What is really going on?
When most of us hear the term “ghosted,” images of failed relationships from the online dating world come to mind—but ghosting has crept into the workplace.
Professional ghosting is when a business contact suddenly becomes unresponsive to all forms of communication, without explanation. And similarly to ghosting in the dating world, it can leave the other party feeling confused, let down, and disappointed.
Much of this professional ghosting has taken place in the field of recruitment—a candidate stops responding to emails, skips an interview, or signs a contract and then backs out.
Why is it happening?
Some career experts claim that being professionally ghosted is on the rise because recruiters have been doing it to candidates for years (not us though ☺). It’s nothing new, the trend has just flipped and become more prevalent.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in about two decades and the job market is getting stronger. Workers have more options. If they don’t like the look and feel of a certain job, it’s not too difficult for them to go and find something better.
Throw in the fact that technology has changed the way we communicate and we’re looking at a perfect storm for flaking out at work. Texts, emails, and communication apps have made it all too easy to ignore a message.
No matter what, you gotta stay professional
Now, let’s pretend you’ve been professionally ghosted. While it may be tempting to complain or call the person out, it’s best to keep things professional. You never know who you’re going to work with in the future, so avoid burning any bridges.
Don’t take it personally
Nine out of 10 times, ghosting has little to do with you, the ghostee, so don’t take it too personally. People will ghost for a variety of reasons—chances are they forgot, got too busy, or wanted to avoid an awkward conversation.
Look forward and move on
It can be difficult to pinpoint why, exactly, someone will ghost. Sure, it can feel frustrating and disrespectful but as more and more ghosts creep into the workplace, it’s important to stay professional.
Much of our success boils down to how we manage and develop our professional networks, ghosts included. Don’t hold grudges, keep moving forward, and, when in doubt, don’t burn the bridge.
If you do get ghosted, look on the bright side: someone who pulls a disappearing act wouldn’t have worked out anyway. The right match does exist, keep looking!