Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You

Kevin wants to know if it's morally wrong to seek out work in his current field if he wants to leave his employer. Dave says it is if you're stealing from the employer.

QUESTION: Kevin on Twitter wants to know if it’s morally wrong to seek out work in his current field if he wants to leave his employer. Dave says it is if you’re stealing from the employer.

ANSWER: If you are stealing the business from your employer, yes. That would be wrong. The way to answer your moral questions in a lot of cases like this is to just treat other people like you’d want to be treated. Let’s say you had an employee and you had built a business over 10 years and one of your employees was out there on the side taking business that was yours. How would you feel? I would fire them. That’s stealing. It’s the way I look at that. If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t do it. Let’s say there’s a segment of the market that your employer doesn’t do and you could pick up that and it’s not any business he would take anyway. Then yeah, you’d be perfectly okay to go do that. Let’s say there’s an adjoining city, and your employer won’t drive over there to do a deal, but you’ll go over there and do a deal. Then that’s fine because you’re not taking business from them. But if it’s business they would have liked to have had, then I don’t think you’re right in taking it. You’ve got to think that through. If it’s head-to-head competition, then no, I don’t think that’s a proper thing to do. You’re biting the hand that feeds you in that case.

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