This became a thought back in 2014, when I got my very first break in blogging.
Here’s the situation: right after a media event, giveaway items were sold by some bloggers in a Facebook group. How did I react? Nothing really. I was not there. But it was frowned upon and later, brands and PR agencies blacklisted these bloggers.
When it comes to codes of conduct and ethics, where do you stand?
Back in 2014, I worked full time in the banking industry. I believe (or at least that is how I work), most people who have a working experience in a multinational company or a corporate set-up, they have read and signed a code of ethics and a code of conduct for employees and when doing business.
It was a natural thing for me to present my blog as my personal brand and therefore, treat people, brands, companies and PR agencies professionally. I may have started blogging as a hobby, later on became a passion; and when I saw that opportunity to turn this passion to be profitable, I thought I extend my way of doing things here.
Let me help you know the difference: a Code of Ethics is a set of principles distinguishing right from wrong, a Code of Conduct is a set of rules that guides behavior.
As such, my personal code of ethics is to treat others as professional as I can, take care of the client/brand like I take care my personal brand, define boundaries and limitations from the beginning, follow guidelines and measures to deliver timely and quality product or service. My personal code of conduct is integrity (do what is right even when no one is watching) and honor (to act to a professional standard).
While I have treated any deals and transaction as professional as possible, when I became a freelancer in 2018, I still practice the abovementioned. While it is actually easy for me, I keep scratching my head and could not grasp how people have questionable morals.
Wherever industry you are in, there will always be people who will exploit and who will abuse.
I have encountered several industries already: fitness, wellness, customer service and banking. And in 2019, I have exposed myself to the Yoga and the New Age territory. But wherever industry you are maybe in, there will always be people who will exploit and abuse.
And this is what is twisted: they do not see it as exploitation nor abuse. As long as it serves their purpose, as long as it pays the bills and feeds the family, they will do anything to earn. While it is strongly against my morals and beliefs and how I conduct my business and transactions, I still try to do what is morally and ethically right.
The tables have turned, and I am living by gig and projects,
but I try to create a professional approach to everything, even if it was a gig from a relative or close friend. And if I had an unsatisfied experience, I respectfully step back, beg off and stop.
Maybe because I have an option to beg off the offer. If I don’t have a choice, say, I need money, will it be a different thing out of desperation? I really hope not.
I have been creating things, collaborating ideas and serving professionally,
I really hope I would not end choosing and feeding my ego to let go of my morals and beliefs.
Will privilege be an excuse for ambition and profit?
And my last question for anyone on the other side of the fence, can you sleep at night with a clear conscience?