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In the course of human history, honor, courage, and responsibility have always been regarded as some of the greatest virtues humans beings aspire to have. Why exactly is integrity so worthwhile to have? Let’s say you are looking for a job. You received an offer from one of your potential employers with an offer you were quite happy with, so you take it. The next day, you receive another offer from another company that gives you an even better offer. Why should you not try to get out of the first job offer you took, so you can get that extra money from the second job offer?
The main reason is that if people find out you have integrity, they will gladly pay more for you. That’s becaues integrity reduces the risk associated with you. Let’s say you are an employer who needs an assignment done. You know two guys, Guy 1, who says he’ll do it for $3000, but a lot of times, he doesn’t get it done. Say there’s only a 50% chance he’ll complete it on time and in the way you want him to. Then there’s Guy 2, who gets it done 100% of the time with your requirements satisfied, but he charges $5000. If you’re going just going by price, then of course, Guy 1 is the obvious pick. However, on average, it’ll take him twice as long as he promised (since he only does it 50% of the time) to get his job done. That means it actually costs $6000 from the employer’s perspective to hire Guy 1. This is true regardless of whether Guy 1 fully intends on finishing it 100% of the time for this particular assignment. That means even if Guy 1 is 100% sure to finish the project this time, exactly the same as Guy 2, the employer would gladly hire Guy 2 because it seems like Guy 2 would cost less, based on their history.
This can be easily seen through some of the common products we use today. Let’s say you were in the market for an mp3 player. The obvious choice would be to get an IPod. Now, what if someone came along and offered you an mp3 player that seems to be exactly the same as the IPod, at the exact same price. Would you take the IPod, or the other brand? How much extra would you pay for the IPod over the other brand, which claims to be exactly the same as the IPod? This is how much the Apple brand is worth. Apple has shown us that their products are sleek, reliable, and correctly advertised, and hence, we trust them. Who knows about that other company and whether they will be in existence when we need them for support or if their product is as advertised? We would still pick the IPod even if the other company’s product is exactly the same. This is because we only have their word to base our purchase decision on, and their word is just one expression of their integrity.
So to answer the original question, you shouldn’t take the second job offer because it would violate your integrity. If the second job found out about this, your manager may very well not promote you, or give you that raise when he is considering you for one. He’d figure if you could do that once, you could probably do that again. On the other hand, if you stuck with your first job, and let your manager know that you turned down another higher paying job because of your current agreement, he would be impressed by your loyalty, and probably match the other offer. Even if he wasn’t able to do that right now, you can bet he’ll look out for other opportunities for you in the future. If there’s any chance for a raise, or promotion, or another job that suits you better, he’d be the first very one to recommend you.
In the end, integrity builds trust, which is necessary for any relationship. How can you convince anyone of anything if they don’t believe a word coming out of your mouth?
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