“Success will come and go, but integrity is forever”.
This article from Forbes by Amy Rees Anderson highlights the importance of integrity, and is an essential read for any business professional. Integrity is defined as: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”. It can also be defined as “the honesty and truthfulness of one’s actions” or “doing what you say”.
As an independent contractor, your integrity in dealings with agencies, vendors and clients is critical to your success. Social Media has become a tool that most recruiters use extensively, and a good (and well connected) recruiter will rarely work with an individual without doing some background investigation to ensure that dates are accurate and that work performance has received positive ratings by previous clients and peers. It only takes one instance of ‘overselling and under-delivering’ to tarnish a professionals reputation, and as most of us know, it’s a small world out there. Dates of employment or project histories should be honest and accurate, and contract commitments should always be fulfilled.
Most consultants have encountered situations where they are tempted to leave a commitment for a variety of reasons: more money, less of a commute, or the opportunity to work on a more interesting project. But those who choose to see commitments through and honor their agreements are the ones who ultimately become most successful.
As Amy Anderson stresses in this article, “building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it only takes a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity”.
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” –Harvey Mackay