First time posting here - any advice/thoughts would be very welcome.
I went through a long, long hiring process for a dream role, where, from the beginning, it was acknowledged by the hiring manager that I was possibly over-qualified for the role. As I have freelancing/advisory gigs on the side, I was willing to take the more junior title/slight pay drop of an Associate role, when the project (set up a new investment fund from scratch), would help me gain exciting experience (I have ambitions of setting up my own fund one day).
I made it to the final round of two candidates, after spending a lot of time bonding with the team, prepping presentations etc etc. Sadly, they decided to go with the other, internal, candidate who already had the stakeholder relationships needed to move the project forward in the short-term. The hiring manager asked me to stay in touch as they saw a role of my level opening up in the future as well as a possibility to consult for them in the interim.
The hiring manager is male and made a comment along the lines of.. "please let's keep in touch, but, of course, only professionally." Up until then, the thought hadn't crossed my mind that there wasn't anyway our relationship wasn't a professional one, but now I am second-guessing myself of how to keep this relationship warm, and whether I should or not?