Episode 83: Top Secret! Taking about NDAs


June 28th, 2022

9 mins 35 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Top secret! We’re talking about NDAs, non-disclosure agreements. What’s an NDA? It’s an agreement between you and the company saying that you won’t share information about the company outside of the company. These are shared whether you’re an employee or a contractor.

Sometimes you sign an NDA when you’re interviewing, which means that whatever you learn during the process you can not take back to your current employer.

If you’re working on a secret project at work, your NDA says that you don’t tell anyone about what you’re working on. At least not the details of it.

So, what do you do when someone asks what you’re working on?? Kat advises you make a joke like, “I’d tell you, but then I’d have to..”. You can tell people that you can’t wait until it becomes public and you can talk more openly about it.

You can also say to people, “There’s a lot going on at work, and maybe if you Google it you can figure it out.”

Internal Use Only means do not forward, and if you don’t listen, you could find yourself in legal hot water. Sometimes, when talking about things that are top secret, we have to realize that not everyone has the same amount of knowledge, so fishing to see who knows what could get you into hot water. If you know about something that isn’t public knowledge, you don’t want to be asking about it in case you make people curious and they find out things they should not know about.

On your first day, make sure to ask for a copy of everything you sign and make sure you take the time to read it. Always know what you’re signing and make sure you can honor it.

When you leave a company, it’s ok to ask for your signed documents. You will want to review them for non-solicitation language (and time limits -- for example, you may not be able to refer someone from that company for 12 months without violating your agreement) before you refer someone from there. Be informed to make sure you honor everything you’ve signed.

If something is Googleable, it’s in the public domain, but if it’s not, it’s probably under NDA and you don’t want to be the leak -- so keep it to yourself!