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The ethics of honesty and moving jobs

Wednesday 6 October, 2021
by 2021 BFSO Young Ambassador

You’re part of a high performing team of software developers at a 'Big 4' bank and your skillset is hard to replace. 

While you like your team, Covid-19 has given you itchy feet and you’re looking for a change. After speaking to recruiters and looking on LinkedIn, you’ve found an exciting role in a fintech startup that starts six months from now. It’s perfect and you’ve mentally committed to taking it. 

You feel torn about whether you should tell your colleagues and bosses that you plan to leave in six months. 

What would you do?

  • What are the values and principles that are clashing to make this a difficult decision?
  • What are the considerations you need to make to determine the best way forward?

We challenge you to create a healthy discussion with your colleagues and post a comment below. You could even encourage them to consider taking The Banking and Financial Services Oath! If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma to feature in an upcoming weekly challenge please email:

Photo by Photo by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash


There are 3 comments for The ethics of honesty and moving jobs.

Re: The ethics of honesty and moving jobs

Monday 11 October, 2021
by James
I don't think you can say nothing. Either speak to the start up and ask for a firm start date (earlier if possible) and contract and take your leave days if necessary to help cover the time or speak to your employee and let them know the role is coming and offer to help train your replacement. The longer you give them the more equipped they will be. If they let you go earlier than you had hoped, well that's the cost of taking your new dream job.

Re: The ethics of honesty and moving jobs

Monday 11 October, 2021
by Bruce
Is there a formal offer and acceptance of employment? If this is still blue sky, then there is no reason to disclose anything. Nothing may eventuate, it is merely speculative.

Check your existing employment agreement. Is there anything in there that might need to be considered?

Understanding the details of your current and future roles is important. If there is no overlap then there may not be a problem. For example, if your software skills are utilised to manage existing proprietary applications, and the start is developing new applications in different areas, there is limited scope for a conflict of interest to arise.

Consider also a scenario where your current employer is planning to divest your business and make you redundant in 6 months. Your employer is unlikely to be under any obligation to provide advance notice. So is it reasonable to expect you to provide 6 months notice when the shoe is on the other foot?

Re: The ethics of honesty and moving jobs

Monday 11 October, 2021
by Chris
If you're mentally committed to taking on the new role elsewhere, it's entirely appropriate to give your manager a good amount of notice. Then you can together work on a succession plan to allow you to leave the company better than you found it!

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