How serious is 'job offer' from consultant?

An IT pro working for a firm is working with a consultant who compliments his work and jokingly offers him a job. How serious can he take this?

I got an email from a TechRepublic member who is seeking some advice on what constitutes "networking" and what crosses the line into the unethical.

I came across a situation that gave me a bit of pause recently, and would be interested in your opinion. I'd also be interested in the opinion of the TR community at large to see if anyone has experienced something similar.

About three months ago, I made the decision to actively begin pursuing another job. My current position has me about at the end of my rope with 80+ hour work weeks, a new manager whom I believe is very caustic to the morale of the team, and just a general sense of dissatisfaction with the job. I have long said that, if I get to the point where I begin looking for an excuse to not go into the office, it's time to begin looking for something better.

About two months ago, one of the vendors I work with closely on projects made a comment that two of his support specialists were raving about how knowledgeable I am on a certain subject. He went so far as to mention, on a call that included my current manager and his own boss, that if I am ever in the market for a new job, he'd be glad to have me work for him. At the time I thanked him for the compliment and thought no more about it. (continued on next page)