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Recently, an executive from a direct competitor attempted to recruit me. I was contacted twice and given the “hard sell”. As with many industries it is quite possible we may work together in the future due to acquisitions and the like. Does anyone have advice on how to respectfully decline the offer without damaging the relationship, while furthermore fostering him as a personal network contact?

pmoriarty's picture

"Thank you for thinking of me for this opportunity. I really appreciate it. Right now, I'm really happy with my current position so I'm not at a point where I'm interested in making a change. Again, thanks!"

In other words, be short, sweet, and direct. If he insists, repeat what you just said. If you have to repeat it more than twice, he should get the hint.

ejohanss's picture

How do you work them into a personal network?

pmoriarty's picture

The same way you do anybody else? By doing for them, thinking of them, keeping in touch with them?

Or, am I missing something?

akinsgre's picture

[quote="pmoriarty"]The same way you do anybody else? By doing for them, thinking of them, keeping in touch with them?

Or, am I missing something?[/quote]

I find it easy to tell recruiters that I'm not ready to move right now, but please keep in touch.

Then I'll ask if they're looking for anything in particular; because I might know someone I can refer.

Finally, I'll ask if they come out to some of the local "networking" events.. 'Cause they'll probably buy me a beer ;-)

ejohanss's picture

My only hesitation with adding him to my network is that he is an exec with a direct and major competitor.

asteriskrntt1's picture

He is already part of your network. You are not adding him/her. You are allowed to have relationships with people as long as you don't set up a situation where there will even be the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Mark's picture

It's completely reasonable for you to have a relationship with a competitor, and then you need to mind yourself when you are with them regarding plans, strategies, and tactics.

"Thanks so much for thinking of me, and I'm always open to conversations like this. Right now, it's not right for me. Let's stay in touch - be happy to buy you lunch next month - and who knows what the future holds."

Easy. It's fine.

Mark