I lied about my degree to get a job. How do I return clean?

I attended college for four years but had not completed my degree or graduated because of an undiagnosed mental health problem at the time. I am not ashamed of this. But with all my friends graduating, I felt nervous about finding a job without a degree. So I lied about having one when I applied for my first professional job – the one I got. The degree is still on my resume. I am very good at what I do. I have all the skills and abilities employers want, and I receive excellent performance reviews. In the end, should I tell the truth, and if so, how?


I’m sorry to hear that a mental health challenge derailed your graduation. And I totally agree that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. The real issue here is that you haven’t expressed regret about your lie – this is separate from your mental health. We are all enthralled. But unless we apologize for our mistakes, it is difficult for others to forgive us.

To an employer, your mistake could be more serious than your stellar job performance. In one of your first interactions with the company, you lied. It’s about integrity – whatever your circumstances. Ditch the excuses: mental health, friends, degrees, even excellent job reviews. Own what you did wrong (at least to yourself).

Once you’ve done that, you can explore troubleshooting more effectively. Contact your university (or others in the area) and ask if you can complete your degree now – perhaps at night. Your initial difficulties may appeal to schools. You can also enroll in continuing education classes to strengthen your resume.

I can’t tell you what to do. I don’t know how likely you are to get fired. Some will think you deserve it. But I see the punishment. This lie got you thinking: You can’t apply for another job or promotion if it risks a background check. And the fear of being discovered can weigh on you. The safest thing is probably to say nothing to your employer until you figure out how to make your lie more honest.

Our daughter is married and has three children. People sometimes ask me, with a look of disdain for her, if her children all have the same father. My preferred answer is to ask if their children have the same father. My wife thinks this is petty. Advice?


People’s social filters pop up on fritz from time to time, prompting them to ask offensive and non-business questions. (Others are just mean.) In these cases, I answer: “Why do you ask?” This often helps them regain their senses, helping them to recognize their rudeness and moves.

Not always so! Some people double down and offer protection to their indefinable questions. (For example, “Wow, the kids don’t look alike.”) At that point, change the subject or ask them to mute, depending on how serious you are.

Our wonderful family dog, Scottie, has an inoperable cancer that makes it difficult for him to breathe and move. The last time I took him to our vet, she said that Scottie was probably starting to feel pain. It was clear to me now that any movement would hurt this wonderful creature, but my husband refused to talk about taking him down. Help!


I’m so sorry for your dog’s troubles. And I can confirm, from experience, that getting family members on the same page about veterinary interventions is not always easy. However, you both love Scottie. Schedule an appointment with the vet and bring your husband in. Ask about your dog’s pain, possible treatments, and prognosis. Fortunately, hearing these pieces of information together makes the deal easier – if not less painful.

My boyfriend and I, both 60 years old, have been living together for two years. His son, with whom I have become close, is getting married. Problem: My boyfriend’s ex-wife is bathing the bride. (Who’s ever heard of the groom’s mother throwing the shower?) As you might have guessed, I wasn’t invited. I’m sure that if someone else bathes me, I’ll be invited. I am really struggling with this exclusion. How should I handle it?


It’s rare that I don’t empathize with anyone who says her feelings are hurt. But you tested me! It’s not your job to provide the bride with this shower. The dusty old ritual books might call it a gift for the blood relatives to organize them, but I think we’ve moved beyond the assumption that the gift isn’t the main point of the wedding ceremony. bride.

Try to look beyond your sense of entitlement and imagine the feelings of your husband’s ex-wife – the mother of the groom – who may still be dealing with hurt or anger about her divorce. . Moreover, she is free to invite whoever she wants to the parties she gives.

For help with your dilemma, send a question to, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter. I lied about my degree to get a job. How do I return clean?

Fry Electronics Team

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