I’m currently working for a large consulting firm (A) and my team is working on a project for a large oil firm (B). B doesn’t know who I am, as I have not been on the direct engagement team but knows my managers and directors.

B has advertised a position which will put me on the on their side of the engagement if I get the job (I am experienced in this area).

This is obviously a big client for my team and I don’t want to cause any issues. I just want to join B who offer more money and more opportunity.

Should I approach the recruiter of B first? Then try and land the job without my team knowing?

There is no non-compete clause in my job agreement.


Actually what you should do first is to check your contract: It is possible you are not permitted to switch for a company your current employer has a business engagements with. It's common for employers to "steal" the employees whom already working on their project externally, and there are rules in contracts to prohibit that.

Secondly, approach the recruiter of B. Directly ask if they have a contract which prevents this between 2 companies. If they are comfortable, proceed.

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  • The 2nd of these two restrictions is more likely to be legally reliable - depending on location of course. Binding an employee's future prospects is often seen as restrictive, whereas between companies it is part of the cost of business. – Sean Houlihane Jul 9 '19 at 8:52

when you started at A did you sign a non-compete? if yes then you are stuck but if not then just apply. if you never had contact with B and they don't know who you are then its unlikely B would be accused of poaching you or cause any problems between A and B. as for being professional if you get the job give a decent notice period and try to make your exit as smooth as possible.

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Pursue the opportunity and make a move if it's a work/pay progression

Go through your job offer letter. Make sure there's no non-compete clause or clause against working with clients of your parent organisation. Consult a lawyer if need be.

If there's nothing in your offer letter legally preventing you from working for B, you can pursue this opportunity.

As mentioned, since you do not have any non-compete clause in your agreement and there's nothing legally preventing you from pursuing this opportunity, feel free to do you. Nothing wrong in thinking about your own professional growth.

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