An ethical dilemma is a decision-making problem between two moral imperatives (Anderson & Anderson, 2014). A personal ethical dilemma happens when a person has to choose between two conflicting choices in their lives. The options may both have different sets of consequences in which case the person making a choice has to decide what outcomes they are willing to live with. Moral dilemmas can be frustrating and will often require time to think about. In this essay, I discuss my ethical dilemma in switching jobs.
I recently held a job where I was involved in accounting and ensuring good relations with the company’s shareholders. After being at the position for quite some time, I noticed changes in the procedures in accounting especially after the entry of a new set of managers. Previously transparent procedures were now unclear, and people who were previously responsible for bookkeeping were often excluded from processes in the organization. At this point that I began having suspicions concerning the integrity of accounting procedures.
After about a month I noticed disparities in the profits recorded by the company compared to the figures presented to shareholders. On inquiry, the management blamed the variations on an error in accounting and stated that they would correct the mistakes. The figures were however released with the disparities. The trend continued over some monthly reports. The management was misleading shareholders concerning the level of profits that were being made in the organization.
My efforts to correct the situation were met with threats to demotion and disciplinary procedures. After a while, I then decided that I would leave the organization. I was not ready to be involved in dishonesty towards shareholders. Before quitting I, however, had to come up with an exit plan. The first element in my exit plan was to establish where I would go next after quitting the job.
To tackle the first element I put a word out to my friends in other organizations that I was planning on switching jobs and made numerous applications to multiple companies. After a few weeks, I got an offer for an interview at my new firm where I managed to secure my new role. The second element of my exit plan was informing the management of my intentions to leave the organization. I wrote a letter to the head of human resources a week before the day of resignation telling her of my intentions. The letter began the official process of exit.
In making my decision to switch jobs, I experienced various elements of a dilemma. The first aspect was the stability that the role was providing. With a competitive level of pay, the decision to quit the job was harder. The prospect of leaving a well-paying job without knowing where to go next was challenging.
Another element was my professional code of ethics. Ethics dictate that actions should be honest and the inflation of profit figures to shareholders was dishonest. Continued engagement in the company was therefore, a violation of my professional ethics. The activities of the management were also a violation of the policies of the company. The company procedures dictated that the organization should have an open and honest means of communication towards stakeholders.
Another element was the legal implication of the actions of management. Dishonesty to company stakeholders is a civil offense since it misleads the shareholders concerning the economic progress of the company (Anderson ; Anderson, 2014). Staying on with the company may have led to my arrest for involvement in illegal activity.
In conclusion, ethical dilemmas are a result of our conscience. I choose to do what is right despite the consequences that it may involve. My decision to change jobs an ethical decision. I decided to leave my comfort zone and competitive pay in my previous position to start all over in a new organization.
Anderson, M., ; Anderson, S. L. (2014, July). GenEth: A General Ethical Dilemma Analyzer. In AAAI (pp. 253-261).