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Sample Essay on the Difference between Personal and Professional Ethics

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Sample Essay on the Difference between Personal and Professional Ethics

Ethics play an important role in shaping up the character of individuals in the society, ethics influences how people work, relate, and generally carry out themselves in the society. In general, ethics can be defined as a code of moral principles that governs and influence the life choices made on a daily basis whether at work or out of work. Personal ethics refer to an individual’s value and principles that build character, personal ethics vary from one individual to another. Professional ethics on the other hand refer to an individual’s behavior and conduct while carrying out professional job. Professional and personal ethics both influence individual’s behavior and character in the society however, there are few differences between the two.

One major feature that differentiates professional ethics from personal ethics is that professional code of ethics tends to be universal for certain disciplines whereas personal ethics strongly vary from one individual to another. For instance, in disciplines like engineering, medicine, and teaching among many others, professional code of ethics tend to be similar across the world. Professionals in these sectors tend to handle their clients in a particular manner required for that particular profession. In addition, various firms have their own professional ethics that provide guidelines in the operations. In this case, an individual working may not have an option but rather abide by the firms or disciplines ethics even when the person does not agree. On the other hand, personal ethics vary from one individual to another and are mostly influenced by the background of the individual. It is also important to bear in mind that personal ethics work for people differently in different scenarios.

Another distinctive feature between personal and professional ethics is that, personal ethics focuses on individual’s life outside work or outside relationship even though it influences how the individual carries out.  Personal ethics tend to be more realistic since it is based on individual’s personality, feelings and builds the real character of an individual unlike in professional ethics where the profession requires the individual to act in a particular way. Moreover, it is upon individuals to set their own code of personal ethics according to their own perspectives and feelings to enable them relate with others. In most cases, others lay professional code of ethics and it is up to individuals to follow regardless of their own perspectives. In other words, professional ethics in most cases is merely an act for the individual to be acceptable in a given work environment, it does not consider personal feelings.

In summary, ethics shapes the lives on individuals in the society and define people’s character everywhere. Although professional and personal ethics both define how an individual’s relates with the society, there are distinctive features that differentiate the two. As discussed above, professional ethics tend to be universal for particular disciplines whereas personal ethics wholly depends on an individual personality and perspectives. Good personal ethics will enable an individual relate with others and even carry out activities in an acceptable manner to the society. Good professional ethics are quite essential in any given profession since it promotes healthy relationship between professionals and the clients, and this in turn may translate into the firms’ success. It has also been established that professionals with great professional and work ethics tend to attain great success heights.

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