toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

August 30, 2012

ethics and headhunters

Morgan, 23, knows that the attraction to prospective employers about hiring someone who is already employed has a lot to do with 'power' and because of this she is very careful about dealing with headhunters.

"Companies love to 'cuckold' their opposition," laughs Morgan. "Companies use headhunters to poach people from rival companies, sometimes offering huge salaries, but all they really gain for their efforts is a bit of kudos from cuckolding the rival company."

“Most people are not really headhunted,” says Morgan, “but a lot of people think that a call from an employment agency constitutes being headhunted – it doesn’t!”

"There are lots of career advice gurus out there who actually encourage people to find a new job before they quit and have no scruples about the practice," says Morgan, “but I think ethics are far more important for people who are genuinely career minded.”

"It may very well be much easier to find a new job when you are employed - especially if your present employer is a well-known company," says Morgan, "but in broadly advising people to find a new job before quitting, I think the career advice gurus are sanctioning a practice that not only breeds deceit but also may depend more on the prestige of the company you presently work for than your own merits."

"In other words," says Morgan, "if you work for a big company, you are using your present employer as leverage to get you where you want to be. Not on your merits, but on the merits of your employer. Sort of like the halo effect. Sort of like a Hollywood marriage."

"If you have no qualms about deceiving your present employer and using the company as leverage - knowing that the company doesn't care about you - then go for it!"

"The downside about being upfront about your desire to leave your present employer," says Morgan, "is that if your prospective new employer knows this then it is possible that your 'worth' to the new company is devalued."

"They like to think they are 'scoring' you from a rival company. So, if they know that a rival company sanctions your job-search, they may start to wonder about why the company is letting you go so easily!"

“And this is where the whole situation becomes very tricky.”

“The other alternative - which is not a good idea in an employer’s market when jobs are scarce - is to give fair notice, quit on fair terms with your employer and take a chance on the open market as a free agent.”

“In a better job market for employees, a good worker should have little trouble finding a new job immediately. And, if a new employer should ever query your employability - on the basis that you quit before finding a new job – you can tell them that your integrity forbade that practice and that should shut them up!”

"It's all very well being a smart career woman," says Morgan, "but without integrity you really won’t get far."

Read more of Morgan's story:

  • be honest and ethical at work
  • uncomfortable living with stepmother

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