I currently have a full-time job as a software engineer. I would like to apply for a part-time job with another company, where I would do analytics & marketing.

In the contract and the rules I signed for the full-time job, it says that I have to ask my employer for permission if the job I aim to do for the other company (or on my own) is related to the jobs that the company does. However, I checked - the company I'm currently employed in full-time doesn't have analytics & marketing listed as one of their work areas.

So, technically, I don't have to tell my full-time employer that I'm working this part-time job, right? I mean, the contract doesn't oblige me to.

The thing that bothers me is that I'm on a probationary period on the full-time job. I have a sense that it's too early for me to tell my full-time employer "Hey, I was thinking of working part-time for another company", because at this point they have the leverage. However, if I don't tell them that I have a part-time job, they won't know, and if I start noticing that my full-time employer is unsatisfied with my performance, I can quit my part-time job. Even in the case if my full-time employer does discover that I was working part-time, I can just say something along the lines of "Yeah, I was, but I read the contract and because those were different jobs I didn't feel the need to tell you. Sorry about that."

I think this is my best way of progressing right now. Could this somehow backfire? I'm trying to rule out the worst-case scenario here, so that I'm ready for it.

  • 1
    Many full time contracts require exclusivity, check that first. – Tymoteusz Paul Oct 22 at 21:31
  • 2
    Posting your location would help. The worst-case scenario could be very different in Somalia than in Sweden. – Anonymoot Oct 22 at 21:54
  • Does the contract also say you need to get approval even if the other job is not in the same field? – Laconic Droid Oct 22 at 23:59
  • This seems like an unbelievably bad idea. Software is the primary example of a field where a full time position is "all you can do and that's it". – Fattie Oct 23 at 13:07
  • @Studoku I'm in a country where the laws are always nudged towards the employee, not the employer. – Eternal_Ether Oct 24 at 17:53

Generally the answer is "Yes, you have to tell them" because most contracts require it. Most companies indicate such a requirement in their employee handbooks, and the company has a duty to make sure you are not competing with the company while working with the company.

That said, the actual details depend on which country you are in, which set of laws govern the company, the existence of any agreements you have already made, including vague agreements of complying with the company policies, and if the company policy has changed. In short, it's not possible to know for certain you would be safe from not disclosing a side-job without a deep dive into the details of your situation, armed with a strong knowledge of the laws that apply.

That said, the laws that apply often don't guarantee employment in many countries, so the company may just decide your resistance is enough incentive to find a legal way of discontinuing your employment. Think carefully before taking a strong stand.

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