Every project is also a statement

It is about the following: I received the 100th request today from a recruiter of my trust - whether I could not imagine doing a project for the valued heart-customer. The customer is a regional energy producer (one of the Top4) who now also provides services in renewable energies, but essentially relies on coal and gas and speculates with CO2 certificates. My "NO, for ethical reasons" met with incomprehension and embarrassing silence, which I didn't quite understand - after all, I only mumble when I'm distracted. During this call, however, I was very attentive! My attitude obviously needs clarification:

Well then, please!

For me, the decision to work with a customer is always a statement and reflects my inner attitude, my value system and my moral code in a clearly visible manner to the outside.

It is important to me that, through my choice of profession and project, I at least indirectly contribute to providing my children and other people with an environment that is worth living in, and also to leave it beyond my existence. Ideally, my integrity contributes to the fact that my decisions benefit my environment and myself directly - to general satisfaction.

So I would like to be a role model with my ideas, my actions and my profession. And there are corporations that oppose this with their greed for profit and pseudomorals and / or even consciously act not only against my values, but against a general consensus on values.

I am out of the age when I ran for the big money and I just don't let myself be baited so easily anymore - I have my little checklist, a blueprint for researching and evaluating companies, which I use as a compass for further discussions and a decision for cooperation. I always try to be friendly, open and as tolerant as possible, but: In consultation with my family, I set clear limits. These are binding for me and I will fight for them, even if the recruiter blinks his eyelashes so seductively!

Define your own values ​​clearly

I think it is extremely important that employees, freelancers and subcontractors are clear about who and with whom they want to work. Of course, the project itself has to be great, the team, the vacation, the payment and the usual framework must be right. However, I hope that an important aspect will be involved: the expression of a consistent attitude, an inner narrative that we choose from.

What does a value checklist look like?

We can ask ourselves whether the ideas, the image or the philosophy of the company coincide with ours:

  • How, how and with what does the company add value?
  • Where does the company operate and in what way?
  • In which branches is the company still active?
  • What about the history of the company?
  • What vision / philosophy is the company pursuing?
  • Is there a "hidden agenda" that is held back from the general public?
  • Which other (subsidiary) companies work with the company?
  • Are there political ties? Is there political lobbying?
  • Which people represent the company and in what way?
  • etc.

Here are a few advantages of a match with the entrepreneurial philosophy:

  • We identify better with the company or our customer, which makes us potentially more productive
  • We support companies that work according to our internal moral code, at the same time we deprive other companies of their performance and "force" content-related renewal
  • We act according to our own values, which helps us to develop self-confidence and attitude and to stand up for ourselves and our needs
  • We help ourselves and others (with similar ideas) directly and indirectly, e.g. through volunteer projects
  • Through constant practice, we learn to adequately examine companies and understand their "hidden agenda"
Of course, everyone has their own ideas and values. In this article, I am not specifically campaigning for my personal ethical principles, but trying to stimulate: The inclined reader should clearly define his own values ​​and differentiate himself from the violation of these values.

Examples: My personal questions

For me there are some very clear boundaries that basically preclude working with certain partners - until the time when the other side can make me fully trust in their "re-organisation of philosophy". Here are some very personal opinions and premises:

1.) Does it make sense for me or justify myself to work for a company whose added value is based exclusively on the exploitation of other people, animals or nature in general? No? Hands off!

2.) Does it make sense for me or justify myself to work for an energy producer who vehemently refuses to get out of conventional energy generation (coal, gas, fossil fuels) and to invest 100% in renewable energies? No? Hands off!

3.) Does it make sense for me or justify in front of myself to work for a state or its ministries that counteracts my ideas of protecting and promoting a free society? No? Hands off!

4.) Does it make sense for me or can I justify myself to work for an armaments company that supplies military equipment in crisis areas? No? Hands off!

The list can be continued accordingly ...

Important: tolerance has its limits

I recently read a very interesting article (I don't really want to think of the source). Basically, it's about the following:

Tolerance does not allow intolerance. A paradox!

This means that if there are companies or societies that act by intolerance and ignorance past our reality of life and collide with our personal or social values, then we have to put our tolerance behind. I do not mean that we are actively working against the value aggressor, but that we use the alternatives as far as possible and support those to the best of our ability. It can start with the right choice of project ...

And now: keep your posture!

I wish everyone the strength and leisure to deal with their own values ​​and to stand up for them.

"It is not your fault that the world is the way it is. It would only be your fault if it stayed that way." - Die Ärzte

Good luck to all readers and thank you for your attention.
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Photo by Patrick Hendry