1. Be wary of potential opportunities
That competing company might really be interested in hiring you, or they might just be trying to get the inside scoop on your employer. Yep, it’s sad but it happens. Companies recruit for non-existent jobs just so they can get details about your responsibilities, what tools and software you utilized, and even your salary and benefits.
So, do some due diligence to make sure that opportunity is legitimate before you dive headfirst into an interview. Remember that the hiring process is a two-way street, so don’t hesitate to ask your point of contact detailed questions about the job and the hiring timeline.
Additionally, avoid sharing any confidential information throughout the process — when in doubt, keep your lips zipped. Blabbing trade secrets can quickly land you in some legal hot water.
2. Check your contract
It’s smart to return to your employment contract right now and check if there is a non-compete section in that document? Not all employers dictate this, but many do.
If you indeed did sign one, read it carefully. Does it state who you can and can’t work for? Is there a set amount of time you need to wait before working for a competitor?
3. Know how much you’re willing to share
Hopefully, that conversation is positive and productive, but regardless of the dynamic, you’ll want to be prepared to answer this question:
Again, check your employment contract to see whether or not there are any requirements for divulging where you’re headed next. But, if there isn’t, know that you’re perfectly entitled to keep that information to yourself.
With that in mind, if you really don’t want anyone to know where you’re off to, it’s best not to disclose that to anyone.
4. Be prepared to get walked out
If you do decide to share that you’re leaving for a competitor, understand that you might be walked out — meaning, you’ll be expected to grab your things and leave right then and there.
That can come as a shock. But, for that reason, it’s smart to take care of any loose ends (like writing down some of your colleague’s email addresses so you can keep in touch!) before you walk into that meeting with your supervisor.
Just be sure you don’t take any confidential or proprietary information with you.
5. Always prioritize confidentiality
Speaking of confidentiality, that matters — even long after you leave. First and foremost, it’s wise to check if you signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with your previous employer, which will restrict what you’re able to share and talk about from your past role.
But even if you didn’t sign on the dotted line of an NDA, it’s still smart to not disclose any trade secrets or insider insights at your new job. Give yourself a gut check. If that information isn’t something that’s common knowledge or can be found just by researching your past employer, it’s probably best not to share it.
Age-old advice will tell you that you don’t want to burn any bridges, but providing details about just how your past company got things done is a sure fire way to send those bridges up in flames.
Remember that the more mindful and attentive you can be to those details now, the easier time you’ll have making that transition to your next adventure.