I was hired for my current job (in a very old industry) around 8 months ago specifically to modernize the company's tech stack and also to improve overall tech culture by introducing modern tech stack, development processes etc. based on my experience working with startups.
Now, due to COVID-19 related politics, my employer does not have resources to pursue these projects and cancelled them. But my job seem to be secure as they have still lots of old tech which need to be supported and somehow be sold to new customers.
Understandably, I am thinking of quitting as these new tasks do not offer any prospects for me and even a vision is missing. But there are arguments against quitting as I want to avoid the image of job hopping and also hiring is weak under current market conditions, so it may be not wise to quit.
I am considering the option to continue in my current job for a while at least by limiting my engagement to just for the hours I am paid for and during my private time work with newer technologies on private projects (also by contributing to open source, etc. as I work with communities). This would prevent my skills from getting rusty and also give me some sense of fulfillment.
My contract says that I am supposed to bring all my "energies and commitment" to the job and fulfill the demands of job even by working overtime if there are tasks. It just assumes an average work week of 40 hours and no overtime payment. (I live in Europe if it helps to know.)
Now comes the crux of the question.
Given the above condition, could spending my extra energies on things I really want to pursue, but have nothing to do with my tasks (and unlikely to benefit my employer. in the near future) be seen as wrong a) legally or b) ethically? (as could this be interpreted as moonlighting of some sort).
As taken from the contract, preventing "gainful secondary work":
...all of your energy to serving the employer and safeguard and promote the company’s interests and concerns.