A question was posed on one of the forums that I participate in about the ethics of colleagues in the VA industry. It did not take me long to devise a response and now I would like to share it with you.
I will start by saying that integrity, honestly and confidentiality are highest on my list of best business practices. There is no room for compromise on these values and this is the decision I make on working with others as well.
I actually started many years ago through freelance and telecommuting when it was a new concept. There were very little rules and standards but the ones in place where strict and stringent, so I got my start working virtually by the ground breakers who truly wanted to prove that it was a concept to be embraced. However, the technology was not as it was today and the anonymous nature of many avenue was not available.
With today’s economy and many people looking for money making opportunities in these hard times I think the perception of our industry is a quick make extra cash with little or no work, only basic skills. This could not be further from the truth since we are business owners and need to work as such. As many new VA’s come and go this is definitely a step back for the industry and now we must work even harder to legitimize what we do well.
Unfortunately, this is not exclusive to our industry and that is where personal integrity and ethics come to play in its finest. There is a fine line and you just need to trust your instincts when choosing to work with others, both clients and colleagues alike.
I don’t know if standardizing the industry is the answer since people without ethics will find their way around this as well. I would certainly welcome an industry wide set of standards and practices but we should individually have them to begin with as we open our doors. However, I think we need to continue to police ourselves as an industry and those who can and will shall be weeded out by those who cannot and won’t.
This is not a concept exclusive the the VA industry so you thoughts on ethics in your industry are welcome. How to you strive to provide ethics and integrity to your business?