Is honesty underrated?

‘You shouldn’t have said that’; is what most people tell me when they hear what I said to my former manager. But I couldn’t help myself. I was bored and wanted to get some more tasks so I could feel like I was a valued co-worker. Yes, it was a little stupid to tell my manager that I was bored, but what should I have done? If I said nothing I would have stayed bored and at least I did get more work to do. The fact that the relationship between us got a little messed up because of my comments is just a detail if you ask me. If you can’t be honest from the beginning, the relationship isn’t good already. A lot of people disagree with me; they say that you shouldn’t be too honest in a professional relationship. It could cost you your job.

This brings me to another thing that I am struggling with, and a lot of people with me. Since the financial crisis it is much harder to get a job. Especially when you’ve got a good education but little working experience. So in all the job interviews that I go to I have to lie a little to appear more qualified for the job. All of my friends say that they do the same. They make their previous working experiences more interesting than they actually are, in order to get hired. I guess everybody does that a little.

But it’s not just the employee that’s not totally honest. I have worked for several employers that made the work that I were to do sound a lot more interesting than it actually was. For instance; for a while I worked for a marketing agency that promised me that I could do the marketing for several sports clubs by myself. Working on the job for a while I realised that I, and my co-workers, were just to repeat the things that the manager did. So I quit that job, I found it very boring. My next job was for a cosmetic brand. The brand actually came from Turkey and so the owner of the brand promised me trips to Turkey and what else. These trips of course never happened.


What surprised me most about these situations is that everybody saw it coming. Everybody knows that employers lie to make the job sound more interesting and that employees lie in order to get hired for these jobs. What happened to real honesty?

I guess it got lost in the circle of life when everybody started caring too much about what other people think of them. Don’t get me wrong, I am also caught up in this circle. It’s just that I sometimes wonder how it got this far. And how bad it actually is. The way I see it, there’s still another (positive) side to it.

I know that a lot of people that lie about their working experience do it for a good reason. For instance; when someone has a good education, but no working experience at all, they will probably not get hired for a job on their level. Especially when there are other people applying for the same job with a lot of working experience in the right area. But what is that person to do when he knows that he is right for the job and he is willing to work hard? He can’t beg for the job. The most he can do is lie a little. And by lying, he can do his future employer a favour; he hires someone that is willing to work harder and is cheaper in salary than the person whom he actually wanted to hire.

This also goes for the employer that makes the job sound more interesting; he might be helping the person that is looking for a job. After all, we all know how hard it is for an employer to find good and trustworthy employees. He has to look after himself and his company. And if he lies a little the future employee can benefit from that too. It means that the employer knows the needs of his employees and is probably willing to give them more benefits when they achieve good results. After all, he is the one that came up with it and doesn’t every lie have a little truth in it?

So is it okay to bend the truth a little bit or are we all just underrating honesty?