The digital and technology world is fast paced, competitive and continually developing and this is why many businesses in this field require their employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) when they start working with them. The NDA that you sign is a legally binding contract which prohibits you from sharing confidential information about the business and your work within it. If it doesn’t specify what it considers to be confidential information, then you should assume that it is anything about the company that isn’t already in the public domain.
If you never plan on moving on from that organisation, signing a non-disclosure agreement is not an issue, however, if you decide it’s time to make a career change, you may wonder how to demonstrate your ability to a new potential employer if you cannot speak about your previous work. You should never be tempted to disregard the NDA and share confidential information. Not only will you be in breach of contract and potentially subjected to legal action, but the company that you are applying to will most likely deem you untrustworthy of handling their own confidential information and disregard your application.
The first thing that you should do if you are preparing competency examples for a job application or interview is to clarify with your current organisation what exactly you can talk about – if the UX project you wish to discuss has completed, they may be more lenient about you discussing what your role was in delivering it. If you are given permission to discuss a particular project, ensure that you get this permission in writing to protect yourself.
If you are unable to get permission to discuss specifics relating to work you completed under a NDA, you can still discuss your role and achievements in a broad sense without specifying the project or breaching confidentiality. Much of the information covered by the NDA is likely to be irrelevant to a job interview as they want to know what you did and achieved rather than information about the project specifics. Where you need to explain the positive improvements that were only possible due to your contribution, use percentages rather than specific numerical values and only discuss design processes in general terms.
You probably recall your maths teacher at school encouraging you to show your workings in order to gain marks. Precisely the same principle applies to demonstrating your capabilities. You can create some case studies to show how you worked to achieve specific goals, together with the methods and techniques that you applied. Without specifically naming clients or projects, none of this should contravene the terms of an NDA and all of it will add value to your application.
If you have any doubts as to whether what you plan to discuss will violate your non-disclosure agreement, check. If you are really struggling to explain your responsibilities, actions, and outcomes without breaching confidentiality, consider whether you were part of a different project without such restrictions that you could discuss instead. You could even discuss non-work-related projects and activities when proving competence, for example, if you’ve worked on a charitable or voluntary project.
rmg digital are specialist digital recruiters, and we understand how niche and complicated this environment can be. We can help you to identify and develop your career aspirations, recommend appropriate training opportunities and using our knowledge about the extensive network of employers in the field, aid you in making your next career move.
We have two offices in the UK so wherever you are based, we can help support your career progression, providing tailored advice on showcasing your design portfolio without contravening any confidentiality clauses that you have signed. For more information about how we can help you, please reach out to us today:
Tel: 020 3800 1118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org