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My fiancée got a job in London which prompted me to start searching for a job in the UK. I'll be looking for a data scientist job in an established company (i.e. not a start-up). I am currently working as a postDoc but I have also co-founded a start-up that develops algorithms within health tech. Naturally, I'll not be looking for a job within another health tech company.

Now to the question! Will my involvement in the start-up pose any problems for me in my search for a data scientist job? It would be rather heartbreaking to have to give up my start-up completely. Will I be forced to sell my stake in the company or is that negotiable? Is it better for me to apply for jobs in the financial and insurance sector to try to minimize the business-overlap with my start-up?

Thankful for any good advice!

  • The financial sector can be very strict about what kinds of outside investments you're allowed to make and hold. I interviewed for a job awhile back where they forced people to put all of their investments in a blind trust and have them be managed by someone else. I'm not sure about insurance, though. If you interview for jobs in that area, you'll definitely want to look up whether owning it would be considered a conflict of interest, especially if you're asked to do data analysis on other health care companies. – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Jun 27 at 13:54
  • How much of a regular time commitment is your startup? – Myles Jun 27 at 15:25
  • Developing algorithms for data science and doing the same for heath is rather similar - I suspect that an established UK company will push back especially for a new employee. – Neuromancer Jun 27 at 21:08
  • When you say "start searching for a job in the UK" are you currently in the UK? Is the startup you help found also in the UK? – mhoran_psprep Jun 28 at 10:10
  • Thank you for your comments! I will probably need to put in six hours a week in the startup. So nothing I can't deal with during the weekends or evenings. I am currently living in Sweden and the startup company is also swedish. – Ture Jun 28 at 11:36
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That will surely vary from company to company, but it is completely normal for people in the tech industry to run private business on the side. The only problem I can see happening is if you have to dedicate too much time for your start-up.

If you can balance things, most companies will be ok with it.

  • And conflict of interest would also be a problem, right? – Sandra K Jun 27 at 15:46
  • @SandraK the question explicitly states that he is looking for work outside the area of his start-up, so I doubt it could be seen as conflict of interest. – espindolaa Jun 27 at 16:27
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    Sorry its not completely normal to have a private business on the side - some do but its probably <10 % – Neuromancer Jun 27 at 21:05
  • Thank you for your comments! – Ture Jun 28 at 11:37
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In the UK you usually need to declare your other interests to your Employer.

This is so they can decide if there is a conflict of interest between the post and yourself

This can be either a competition based one (Do you pose a threat to the business), an insider one (will you gain an advantage with inside information), or a time based one (will you come into work tired because you've been up all night working your other job).

The first two would probably make any company baulk at the thought.

However, I think most companies would consider allowing the 3rd type, but you may have to sign a document stating exactly what the other job entails and that it won't affect your work.

  • Thank you! I would probably have to spend approximately six hours a week on the startup so I don't think it would interference too much with my day job. – Ture Jun 28 at 11:39

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