#ghosted….How To Take Advantage At Your Job
That’s really a thing now!
“People who ghost are primarily focused on avoiding their own emotional discomfort and they aren’t thinking about how it makes the other person feel.” – Jennice Vilhauer, Psychology Today
Workplace Ghosting Helps You Stand Out
11:00 a.m. and her desk is empty. Usually she’s in by 9:00.
By 1:00 p.m., the vacant desk has become like the elephant in the living room. Everyone knows what’s going on, but nobody’s yet been willing to say so out loud.
At the end of the workday, you gather up your belongings and head home, knowing the desk won’t be occupied tomorrow either. Because she ghosted.
Your co-worker quit without a word.
Amazing, isn’t it? That someone with a decent job would simply disappear.
But they did….They ghosted their job
Ghosting by employees is on the rise.
People stop showing up for work without warning. They fail to appear for a job interview they committed to, and are never heard from again. Or they accept a job offer then vanish.
Some people ghost because they want to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. Social media has undoubtedly contributed to the ghosting phenomenon: people feel distanced from others; have fewer authentic connections; and fail to completely grasp the effect of their actions.
When, for example, you dash off an angry email or flame someone on Facebook, you never have to deal with their very human reactions. Over time, this can desensitize you and cause your empathy to degrade.
But ghosting also represents a shift in the balance of power from employers to employees. A tight labor market favors job-seekers, who have endured years of being treated by employers as a commodity.
As well, prospective employers have been ghosting job candidates for so long that it’s become almost acceptable. At least employees think ghosting is fine for them now too; the HR firm Clutch in 2018 found that “ More than 40% of job seekers say it’s reasonable to ghost companies during the interview process, abruptly cutting off communication when they decide not to pursue a job.”
But You Can Be A Stand-Out
When your co-worker ghosts, you have an opportunity to shine. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you bash the person who’s ghosted as a means of sucking up to your boss. But there are steps you can take to reinforce your standing:
○ Show empathy; sometimes you simply need to listen and express your support for your teammates and your boss, who are likely to be experiencing a range of emotions.
○ Be proactive; suggest how the work left behind by the ghosting person could be re-assigned and effectively completed, for example.
○ Take time for self-reflection; you’re probably experiencing your own reactions and need some time to settle.
I believe workplace ghosting can leave a trail of agitation and fear in its wake. If you can be the one to stand firm and calm others, you’ll distinguish yourself as a leader in the workplace.
Elevate Yourself With These Tips
Given the rise of ghosting, your current or prospective employer may feel cynical or suspicious. Since you don’t want to be viewed as a potential ghost, here’s what you can do to ensure your integrity is intact:
○ Keep your job interview commitments. If you agree to show up, then let nothing short of an emergency keep you from being there. If you must change your plans, communicate so clearly and suggest a couple of other dates and times that you’re available. Be willing to work with the interviewer’s schedule.
○ Show up for work at the time and place you’ve committed to. Even if you hate your job. Even if you found one you like better. Show up and give your notice. Or if you’re staying home sick, call in and say so. Don’t leave anyone guessing your whereabouts.
○ If you accept a job offer, then decide you’d rather bow out, call and say so. Yes, it will feel uncomfortable, but you don’t have to go into a long detailed explanation. You can simply say thanks, and I’ve changed my mind.
○ Always do your best, as Don Miguel Ruiz says in his powerful book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom. “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
Committing yourself to these actions shows you’re a professional who values herself and others.
Take a No Ghost Stance
At some point during your professional life, you may decide to quit a job or turn down one you initially thought you wanted. These decisions are common.
And yes, having a conversation with your boss or prospective employer can be uncomfortable.
But you’re a person of integrity.
When you stand firm in your integrity, you grow your self-confidence as a serious professional.
So make a vow to yourself not to ghost and elevate your career.
Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.