Ethical considerations when leaving your IT job

Author: | Posted in Job Advice No comments
ethical considerations when leaving your IT job

Getting ahead in life in the IT field requires workers to progress in their chosen career paths, often into more senior positions that reflect their knowledge gained and performance capabilities. Sometimes, however, it also means changing organizations for a better role, benefits, or pay. 

Aside from bringing your talent and name into your new organization, what else can you do to benefit your new employer? When people ask themselves this question, they often overlook ethical considerations, especially in the IT industry. Here are a few things to keep in mind when leaving your IT job.

Advance Notice

While you might have locked down the new job, or joined the Gig economy it’s vital to your future career security that you provide your current employer with advanced notice of your leaving. This gives them time to fill your position or make adjustments to the team as needed.

However, you might find that your security department disagrees with this practice. It isn’t uncommon for IT staff to be escorted out of the office immediately upon resignation. This isn’t always the right move for companies to make. If you suspect your employer dismissed you illegally, then hire an attorney as soon as possible. 

Intellectual Property

While employers do have the right to protect their intellectual property, overreacting to a resignation is never okay, especially when company policy says otherwise. With data changing hands at a rapid pace within IT departments amongst in-house staff and those who work from home, companies often fear their information may be at stake. 

When you were hired, however, your employer should have had you sign an executive compliance document. Some ask that employees renew this on an annual basis. Double-check the guidelines set forth and ensure you are not in breach of this document. 

Unless stated otherwise, all of the work you completed for your current employer belongs to them. If you feel that part of your work is your property, then attempt to come to an agreement with your employer. You might need the help of IP attorneys to assist your business if you plan to work freelance. 

Deleting Work

Similar to stealing intellectual property, it is also unethical to delete any of the work you have completed for your employer thus far. This is considered their work product, making it another form of theft. If you do make this costly mistake, you might find that your new position is no longer available once word reaches your future employer. 


Finally, try your best to leave on a good note. Be respectful of the work left behind for your colleagues as well as in your interactions with them. You never know, you might return to this company one day if they offer you a more senior position. 

Any future career opportunities depend entirely on your good name and experience. Don’t make the mistake of tarnishing your name with unethical practices when you leave your current IT department. When in doubt, play it safe and smile.