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I do casual web design work where I am employed by employer X to do work for various clients (say client A, client B, client C). My university is looking for a website designer to redesign a webpage. I haven't worked for my current employer very long (about 2 months) and am wondering if it would be OK to ask my employer if I would be able to divulge that I worked on client A, B, and C's websites so that I could land a job at the university. Note that I would not be quitting my current job. I would continue my current job in addition to the new job at the university.

I haven't signed any confidentiality agreements or even any contracts whatsoever.

  • Are you OK with telling the employer that you are looking for the university job? – Masked Man Apr 15 '18 at 8:45
  • @MaskedMan I personally see no issue but I am just worried about how they will see it. – user48683 Apr 15 '18 at 8:59
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Since you have no contract, there is nothing wrong with asking to clarify your obligations. But there's no need to say "I want to gain a personal benefit by revealing some of our possibly-confidential information, are you ok with that?" Instead, try

Are the names of our clients confidential? If I want to tell someone that I am working on A's website, can I? Will it be something I could eventually put on my resume?

That will give you the information you need while showing yourself to be someone cautious who asks before assuming you have permission. There's no mention of another job or of using the prestige they've given you for your own immediate benefit. If there is no policy at the moment, asking this way is, in my opinion, more likely to get you a yes than mentioning the other job first and then asking. But you are not lying or deceiving by asking this way.

And of course, if they say no, respect that. Tell the other job you are working on websites for "clients whose names I can't reveal, but you would recognize", which is almost as good.

  • You might even ask about putting it on your LinkedIn profile instead of your resume. – Eric Apr 16 '18 at 0:24
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Two parts to the question here.

I ... am wondering if it would be OK to ask my employer if I would be able to divulge that I worked on client A, B, and C's websites.

In some cases employers don't want you to divulge who their customers are. In other cases they don't care. You have ask to find out.

One place they generally don't want you to discuss the list of customers is when you are about to join a competitor. They don't want you to walk out the door armed with information that will help a rival company poach their customers.

the second part of the question:

so that I could land a job at the university.

That means that you want the list not just to add to your LinkedIn page, or to add to your resume; but so you can either quit or take on freelance work that is in competition with them. I know you said you won't quit, but they have no idea if that will end up being a true statement.

First you will have to find out if you can work this second job. Some employers allow it, some don't. You should look at any employee handbooks or other documents HR has. Concerns usually revolve around conflict for time and inability to focus on their customers. They also worry about employees using company resources for non-customers.

Once you know the company rules, then you can ask if you can use the customers list for references.

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