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​"I lied about my job because…"

Can't face the truth? Some workers have been lying about what they really do and how important they are.

It can pop up anywhere — at a party, during lunch at a restaurant, trying to respond to your dentist — that question that follows us throughout life: "What do you do?"

For most of us, it's a simple answer: the truth. An interesting conversation of questions and anecdotes may follow, or perhaps nothing but a polite nod. The fact is, most people ask about your job for the same reason they ask how you're doing: just to be polite.

However, sometimes people crack when asked this question. While unemployed individuals are more likely to dodge this question, it looks like 1 in 10 employees (11 percent) have lied or stretched the truth about what they do for a living, a new CareerBuilder survey finds.

So why the identity crisis? When asked why they stretched the truth, answers included:

  • I was embarrassed by my job: 30 percent
  • To impress friends: 27 percent
  • To impress new acquaintances: 23 percent
  • To impress someone I was interested in romantically: 18 percent
  • To impress or gain leverage with colleagues: 12 percent
  • To establish an authority position with clients or potential clients: 9 percent
  • To negotiate a better deal: 8 percent
  • To impress neighbors: 7 percent
  • To get an "in" with a desired person or group: 7 percent
  • To get something for free: 6 percent
  • Other: 10 percent

These bolstered verbal resumes may often hint at what workers wish their career would be, or what they believe they are entitled to in that role. When asked what they stretched the truth about, those workers who have lied gave the following answers:

  • Inflated my scope of responsibilities: 39 percent
  • Inflated my title: 37 percent
  • Inflated my salary: 30 percent
  • Inflated my influence on company decisions: 12 percent
  • Said I manage others when I don't: 10 percent
  • Inflated my bonus or pretended to get a bonus: 8 percent
  • Said I would be able to retire much sooner than I'm able to: 6 percent
  • Pretended to be friends with the boss: 6 percent
  • Said I achieved an academic degree I don't have: 5 percent
  • Said I travel extensively for my job or traveled to places I've never been to: 4 percent
  • Said I won an award or was given some sort of recognition I didn't receive: 4 percent
  • Said I was responsible for a major win or accomplishment: 3 percent
  • Pretended to be close to senior management: 3 percent
  • Other: 8 percent

Outside pressure is a big factor as well. The survey also asked, "Do you feel pressured to keep up with the Joneses (i.e. keep up with someone else you use as a benchmark for social class or wealth)?" The 10 percent who answered "yes" were asked who they felt pressured to keep up with. They answered:

  • Friends: 72 percent
  • Family members: 53 percent
  • Co-workers: 37 percent
  • Neighbors: 23 percent
  • Colleagues who aren't co-workers: 22 percent
  • The boss: 9 percent
  • Clients: 5 percent
  • Other: 9 percent

Ambition in your career is a good thing, and wanting to achieve more and move up the corporate ladder isn't a bad thing. However, finding success by putting in the time, effort and creativity is the more worthy, and often more lucrative, career choice compared to lying about your title or paycheck.

(Picture Source: Internet)

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