Let me give you an example of integrity that relates to your dilemma, although I’ve changed the circumstances to protect your anonymity. You, yourself, were an employee in a Mom and Pop small store that sells wedding dresses. You learned that the owners of the store purchased several “used” wedding dresses from a thrift shop, had them cleaned, and put them for sale with the “new” wedding dresses. In your opinion, the “used” dresses should have been labeled as such and sold at lower prices than the “new” ones. You stated your opinion to your bosses and they fired you.
The other aspect of your dilemma is that you could NOT lie to your customers when they tried on a “used” dress and dupe them into thinking they were buying a “new” dress. You would have had to tell them the truth about the “used” dress. So here we have another example of integrity, wrapped up with honesty. Your integrity would lead you to tell the truth about the “used” dress.
You, my dear Kitty, are a living example of a person with integrity. You have core values which guide your decisions and behavior. And, looking around this world, it is safe to say, that integrity is the glue that bonds solid, valuable relationships together. You have that glue.
In your case, your relationship with your employers ended, but it was a relationship you would not care to continue anyway. Their value system was diametrically opposed to your beliefs. Your connection to them was not valuable to you. Now, on the other hand, you could have been valuable to them if they had listened to you and taken your advice. But they chose not to do so.
Your other relationships will continue to grow and blossom because your strong foundational principles guide your interactions with others. People respect you and love you, I’m sure. Go out with confidence as you seek employment, and clearly state that you a woman who tells the truth and lives each day with integrity.
Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: Wear your moral compass on your sleeve.