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I'm a software engineer, and I get a fair amount of emails from recruiters. I'm happy with my current role (well, not happy, but content at least), so I'm not looking for a new job right now, and say as much in my responses.

But some of these emails close by saying that even if I'm not looking for a new job, they would be happy to have a chat about the project/position if I'm interested.

Should I take them up on this offer? On one hand, I feel like it may give the wrong impression that I actually am open to switching jobs. On the other, it could help me get a wider view of the industry, and learn about certain roles that I may be interested in some time from now.

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Should I take them up on this offer? On one hand, I feel like it may give the wrong impression that I actually am open to switching jobs. On the other, it could help me get a wider view of the industry, and learn about certain roles that I may be interested in some time from now.

Chat with them only if you want to hear from them much more frequently than you currently do.

Chatting with them sends them the message that you just might be tempted by the right offer. And it would be reasonable for an aggressive recruiter to keep peppering you with whatever jobs they have in their queue in hopes that you will be tempted.

If you want to "get a wider view of the industry" and don't mind a lot of contact from a recruiter, go ahead and chat. At certain points in my career, I did just that.

But if you don't want to hear from a recruiter repeatedly and often, don't engage them. At other points in my career, I really didn't need to hear about the industry or open jobs. So I stopped chatting.

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    Be careful sharing any information. Some recruiters will try to get names of coworkers and/or managers for the purpose of soliciting them. – Glen Pierce Aug 8 '17 at 5:04

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