Working is unavoidable for just about everyone. Whether you work for nothing more than a paycheck, or you truly love the work you do, your job is crucial to your well-being and financial stability.
Unfortunately, your ability to make a living in your chosen field can be compromised if you are bound by the restrictions of a non-compete agreement. A non-compete can bar you from taking a job that offers more money, better benefits, or even more job satisfaction. With this in mind, we want to clear up some common misconceptions about non-compete agreements.
Myth #1: Non-compete agreements are rare.
If you aren't familiar with non-competes, you might think they are uncommon, and that you'll never have to worry about them.
In reality, studies show that about 20 percent of employees are bound by non-compete agreements.
Myth #2: Non-compete agreements are only for executives.
You might think that your job does not warrant a non-compete agreement. After all, it's only for high-level executives with access to sensitive information, right?
Wrong. Almost any employee can enter into a non-compete agreement, irrespective of whether they are restaurant workers, hourly laborers or corporate managers.
Myth #3: Non-compete agreements don't really matter.
Employers have many things to focus on when it comes to running a business. This might lead you to believe that your employer won't care if you violate a non-compete, especially if you are not an executive.
However, in all likelihood, they will care, and they probably have the resources and motivation to hold you accountable for the violation of a non-compete agreement.
Don't let these myths steer you wrong
Failure to critically consider non-compete agreements, and the impact they can have on your future and your livelihood, can lead to disastrous results. You might change jobs, only to find out that doing so violates a non-compete, or you might unknowingly agree to something that severely restricts your ability to find a better job in the future.
To avoid these mistakes, talk to an attorney before signing any employment agreement. Even if you are already bound by a non-compete agreement, you could still benefit from legal advice in the event of a future dispute.