GUEST COMMENT: On the advisability of taking things with you when you're made redundant

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When someone does you out of a job which you enjoy (or quite enjoy) and are earning (quite) good money for, it's tempting to attempt some sort of retaliation.

Take my friend, who having lost his job working for a boss with whom he had been recently 'fraternising' after hours, shouted across the trading floor, "thought you could scr*w me one last time, did you?"

In most cases, however, it is not good and not grown up and won't further your career prospects at all if you draw attention to yourself in a negative way after being ditched by your employer.

The reality is that you may not have time to behave badly anyway: you'll be focusing fully on how much stuff you can fit into a cardboard box in approximately five minutes.

But, before you go, it's worth bearing in mind that there are some things at work which you might need later on. Things you may not really want to leave behind. Given that you may not have time to rescue these in the five minutes and that they may not be boxable, you might want to make contingency arrangements in case you have the misfortune to be chopped.

I'm not suggesting you come over all Sergey Aleynikov. I am suggesting that you think about:

Your personal emails

I know a lot of people who use their work addresses for everything. Alongside confidential client information, their email accounts therefore contain details of mortgages, insurance policies, prenuptial agreements and sexual preferences. If you have time, you may want to separate these out now. If you don't, you may want to take them with you in a .PST file.

However, this may be prohibited by your firm's IT policy and could get you into trouble. For this reason, at least one magic circle law firm stipulates that employees must mark their emails as personal unless directly associated with a transaction.

Client contact details

This is a difficult one. Your client relationships are what make you employable and are an important asset. However, as a former SocGen employee discovered to his detriment recently, banks do not take kindly to employees (allegedly) siphoning off client contact details for later use elsewhere.

What can be done? I am not a lawyer. Nor am I encouraging anyone to break the law.

However, I do have a friend who worked in a sales role at a firm with a particularly strict IT policy and who laboriously saved screenshots of all his Outlook contacts and then paid to have them retyped by hand later on...

The author works in investment management.

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