I have a non-compete that I feel is holding me back. I’d like to explore my options with other companies but my value and interest are with my industry. How have your other clients gotten around non-competes in the past?
I am certainly not a business attorney, but can tell you that there are many ethical ways around non-competes. A non-compete should never prohibit you from earning a living, and in fact the main reason judges kick them out as non-enforceable is when they are too restrictive.
The primary reason for non-competes is to keep you from poaching your former employer’s customer base. You should certainly be able to continue working within the same industry that you are accustomed.
The most common way that we see hiring managers get around non-competes is assigning new hires to either different geographical territories or vertical markets that are not protected under their non-compete until the clock runs out. So rest assured that no enforceable non-compete should honestly be able to hold you back from pursuing earning a living within any given industry. I would spend a little money having it reviewed by a business attorney, so you are crystal clear what you are and are not responsible for, and then actively seek out your next role. Have a copy of your non-compete handy so when you get to the appropriate step in the interview process, which is typically close or at the offer stage, you can share it with your potential new company and have their legal team review it as well.
Have a question you’d like a recruiter to answer? Write to me at AskAnn@execunet.com
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