I realize desperate people do desperate things, so I’ll try to withhold judgment, but note to self, you should never, ever lie on your resume or an application. Ever. You can talk up that you are the greatest person on the planet, but not outright lie about experience or education.
I absolutely think you should be scared of getting caught. People are inquisitive by nature and if they get so much as a hint that you are not who you say you are, and you got the high paying job without the right credentials they will tell the boss or HR. If there’s one thing I learned during my career it’s that the overwhelming majority of people out there play by the rules and they like a level playing field. And, you cheated. That won’t go over well. You will lose all credibility, wreck relationships and have a very difficult time landing another job.
I do know this…if you get caught it will be far worse than if you step up, acknowledge you made a terrible mistake, confess and beg for forgiveness. You should be ready to tender your resignation, or you may still get fired, but at least you did the “right” thing and can face people. You may need to have a Plan B before you get spill the beans, because your high paying job pays your bills and puts food on the table.
All that being said, if you are in a position where you do not have an essential degree or valuable experience that could put the company at risk or could harm people, please don’t ride it out. I hope this helps. Good luck.
Originally published on Quora