I don’t know who needs to hear this, but STOP ghosting people! If you think ghosting doesn’t hurt you and is just an easy way to get out of something you’re not interested in, then I’m here to set the record straight.
Ghosting is a trend that became popular with the rise of online dating. The apps made it easy to just stop responding to someone when you were no longer interested, instead of having an uncomfortable conversation. Mostly because you were unlikely to run into that person again in the future, so it seemed like a low risk behavior.
However, for some absurd reason, this bad behavior is now becoming normalized in job search and recruiting. I assume the only reason it’s a growing movement is because people simply don’t realize that it actually hurts them MORE than it hurts the person or employer they’re ghosting.
Ghosting Increases Negative Career Karma
Have you heard the saying ‘you get back what you give out?’ This philosophy is very true in your career. Think about what ghosting really is – disrespect of someone’s time, lack of compassion and empathy, lack of effort and work ethic.
When you’re putting that out, your career karma is going to come right back to you!
Perhaps in the form of a boss that has no compassion or empathy towards you. Maybe you have a personal situation and need time off, have schedule conflicts or need accomodations. How would you feel if those get denied or ignored?
Your karma might look like a manager or co-worker never making time for your training or skill development. It may look like people on your team not putting in their share of work, and you carrying the weight. All of these things you would complain about if it happened to you right? So why don’t you think about how you are doing that to recruiters or hiring managers when you ghost them?
When You Ghost, You Cripple Yourself
How many opportunities do you have to say no to something and be confident in your decision? Not very often. It is why saying no to things is so difficult, because you don’t get a lot of practice doing it without feeling guilty. Well saying no to a job you don’t want (or even a date you don’t want to go on) is the easiest no you can give.
But, when you ghost someone instead of saying no, you’re teaching yourself that it is okay not to speak up for yourself. Not to trust your own instincts, be genuine, or comfortable in your own boundaries.
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to accept the interview or even the job offer. It is normal to feel nervous about having to turn it down, especially if you lack communication skills.
But by avoiding the conversation altogether, you’re not practicing your communication skills and strengthening the confidence you will definitely need to say no when the stakes are higher. Also, mentally you are making yourself feel bad about a decision you didn’t have to feel bad about in the first place.
It’s time to stop thinking short-term about the discomfort of the moment – which is temporary and will quickly pass – and start thinking about your career and development in the long-term.
The more you ghost people the more people will ghost you in similar ways. Don’t put out negative behaviors that will likely come back to you in ways you will not appreciate. Stop deteriorating your confidence and communication skills by skipping the important practice of saying no.
Besides, you never know where your next career advancement opportunity will come from in the future.
Need help? Leave a comment and I will give you some examples of how to politely and professionally say no.