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Getting permission for outside consulting has not been a problem where I worked.

When it's done above-board, sure. I've had folks who taught college classes, sold real estate, even had a band (it's Austin, what can I say?). This isn't a problem. This is the problem, from the OP:

...but I also think that my new employer wouldn't like the 'idea' of me being an employee of someone else, even though I 'do nothing'! I think I would have keep that secret from them...

This is not OK.

Regards,

- HCF
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