Leaving a job with your personal tech intact

By Mary K. Pratt, Computerworld |  Career, consumerization of IT

She considers those followers to be one of her assets in the marketplace. "Twitter is about connections, and what makes a person valuable to a company are those kinds of relationships. Companies want to have people with influence and contacts," she says, noting that those contacts could be seen as potential clients and customers.

Driver believes her various employers have no claim to her Twitter account or her followers.

True, she tweets about topics related to her work, but she does so in an account that's in her name. "Those are key points: Is the account in your name? Are you tweeting on behalf of the company or tweeting as yourself? That's very different as me tweeting as customer service at company X," Driver says.

(Like many companies at the time, Forrester didn't have a Twitter policy when she left, but issued new social media policies, particularly around blogging, after her departure, she says.)

Laying down the law

"What you're really raising is the question of how old-fashioned rules apply in the new world," says Jonathan Segal, a partner in the Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group at Duane Morris LLP.

Standard rules say that what a worker creates in the course of employment is the employer's property, regardless of whether it's a paper document or the content of a blog or the extensive e-mail list an employee has compiled on her smartphone.

Leaving? Do it legally

How you handle your highly wired work life when you're ready to leave one job for another can mean the difference between a graceful exit and one marred by legal wrangling. Employment experts say:

* Don't use Facebook or any other social medium to invite former colleagues to join you at your new job -- this could get you in legal hot water, especially if you signed a non-solicitation agreement with your previous employer.

* Don't re-use blogs that you wrote, even if on your personal time, that concern your previous employer or any work you did while there.

* Consult your employee manual about which files you're allowed to take with you. Even removing photos of your kids after you've given notice could send up red flags.

* Be scrupulous about keeping little, if any, personal data on your corporate-issued gear -- regularly delete that kind of info from your work machine, especially if you think you may soon be in the job market, voluntarily or otherwise.

* Don't Tweet or post details about your departure. You could be endangering exit agreements or spreading the news to contacts who are about to become your new competitors.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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