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cliveandrews

A moral question

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I have been unemployed for four years as a result of a combination of abnormal circumstance (a health problem in conjunction with the depressed economy). As the length of time that I've been unemployed increases, my odds of finding a job seem to decrease, trapping me in a death spiral of chronic unemployment. A relative who is small business owner has offered to compose a fake resume and a provide a fake reference stating that I've been working for her during all the years that I've been unemployed. As a student of Objectivism, I do not believe that I can accept this offer since I would by lying to prospective employers to trick them into giving me a job that they would not give me otherwise. Is my conclusion correct?

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Honesty is the best policy, but it will make it a helluva lot harder, have you been in training or education during these 4 years?

Yes but didn't complete it. I haven't been totally inactive, I just haven't known what to do.

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First, brian is right in his succint statement above. In terms of an ethical question (should I lie in order to gain employment), you must analyze the long term implications of your actions. The fact that you are wrestling with this question at all means that the long term impact pyschologically will be negative. If you haven't already, read Ayn Rand's "Virtue of Selfishness". In essence, any decision you make that harms your self esteem would be an immoral act. Without self esteem there can only be depression.

Second, I am sure that if you were to objectively analyze your own efforts in terms of making yourself valuable to an employer, you would find that you have not done all that you could have with your time and resources. I say this as someone who has (before becoming a student of Objectivism) had great difficulty maintaining consistent employment. No matter what justifications I had, I always knew that it was my own subconscious desire NOT to work that caused the problem, usually justified by the sincere belief that capitalism was "enslaving" me, which I now understand to be the opposite of reality. The full range of reasons for my own difficulties are complex and have everything to do with the errant mish-mash of philosophical ideas I held to be true in the past.

I do not know what your health issues are and what restrictions they place on you, so I cannot come to any conclusions about how you were limited. However, there are many ways to earn an income outside of the box, in other words, you do not have to be "employed" to bring in money. Becoming skilled at any number of things (Graphic Design, landscaping, computer repair, etc. etc.) would enable you to employ yourself. Be inventive and harness your ability as a human being. As an Objectivist, you comprehend the limitless nature of human potential. Rise to the occassion.

Edited by tygorton

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Look at like this, there are a lot of people like this who go through something similar, where they end up leaving their industries for years, and then attempt to come back to them. They are called mothers.

Howard Roark in the Fountain Head also had to work in quarry because his industry went to crap (culturally).

So find a quarry to work in, as long as you can do it safely (I don't know about your health problem).

I am just saying don't give up hope, and find something to keep youself active.

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Clive, yes- it would be immoral to fake your resume as others have said.

That said, depending on your field there are ways to make yourself more attractive despite long periods of being unemployed- things that show you are still engaged and active and motivated. All that depends on your field of work though. Would you mind sharing what line of work you're in?

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I have been unemployed for four years as a result of a combination of abnormal circumstance (a health problem in conjunction with the depressed economy). As the length of time that I've been unemployed increases, my odds of finding a job seem to decrease, trapping me in a death spiral of chronic unemployment. A relative who is small business owner has offered to compose a fake resume and a provide a fake reference stating that I've been working for her during all the years that I've been unemployed. As a student of Objectivism, I do not believe that I can accept this offer since I would by lying to prospective employers to trick them into giving me a job that they would not give me otherwise. Is my conclusion correct?

Reading Dr. Hurd's latest "Daily Dose of Reason," I thought that the question he was responding to seemed familiar.

"Lying On a Resume--Justified or Not?" by Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D.

Monday, 09 January 2012

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When you try to do that, the quarry you intend to work for will reject you as overqualifed for a job busting rocks because, after all, you could go off and be a professional architect.

Not telling about over-qualifications is not lying and is permitted.

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I, personally, would lie.

This comes with all sorts of caveats, many of them brought up here and in the article at drhurd.com, but if the choice is to not eat or to lie on a resume to get a job to feed myself, I'd lie.

EDIT: To elaborate, I've been in such a position before. I didn't wind up having to lie to get a job, but after working at the job that did hire me, I can confidently say that lying would not have made any difference. For low-end employment, general quality of workers is so low, work ethic so rare, showing up so uncommon, that employers are happy if you just aren't all of those things -- and if you're motivated and even great, it would be crazy for them to fire you. I would go as far as saying that the many managers I've worked under would have outright laughed if someone had tried to make a big deal about a low-end employee lying on his resume, if he turned out to be a great and reliable worker.

Edited by JASKN

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