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I currently work in a software engineering position related to data science. In my free time, I conducted a remote jobs data analysis where I looked into questions such as "What are the most sought-after skills?" and "How many job openings for each level of seniority there are?".

I am currently employed. Some of my co-workers (including my boss) have me on LinkedIn. When I publish the analysis, I was intending to make a post on LinkedIn about it (although I don't necessarily have to, but I'd like the publicity).

I'm not sure if publishing a remote jobs data analysis could cause issues between me and my employer. I have published some content on LinkedIn before, but no one mentioned it. I could also frame the article in such a way that I state that at the time of writing the article I already have a great job, but that I did the analysis to:

  • improve my data science skills
  • see which skills are the most relevant in today's marketplace so that I can become a better employee
  • to help people who are looking for jobs

What do you think? Should I publish this remote jobs data analysis or no?

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  • @JoeStrazzere I may be overthinking this. Even if my employer did see it and they bring it up, I can say that I wanted to sharpen my data science skills and that I am very happy with my current job and they don't have to worry about this meaning anything. Does that sound reasonable?
    – Join_Where
    May 9 '21 at 13:43
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    @Join_Where it's "reasonable" in the sense that if you a man tells his wife he was only staring at another woman because he were really interested in sports physiology. Sure, that's perfectly logical, reasonable, true.
    – Fattie
    May 9 '21 at 13:48
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This should be fine UNLESS it's a potential conflict of interest. That would be the case if the study is somehow related to the business or the people at your current employer.

If in doubt, you can always ask.

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  • I'm doing the analysis of remote software developer jobs and my company primarily does software development. Is that a conflict of interest?
    – Join_Where
    May 9 '21 at 13:38
  • Continuing my analogy above, unfortunately I feel that "asking" if this is OK would be equivalent to the husband in the analogy "asking" the wife beforehand if it will all be fine!
    – Fattie
    May 9 '21 at 13:53
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    @Join_Where If you did this primarily as a "side project" to sharpen your skills and/or have something to show off, why did you pick something that you think your employer might object to? If analyzing remote work is what's interesting to you, you could have looked at e.g. open positions for graphic designers, or something else your company doesn't do.
    – B. Ithica
    May 9 '21 at 14:14
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This is really no different than being a contributor for open-source software. If the scope of your paid work doesn't involve any type of remote job data analysis as you did on your free time, then there is no conflict of interest. You're not divulging any of your employer's vendors, employees, internal business practices, or trade secrets. I would state that it's important to delineate, maybe only to yourself for now, that the effort was not performed at work or on any employer-owned resources.

Other than the above, you're probably good (I am not an attorney).

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Discuss it with your boss first so that he doesn't take it as a signal that you're planning on leaving.

So, on your free time, you're looking at a bunch of job openings? Most people who do so are looking for work, and if you post a data analysis that publicly admits that you've been doing so, concluding that you've been looking for a new job is a logical conclusion that your boss might make.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case for you, so I'd say to talk to your boss before you post the analysis publicly so that he's aware of it, and the actual reasons why you've been looking at job ads.

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Are you worried they'll see it and assume you're doing the analysis for yourself in order to find a new job? If so, I'd say you're overthinking it. After all, if you were doing it for yourself, making it public would be put you at a disadvantage since it would be giving other job seekers in your network access to the same data.

It can be difficult to predict what types of personal projects or side hustles will cause issues with your employer but I see these types of projects posted to LinkedIn all the time. For a platform whose intended purpose is professional networking, this is highly relevant content and I think most rational people would interpret it as you using the platform for what it's meant to be used for--sharing career-related content with the intent of raising your profile.

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I assume there must be a site where data science people congregate and peer review each other's work? Publish it there. Either that or publish it on Medium, GitHub, Youtube, a blog, or Twitter (assuming your boss doesn't follow you on those).

Obviously, you're not doing anything wrong, and I wouldn't stress over it if he finds out, but I don't think it's such a great idea to let your employer know you're currently looking at other jobs (even if it's for the most innocent-sounding of reasons).

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