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I was recruited by John Doe to work for my current organization, where I started at the end of May, 2022.  JD works for an independent recruiter, hired by my organization to find me.  The recruitment and interview process took approximately 4 months, during which JD and I were in very frequent contact (many, many rounds of prep and interviews for the current role).  We had an excellent rapport, I found him extremely honest, straightforward, trustworthy and understanding.  He really understood me and my value.  He and his firm are also unusually versed and specialized to my quite niche field.  A real needle in the haystack, he was.

I am really unhappy in my current role that he placed me in, and want to start looking elsewhere.  Can I reach out to him for help?  I had once, at the beginning of my employment here asked him if I could reach out to him for personal career growth in the future.  He said that would be fine, after about a year in my current role.

We've now hit that year, but I am afraid that by contract with my current organization (and continued recruitment relationship) JD will owe it to my current boss to tell him that I reached out, and am looking.... follow-up is clearly part of his contract, as he followed up with me several times after I started.  Needless to say, I really can't have my current boss know that I am looking.

The best I have thought of is to reach out to JD with an honest plea and say JD - are you able to work with me now, or are you still under any obligation to my current employer?  And hope that he tells me the truth.


Thoughts?  What would you do?