I’ve written in the past about the danger of signing non-compete agreements. A client recently told me a new tale of non-compete woe. He was working in a technical position for a company that was sales focused. My client’s position had no function related to sales, so he could not steal any accounts or clients. He applied for a job with a company that purchased from his current employers. The hiring manager informed my client that they would love to hire him, but could not do so because of the agreement he signed. In most cases, non-compete agreements last for one year. The one my client signed lasts for 18 months. There is currently a position open at the company that wants to hire him, but he will not be free for another four months. He has lost two opportunities to work for a company that wanted to hire him.
If you are taking a new job, think carefully before signing any non-compete agreements. In a profession with limited opportunities, a non-compete agreement could keep you from working. If you don’t understand what an employment document is saying, take it to a lawyer before signing it. Be very careful before signing any employment document. Don’t limit your future.