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Community Member

Do you consider your morals when taking jobs?

I recently got interviewed for a job here on Upwork and it was about something that went against my moral values, basically, they wanted me to help them set up shop on a website for misinformation. I turned down the offer, saying I couldn't do that as it would be putting money in the pockets of an evil company but that I was willing to work for them if they changed providers. This left me wondering if this has happened to anyone and how they handled it. Of course, everyone has different moral standards but it'll be interesting to hear how other people handle similar situations.


Hi Clinton,


I'm sorry to hear about your experience. While I won't be able to provide personal advice on this matter, we highly suggest that if you encounter any suspicious user activity or you're not sure whether it goes against our ToS, you can flag them so our team can review and take appropriate actions.

~ AJ
Community Member

Yes. I absolutely consider morals/ethics when submitting proposals and discussing potential contracts. Every freelancer has a right to do so, and it's one of many reasons why I left government service to work independently: So that I would have complete control/choice over the projects I work on. There are certain social/political causes or 'belief systems' that I do not wish to be affiliated with. I also won't accept a contract if I think the client/company is engaged in activity I believe might be illegal, deceptive, predatory, or ethically/legally 'questionable' or expouses any type of extremist views or hate speech or is selling/promoting any product/service I feel is harmful. I choose to steer clear of any projects that are specifically 'political' or have anything to do with gambling.  Too messy/risky for me!  Also, like you, I wouldn't be willing to work for any client/company/organization deliberately pushing any type of misinformation.   The whole point of being independent is to be able to run YOUR company exactly the way you want to and only work on projects that fit your preferences

Thanks for sharing your insights. I think a lot of people share this belief because there were originally around 20-50 proposals but it's come down to around 5 (Of course, it's possible the client rejected them but given my brief interaction with them, I doubt it). It's refreshing to see people put morals over money.

My skills and talent are for sale.  My integrity is not, which again, has lots to do with why I left government  🤣  I always kept a signed resignation letter in my pocket  'ready to go' as my 'response' to anybody attempting to force me to do anything I deemed 'questionable', unethical, or illegal. Not interested, not participating, and not going to jail for anybody.

Community Member

Always! Even today, I decided against bidding on a job because I previously did work for a direct competitor (both startups).


Most commonly, in the Engineering space, I see "academic cheating" and "product cloning" jobs.


Regarding the job that you declined, please flag them for violating Upwork's policies. Disinformation jobs are prohibited. Here is a list of prohibited jobs.

I work in the IT/programming space and see LOTS of jobs (presumably from college/grad students) asking for people to DO their homework/assignments for them.  I always FLAG those when I see them.  If you aren't smart enough to do your own computer science homework, then you don't deserve a degree saying you are 'qualified' for computer science work

I've seen thesis-writing and test-taking requests. Crazy

Community Member

The thing to keep in mind is that all companies are evil.

And all companies are NOT evil.

It depends on one's perspective.

Community Member

I am a translator. I got many invitations from different clients to write casino/bidding game content for websites with good offers. I always decline these jobs as it's against the law in my country and my strict rule. I can't be happy to earn money by doing illegal. Moral protects us from doing evil, and integrity stops us from being corrupted and astray. 

Community Member

I always use my moral compass before taking a job!

Community Member

Hey Clinton, never compromise your moral standards, otherwise the Client will be more than happy to show you why you should not have worked with them. Have a great day!

Community Member

The money you earn from a job that's against your morale will evantually will go away ...


but the guilt will always be there with you ... so it's a bad deal.


I never apply for job where someone is trying to get some work done (college assignment, cheating their client with Screen Share work aka white labelling) ... anything where clients data is at risk... 

Community Member

Sometimes you don't realize you're in a project that goes against your morals until later. I landed an expansive project thinking it was developing for a construction website and design for branding, marketing materials etc. I didn't realize they exclusively build animal slaughterhouses. I've been vegetarian/vegan for over 20 years. The project just went too far beyond my values. I explained to the client my moral conflicts with the project in the best way that I knew how and he was understanding. I didn't shame him or his company as I understand others have different views than myself. You want to be able to take pride in the work that you have done and you can't do that if it goes deeply against your morals. I can say that this has rarely happened to me in the 15+ years of my career so hopefully you won't have to make that decision again anytime soon.

Community Member

I once had a potential client interview me extensively on how I felt about an assignment that dealt with legal issues I might not agree with.  I said that I would represent the client - and ultimately the client's client - to the best of my ability.  It worked out well and turned out that I was in complete agreement with the client's stance.  (That client is now a US 5th Circuit appellate judge.)

Community Member

Firstly, it's important to understand and define your personal moral values before entering the job market. This will help you identify any potential conflicts between your values and the job you're applying for. It's also crucial to research the company and their values before accepting a job offer.

If you find yourself in a situation where a job conflicts with your values, it's essential to be honest with yourself and the employer. You did the right thing by turning down the job offer and explaining why. If you're willing to work for the company, as you mentioned, you can suggest alternative approaches that align with your values.

It's important to remember that your values are not negotiable, and compromising them can have long-term effects on your mental and emotional well-being. It's better to stand by your principles and look for a job that aligns with your values than to compromise and regret it later.

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