What exactly is a Non- Disclosure Agreement? According to Wikipedia it is:
a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict access to or by third parties. It is a contract through which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement
It means when you work for someone you cannot disclose information about that work. This could be anything from the clients you are working with, the product being made or processes being used.
There are good reasons to use an NDA. It could be a project involving a government contractor with top secret information involved. It could also just be a competitive industry where it is easy to steal customers and ideas from another entity.
The language of a non-disclosure agreement can be pretty straight forward. There are two issues that do affect the makeup of the NDA.
First there is the time frame. This could include the date the NDA goes into effect and how long it will be in place. Is there a specific time period like two years from the start date? Maybe there a specific date it will expire or it may have an indefinite timeframe.
Second is the specific wording of the agreement in part or whole. Does it say what exactly is confidential? It may have ambiguous legal terminology that makes components hard to define.
However an NDA is set up and under whatever circumstances, it could have an effect on your Linkedin Presence. Linkedin after all is about networking and letting others know your background. Here are three ways and NDA can impact this.
Shh..It’s A Secret!
There is a line in many Hollywood movies where someone asks another individual “So what do you do for a living”. The classic response is “I can tell you but I would have to kill you”.
Working under an NDA is not that drastic but it does leave gaps with your Linkedin profile. You may be able to say where you work but cannot provide details of it. And putting one single word “stuff” in your experience section is not really that encompassing or enticing.
No Recommendation For You
So you are nearing the end of a work contract that has an NDA in place. You have done a great job turning the company around and bringing in the bling. You think you could at least get a recommendation from this.
Maybe you can. Maybe you cannot. It again depends on the wording of the NDA. A potential recommendation giver may be sworn to secrecy. They could give you a flowing review based on the work you did. The problem may be it could be like a movie review from a critic who never saw the movie.
Much of your work maybe as a freelancer or consultant. The work is short term projects that involve a contract and part of that contract is a binding NDA.
What if you bust the doors wide open with a project? It could be a great item to display in the Project section of your profile. If you were part of a team you could share the love as well.
But wait. Hold your horses there friend. Your NDA prevents you from disclosing information about the project. Nice job just too bad you cannot tell anyone.
One of the major ways the NDA could impinge your Linkedin journey is based on the time you put in to the work. You could have NDA’s up the wazoo or it could just be part of the job.
One thing you must d is to review the NDA before signing AND even after. Find out what you can disclose and what must remain confidential. You may move mountains in the work you do but just not be able to tell where you put them.