Last week the CEO of Mozilla, an open source software company that produces the Firefox browser along with many other products, resigned under pressure because of what’s now an unpopular stance he took back in 2008 in California when he supported Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that initially banned gay marriage in the state. He gave money to the cause, probably didn’t think anything about it, and it came back to bite him hard, as he was only CEO for 11 days.

This post isn’t to debate the merits of free speech versus consequences, although I did cover this topic on my I’m Just Sharing blog. Instead, it’s to talk about what employees “owe” employers, or whether they’re owed anything at all.

I’m going a much different route to get to my point. I’m going to use the examples of George O’Leary and Steve Masiello. Respectively these are the football coach of Central Florida and the basketball coach at Manhattan University. Both are top quality guys who know their sports really well. O’Leary was actually the head football coach at my high school for 3 years after I graduated and did a great job here.

The thing that both of these guys did was lie on their resumes, and it came back to bite both of them when they had shots at top flight college jobs. When the money is going to be a major deal you’re looked at with a lot more scrutiny, and no matter what your qualifications are, if they find a discrepancy that can only be explained by “you lied”, you’re not getting that job.

Many people are lucky to get jobs they’re either not qualified for or are qualified for but don’t have the credentials to back up. I know quite a few people who, over the years, have asked me to back them up when they put certain things on their resumes that aren’t quite truthful. I also know some who didn’t tell me they’d put something on their resume, only to have me inadvertently give them away because of their attempt at deception.

I understand why some folks will add something to the mix in order to get a job. When I first started my business I had the qualifications and the experience, but all of it was working for someone else, not on my own. I was lucky to still get work because I owned up to my background up front, and I worked hard to get small contracts so I could tell potential clients that I had some experience as an independent. I did have to take some gigs that didn’t pay as well as they do now for that experience, but I got what I needed.

What do you owe to any company you want to work with, or for? You owe them full disclosure of what you can do and anything else they may ask you about what your business qualifications are. There are legal protections for some things, but there are also liability issues that can come up if you’re not truthful. I think you life with your truths and deal with whatever comes up later on because of them.

if that means you need to think about your life and things you’ve done or shouldn’t do… well, that’s what growing up and being an adult is all about. 🙂
 

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