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I am currently working as a software developer in Germany. It's my first job here and it hasn't been a full year since I was employed. Apart from the problems I am facing with my leader (approaching deadlines cause him to unleash his stress to the team and especially me, perhaps because I am the least experienced-productive), I would also like to make a career change since I have a degree also in a medicine-related sector (I didn't mention this degree in my CV as unrelated).

  1. I do not think that in the medicine-sector that I'll be applying to, my working experience in IT will be appreciated, so I don't know if I should put this latest experience in this company in my updated CV. Should I?
  2. I do not want to leave the company in bad terms (after all the difficult period is over), and I also don't want to mention that I will make this career change (perhaps they will then say why I withheld the medicine-related degree). The company I am working on has the right (due to contract) to prevent me from working in a company of the same niche-field, so the question where will I be working in, might certainly come up. How do I resign without mentioning that I will be working for a medicine-related institution, and without lying?
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    I would mention your working experience in IT although it is not directly related to the new sector you are looking to work in. It will fill in a gap in your work history. If you do have work experience gaps you may be asked about it in future interviews.
    – fran
    Jul 30, 2020 at 8:10
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    German courts already ruled that non-compete clauses are only applicable if there is a real disadvantage for the employer without it, e.g. if you have access to sensitive strategic information. It's very unlikely that this is enforceable in your case.
    – Chris
    Jul 30, 2020 at 21:20

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The question is, why would you want to lie?

For me, there is two types of resignations: people that like other companies better. For the money, the people, the tasks or whatever other reason. That might be something to be upset about, a boss or company might take that personal. I'm not saying that would be right, but I have seen that happen.

And then there is reasons that are completely independent of anything the company does, did or represents. People quit because they want to be with their loved one in another city, because they found their passion for a completely unrelated field (I have seen people become teachers), maybe they want to travel the world or start another education. There is no point in taking that personal, because it's not about the company at all. It's not like they left this company for another company. The boss can be sad, but that's about it.

If I were you, I would just go with the simple solution: tell the truth.

That goes for both counts: telling your old company where you go to and telling your new company where you come from. At some point, both will question the blanks in your stories and they will either pressure you into telling them, or they will assume something far worse than the actual truth.

The truth here is totally innocent. Don't make it look bad by hiding it.

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  • Thank you nvoigt for your answer. Here in Germany you will read everywhere that when you resign, you should leave things settled, as they are, not stir up old grudges and so on. Consider also that the previous boss has to give you (you ask for it, but the next company is very likely to demand it) a leaving-document (for your tasks and so on). For the new profession that won't be necessary, but what if I need to go back to developing? As for the blank in the new job, it's justified by the time needed for the official permission to practice the new profession, so I won't have a problem at that.
    – oupoup
    Jul 30, 2020 at 7:51
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    Well, again, I think you will stir up the pot much less if you simply tell the truth. Even if your boss is small-minded and petty, it is far more likely they will give you a good Arbeitszeugnis if they know you don't leave to go to their competitor because of them, but instead you take off to a completely different job. You have to understand, if they can tell their boss that nothing would have kept you because you left for reasons unrelated to the situation in the current company, then they look good. If you left because you were unhappy there, then they look bad.
    – nvoigt
    Jul 30, 2020 at 7:56
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I don't know if I should put this latest experience in this company in my updated CV. Should I?

Yes, if you don't one would assume you were not doing anything. Plus industry experience in a significant role will increase your chances.

I also don't want to mention that I will make this career change (perhaps they will then say why I withheld the medicine-related degree).

There is no reason to tell them (just tell them you are resigning, no need to tell them anything about what you are going to do after resigning, or what degree you have). "Withholding medicine-related degree" shouldn't even come up because there is no process in resigning where you need to submit something like a CV.

The company I am working on has the right (due to contract) to prevent me from working in a company of the same niche-field, so the question where will I be working in, might certainly come up.

They can ask but you have no obligation to give them the information. The non-compete clauses are also heavily restricted by law. If you are early in your career, AND your role will change entirely, I'm pretty sure any non-compete clauses you might have won't be admissible anyways.

How do I resign without mentioning that I will be working for a medicine-related institution, and without lying?

Just say you prefer not to share, or that you will "share in due time". If they push you you can say: "My contract hasn't started yet, so anything can happen in between and I don't want to take any risks".

As for the "leaving document", in Germany you have the right to it, and the content must be fair. You don't need to ask for their mercy basically. Ask for the document and they have to provide it to you (no need to bargain). It won't require your CV either. When you get it, consider having it checked by a lawyer (there are apparently interesting code words that can convey negative message while sounding positive to the lay man's eye).

In short: don't worry, changing jobs freely is a human right, and it is protected in Germany. Non-compete clauses exist, but they are only admissible in a very narrow set of circumstances. Companies have no right to know what you will be doing next, and they are obliged to give you reference document that is fair.

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