This is the sort of dystopia I’m talking about that we are building right now.
Now, in many states, the law also extends to cover less well-defined knowledge, such as employee know-how, customer relations, and knowledge that is not used commercially. It gives firms control over employee knowledge that goes far beyond true trade secrets, reaching into basic knowledge that employees need to do their jobs. While most employers don’t push the limits of these powers, an increasing number have done so.
The combination of expanding trade-secret law and the growing use of employment contracts covering post-employment activity has a huge impact on the career trajectories of many workers.
The intent is to lock workers into one job, thus reducing salaries.
As for me, I will never sign a non-compete agreement. If one is suggested in an interview, I will walk right out the door (I’ve done it before).
There is little more thrilling in life I’ve found than when someone thinks they hold all the power over you and you get up in the middle of an interview and say, “Well, I am leaving now” and confidently stride out.
I’ve done that twice in my life.
I’ll probably do it again.
You might get the wrong impression from what you read here sometimes. In real life, I am very courteous and accommodating to a fault — until there is no reason to be. Ignorant people take that for weakness. But I grew up being bullied. When I feel like someone is attempting to bully me, or going down that path, they are shocked at the change it causes in me. Then, I am done. Just done. No more chances.
I am lucky to be able to do that, walk out like that, or to tell someone to fuck off. I know that, so no need to remind me. But I use my luck, too, and refuse to be a punching bag.
And I’m a really good IT worker. Why be modest? I know I am good at what I do. Experience proves it. That companies beg me to stay when I resign proves it.
So, employers, some notice in advance: I will NEVER work for you if you make me sign a non-compete agreement. Salary is irrelevant. A million a year? NOPE. My self-respect and freedom is worth more to me than that.
I was talking with my girlfriend last night about how corporations these days have far more power over individuals than the government. Just another bit of evidence for that.