An Executive VP told me that she spent her career putting her personal integrity on the line to get ahead, no matter how many times she justified the little white lies.

Her story was heartbreaking but very common.

Here are 5 conclusions.

-Whether you are sharing statistics, numbers or connections, you should never compromise the facts.

-You may think that lying will take you a step forward, but the inner conflict you are running into will always take you two steps back.

-Self deception is worse than deceiving others. If it’s too good to be true, then it’s almost always too good to be true.

-You should value your integrity and put your inner self first. You can do this by being honest and ensuring that no position you enter compromises your values.

– To mistakenly believe that in these tough recessionary times we have to give up on our values and integrity to stay employed, is simply not true.  Those who are guided by a strong sense of integrity fare much better in professional life, and will be successful where others fail.

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and Managing Principle at Premier Search.