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'[EE]: Use of design skills outside full employment'
2002\01\05@062838 by Ian Chapman

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I'd appreciate any practical guidance on ways of retaining my independence
to use my design skills elsewhere if I re-enter full employment.

I am currently self-employed (in business partnership with my wife) but I
am considering the possibility of returning to full-time employment.  My
wife is able to continue running our joint business on her own, but would
benefit from my design input at times.  I would like to set things up with
my prospective employer in a way that does not compromise my ability to do
this, but I am not sure how this is best achieved.

In practice, I see no conflict of interest between our business aims and
those of any prospective employers (indeed, there may be synergies), and I
do not intend to use any of my prospective employer's resources to pursue
the former.  Also, I propose only a light and non-time-critical ongoing
commitment to my wife's (our) business - essentially to maintain existing
products so that we can continue to secure an income from new sales.

I appear to be in a good negotiating position with a prospective employer
who wants my skills but is currently unable to offer a salary that meets
my expectations.  The job looks good in many other ways, so common sense
suggests that there is a "win-win" out there.  However, I anticipate that
it may be difficult to draw up a watertight contractual agreement, and it
would probably defeat the object to engage a solicitor to attempt to make
this so.

Does anyone have experience of sensible and effective solutions to this?

Thanks in advance.
--
Ian Chapman
Chapmip Technology, UK

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2002\01\05@075725 by Roman Black

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Ian Chapman wrote:
>
> I'd appreciate any practical guidance on ways of retaining my independence
> to use my design skills elsewhere if I re-enter full employment.
>
> I am currently self-employed (in business partnership with my wife) but I
> am considering the possibility of returning to full-time employment.  My
> wife is able to continue running our joint business on her own, but would
> benefit from my design input at times.  I would like to set things up with
> my prospective employer in a way that does not compromise my ability to do
> this, but I am not sure how this is best achieved.

Hi Ian, i've been both the employer and
employed, and the only way to handle this
is complete honesty up front. Contact the
employer and provide all the info re what
you and your wife design and if there will
be any potential issues. Don't act as though
there is any option re your abandoning
private designing, but do make it clear what
you will be designing and for whom.
Good luck. :o)
-Roman

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2002\01\05@082254 by Tim McDonough

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> I'd appreciate any practical guidance on ways of retaining my independence
> to use my design skills elsewhere if I re-enter full employment.

> Does anyone have experience of sensible and effective solutions to this?

> Ian Chapman

I was in a similar situation about 10 years ago. I had developed some
software as a contractor and then took a full-time job as a software
developer. My new employer and I wrote up a simple, signed agreement that
stated it was okay for me to provide support to any of my former clients as
long as none of the new employers resources were used.

Tim

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2002\01\05@142010 by Mark Newland

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A common contract that I have signed in the past is a non-competetion
contract.  They acknowledged my business and what I was doing in it and I
agreed not to compete with their business.  There was usually some clause
saying that the terms of the contract expired 5 years after I left the company
of something like that.

Ian Chapman wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\01\07@092143 by Scott.Touchton

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Ian,

What you do at home is of no concern to your employer unless you compete
directly, or can't get the job done.   I'm always getting hornswaggled into
management jobs, so I entertain my engineering curiosities via consulting
in the evenings.  Have not had a problem in the past 10 years doing this,
though I have used some vacation time to take care of "home" business.

If you feel that your home business will require some of your time during
the day, then I would discuss this with your prospective employer.  Maybe
some form of comp time would be in order.

If you need to sign an employment contract, make sure that any development
you do not related to your employer is owned by you.  When I worked for
Capita, they originally wanted ownership to all designs, no matter where or
when developed.  Of course, this was changed to read "designs which related
to the work and business at Capita Research......"

Good Luck,

Scott F. Touchton
1550 Engineering Manager
JDS Uniphase



                   Ian Chapman
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I'd appreciate any practical guidance on ways of retaining my independence
to use my design skills elsewhere if I re-enter full employment.

I am currently self-employed (in business partnership with my wife) but I
am considering the possibility of returning to full-time employment.  My
wife is able to continue running our joint business on her own, but would
benefit from my design input at times.  I would like to set things up with
my prospective employer in a way that does not compromise my ability to do
this, but I am not sure how this is best achieved.

In practice, I see no conflict of interest between our business aims and
those of any prospective employers (indeed, there may be synergies), and I
do not intend to use any of my prospective employer's resources to pursue
the former.  Also, I propose only a light and non-time-critical ongoing
commitment to my wife's (our) business - essentially to maintain existing
products so that we can continue to secure an income from new sales.

I appear to be in a good negotiating position with a prospective employer
who wants my skills but is currently unable to offer a salary that meets
my expectations.  The job looks good in many other ways, so common sense
suggests that there is a "win-win" out there.  However, I anticipate that
it may be difficult to draw up a watertight contractual agreement, and it
would probably defeat the object to engage a solicitor to attempt to make
this so.

Does anyone have experience of sensible and effective solutions to this?

Thanks in advance.
--
Ian Chapman
Chapmip Technology, UK

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2002\01\08@122347 by Ian Chapman

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I wrote:
>I'd appreciate any practical guidance on ways of retaining my independence
>to use my design skills elsewhere if I re-enter full employment.

... and four people (Roman, Tim, Mark and Scott) replied with useful and
complementary advice.  Many thanks to all.  Your inputs are most timely
as I have an interview with a potential employer on Thursday.

My conclusion from your views is that flexibility on this point is quite
possible, given a mixture of mutual trust and attention to contractual
details.  I'll bear this in mind later in the week.

Thanks once again.
--
Ian Chapman
Chapmip Technology, UK

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