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I was talking with an old buddy of mine who works at a company. In conversation, we were talking about our jobs. Just today I got an email from his employer about an opening. Apparently my friend referred me to the employer even though he knows I have a fulltime job already that I'm happy at.

How should I reply back to say that I already have a job without burning this new bridge with my friend's employer? (I want to keep connections with potential employers I come across).

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    This is a very common occurrence. Talk to the employer. He knows you have a job you like. If nothing else, maybe you know someone else who'd take the position. When I'm looking for people in my department, I never begrudge anyone who decides to stay where they already. – Wesley Long Jan 21 '18 at 18:59
  • Friend may be incentivized to recruit people through a bounty, so just trying his luck in hope of getting a bonus. Would not take it personally. – Alfred Armstrong Jan 22 '18 at 16:35
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Just email back thanking them for their consideration but saying that you are not looking for a job.

i.e.

Dear X,

Thank you for your consideration for the role as X. I am currently in full time employment and not currently seeking an alternative position.

Many thanks,

Y

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The fact that you already have a job should not deter you from taking interviews with other companies, especially the ones that come from a friend's recommendation.

The fact that your friend referred you to his employer without asking your permission first is something you should talk about with your friend. Most likely he misinterpreted something you said about your current job or wanted to help you in some way. Apparently he didn't bother asking first. Maybe you should make him aware of that.

Combining these two opinions, I would suggest you at least have a prolonged informal chat with your would-be employer. See what his offer is, check if it matches or exceeds your current position (only you could quantify the aspects that are important for this decision) and take a decision after that.

TL;DR: Talk to the guy that called you, don't make promises, don't sign papers, just listen to their offer and make a decision after. And tell your friend to ask permission before making a recommendation.

  • Why would he talk to the new guy if he's happy with his current situation? If the current employer somehow hears about this, it could potentially harm the current situation. – JeroendeK Jan 24 '18 at 13:45
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If you think you might want to work for this company in the future then I'd probably reply with something like this:

Thanks for your approach, it looks interesting but I'm not looking for a new position at this time.

(don't include the emphasis on your reply!).

It shows them that you think they're someone you'd like to work for, but indicates that you're happy where you are at the moment.

However, there's nothing to stop you asking for an informal chat - after all they might have something to offer that would make you want to move. I'd be reluctant to go for a more formal interview if you were thinking you'd probably turn them down, as that could burn more bridges than turning down an interview in the first place.

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