Ask Jack: Start a Company, Lousy Coffee, and Job of the Week

A cup of coffee spilled on a computer keyboard
Getty Images

AOL Jobs reader ABS asks:

I'm thinking of starting my own business. Would it be wrong to start doing it on the side while I'm still working at my current job?

ABS... ABS... let me guess: You want to open an anti-lock brakes company. Good for you! Now it seems to me that you almost have to have some professional overlap, so you can hit the ground running when you finally make that leap.

But the key words in your question seem to be "on the side." Whether someone is just taking on some freelance or is actually starting a new company, it's easy to get into grey areas. For example, is it okay to work on your "other project" during business hours when you have some downtime? Or how about utilizing your current company's office equipment for that outside work? (That color printer is just sitting there!) If your new venture is in a similar field -- and assuming you haven't signed a non-compete agreement -- it can get even trickier. Would you persuade existing clients, or even fellow staff, to jump ship with you? Or would you betray information told to you in confidence in order to benefit your start-up?

These are all questions that you really have to answer for yourself, but do consider them carefully, as you are setting a precedent for the business ethics of your new venture. Ask yourself: How would you want your future employee to behave in the same scenario?

Reader "Buck Starrs" says:

The coffee at my work is TERRIBLE. What should I do?

Going out on a limb here, but, I will suggest... don't drink it?

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

If coffee is your thing, how about a java job? Standard Coffee is looking for senior account executives in Connecticut, Colorado, Washington, and Pennsylvania. If that doesn't put a smile on your mug, there are thousands of other available positions that you can search for right now on AOL Jobs!

Read Full Story