What is morality and how important it is to your career?


Hi everyone,

Suppose that you are the HR Director of a company and you are recruiting employees for your company. Which one among the following will be the most important character trait that you look for in a candidate: experience, academic degrees, integrity, intelligence, teamwork, modesty, diligence, or good speaking skills?

You may want to answer “All are important” (Pick them all just to be sure :- ) ). Of course, the more strength a potential candidate possesses, the better. But you need to prioritize which character traits are most important, for it is often the case that very few candidates possess all the ideal traits that you want.

While you’re busy considering your choices, I’ll give you mine. We can prioritize character traits as follows: (1) Modesty, sincerity, teamwork, diligence, (2) good speaking, intelligence, experience, degrees.

Ethics is the main theme of group 1 and talent is the core of group 2.

But why do I give group 1 higher priority than group 2?  My friends, it’s because experience and talents can be trained easily. If an employee has not had any experience yet, but is eager to learn, we can train her to be a top employee easily. But if an employee is arrogant, deceitful, jealous, quarrelsome, or lacking diligence or determination, then it’s very hard to change her personality.

Morality is the way we live with people around us and is part of our personality – humility, integrity, diligence, respectfulness and cheerfulness. Talents are what we know technically, such as reasoning, analyzing, law, economics, computer, medicine, etc.

When you recruit someone for your organization, you and your colleagues will have to work with that person, and this is similar to finding a life partner. The most important thing is to find someone that you can live with peacefully in the long run, not someone who is more talented than others. If a person has great talents in a certain field, but ends up quarrelling with you after sharing the same roof for merely 3 days, then there’s no point.   You might as well live by yourself.

Hence, you need to understand this basic concept. If you don’t work on your ethics (and no school can teach you this aspect of life), you will enter life like a paralytic, which makes it very hard for you to progress further. People with qualifications are a dime a dozen everywhere in the world. Among those, a few people with good ethics will succeed outstandingly.

• Until now we have talked about “morality” and “talent” as two separate entities as people usually think.  Yet that is a huge misconception. Morality and talent are indeed not separate, but morality is the foundation on which talent grows.

Why so?

Very simple. The humble treat everyone as their teachers, thus many people are willing to pass their knowledge on to them. The honest make everyone believe them, so many people will teach them their trade secrets. The diligent (those who use their time effectively) will be given more tasks, and thus become highly experienced. Good team players (those who are loved and admired by their teammates) will inevitably absorb much knowledge from their peers, and at the same time will better themselves at coordination and management.

Therefore, when saying talent and morality are equally important, people misunderstand the nature of the problem.  Morality is the hand that opens the ignorance door of our mind to let the light of wisdom flow in and our talents blossom.   Morality is the foundation of talent.

Today’s education programs fail to teach ethics. So you have to teach yourself ethics and practice ethics by yourself. You have to take care of your own life and prepare for your own future.

And please be reminded that champion boxers have to practice every day, throughout their entire life. Music superstars also have to practice singing every single day, for their entire life. Thus, every time we say the word “practice”, please remember that there is always the phrase “every day, for the entire life” within it. (And of course, “practice” doesn’t mean “reading this article in 10 minutes”).

Wish you all a moralistic day!



(Nguyen Ha Huyen Van translated from Vietnamese)

Original article: Đạo đức là gì và quan trọng thế nào đến sự nghiệp của bạn?

Một suy nghĩ 2 thoughts on “What is morality and how important it is to your career?”

  1. Cảm ơn Huyền Vân. Vân dịch rất hay. Và mình được đọc lại lần nữa những lời nhắc nhở của anh Hoành.

    “practice”, please remember that there is always the phrase “every day, for the entire life” within it.


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