We lie for many different reasons, and not just in our personal lives, but also at work. We’ve used a lie or two to explain why we didn’t make it to work on time, why a certain project is behind deadline or over budget, and even to spare a colleague some brutal truth that could hurt them.

While lying is frowned upon in many professions (society, generally, isn’t a fan either), recent research shows it may just be the vice that makes one a top performer in certain careers.

US scholars Brian Gunia and Emma Levine established that deception is perceived to signal competence in certain occupations, particularly those that stereotypically rely on a selling model. Using this, it is assumed that marketers, for instance, will go out of their way to attain the highest sales possible, even if it means lying to customers.

Unfortunately, customers tend to bear the brunt of deception when what they sign up for turns out to have been based on a lie.