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Difference between Personal and Professional Ethics

Last Updated : 18 Aug, 2021
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Ethics can generally be described as your sense of right and wrong or good and bad. Ethics can give real guidance o your life. It’s an engineer’s responsibility to make things better and solve the problems around the world. Some of the importance of ethics in engineering is are : 

  • Engineering Projects Can Have an Immediate Impact On People’s Safety
  • It Gives Them Ability To block Against Bad Decisions
  • Ethics Have To Be Explained to AI Systems

Ethics can vary wildly from place to place, and person to person. There are many kinds of ethics to categorized and Personal Ethics and Professional Ethics are a major part of it. In this tutorial, we will be studying personal and professional ethics and the difference between them. 
1. Personal Ethics : 
Personal Ethics refers to a person’s personal morals and code of conduct. From the very beginning of a person’s understanding, these ethics are being instilled in the individual by their parents, family and friends. Without any personal ethics, the life of the human being is incomplete and shallow. As an example, we can consider an individual’s honesty, openness, sense of responsibility etc. The person with good personal ethics will automatically show his moral and virtues while talking to his friends, relatives and elderly people. A person’s personal ethics are revealed in an exceedingly professional situation through his behaviour. 

2. Professional Ethics : 
Professional ethics refers to a person’s values and principles that are introduced to an individual in a professional organization. 
Each employee in the organization has to follow these rules and they do not have any choice. These ethics are very important to import in the professional world as it helps in bring the sense of disciple into the person’s life and maintain the decorum of the organization. As an example, transparency, confidentiality, fairness etc fall under the terms of professional ethics. 

Personal v/s Professional Ethics : 
The major difference between personal and professional ethics is the strictness with which the individual conform to them. As in personal ethic the values and principles are limited to yourself, it comes under your decision to follow them or not in certain situation. But in the case of professional ethics, the principles and rules must be followed by you otherwise it can badly affect your status and reputation in the organization. 

Difference Between Personal and Professional Ethics : 

Personal Ethics Professional Ethics
Includes your personal Morals and Values. Rules imposed on the individual by his organization.
Learned from family, friends and relatives since childhood. Learned when become part of corporate world.
Not conforming that this may hurt others. Not adhering that this may destroy your professional reputation.
Personal needs are satisfied by following personal ethics. Professional needs are satisfied by following professional ethics.
Example : Openess, Honesty, Friendliness, Respect for Others, Loyalty, Honesty, Integrity. Example : Abiding by the law, Industry Standards, Worker Treatment, Confidentiality, Worker Safety.

Some of the common morals that should be part of personal as well as professional ethics are:  

  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Fairness
  • Kindness
  • Commitment
  • Sustainability
  • Least Harm
  • Punctuality

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