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Is it ok to apply for a job position in a company my current company provides service to?

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Vanshika Bhatt


( 5 months ago )

I work for company X which has a contract for developing systems to company Y.

Company Y sent an email announcing available jobs to all people in Y corporative email list. I have an email for actioning in behalf of company Y so I also got the email even though I am not employed by them.

Is it unethical if I apply for company Y job?

If I get hired will the relation between company X and Y be affected?

If I don't get hired will company X people get "mad" at me? I feel like this would create an uncomfortable situation at my work place.

Ekta Singhania


( 5 months ago )

There's really two dimensions to this.

Your first concern should be contract language, if you haven't signed a no-compete clause or a contract stipulating that you're not allowed to work in the same industry, or for clients, or whatever - then you're free to do what you want without retribution.

It's often claimed that such no-compete clauses don't stand up well if companies try to pursue them, but I've been involved in cases where there were actual damages paid as a result, so it's best to be careful and/or seek legal advice if you have signed something.

That said, in comments, you mentioned that you have no such contract. That leaves the second factor: culture. This one will be difficult for us to answer. Some service companies enjoy having employees go work for their clients, it's seen as having a "person on the inside" at the client and strengthening the relationship. On the other hand, some employers don't like to lose employees to clients, it's seen as the employee taking advantage of the relationship. Unfortunately, none of us can tell you which situation you're in.

You can try to feel this out for yourself, though. Have other past employees at your current company gone to work for clients? Do you have a good relationship with someone that's been there a while who you could confidentially ask? It's worth putting in the research as long as you can do it in confidence.

what's your interest