. I’m sad that we no longer work together but I’m also hugely thankful as he probably shaped me the most of all of my employers.

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