Professional Ethics (My Most Expensive Blog Post Ever!)

by Robert Nagle on 4/2/2013

in global warming,Right and Wrong

I am linking to it casually (and making only superficial comments), but this  professional code of ethics I have developed about working for the energy industry is one of my most important (and most expensive personally). 

I live in Houston, which is basically the center of many energy companies, most of which deal with fossil fuels. I would estimate that 80% of the technical job opportunities in my field (Technical Writing and Instructional Design) are in the oil and gas field. I have turned them down without exception – no matter how lucrative or promising. I generally have to explain myself to HR people and recruiters; usually people’s response to my declaration that I could not work for any oil and gas companies is absolute amazement – and almost hilarity.  “Is this guy crazy?” they must think.

I would love to remain in Houston, but it’s becoming harder to make a living here and stay true to these core ethical principles I have articulated on that page.  The irony is that I genuinely enjoy the field of technical writing – plus I think I am really good at it,  but if most   of the jobs in your city are in an industry you find abhorrent,  then what does it matter that a particular type of work is interesting or well-paying? 

I have been working on a much longer blog post about the ethical question, “Is it ethical to work for an oil and gas company?”  Stay tuned!

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