Forget ‘quiet quitting,’ now there’s ‘rage applying’ — here’s why the latest workplace trend matters so much
American workers are facing challenging issues in today’s workplace, including layoffs (or the threat of layoffs), corporate reshuffling upheavals and a lack of employee recognition programs, according to human resource professionals.
In response to worker discontent, a new job trend called “rage applying” is surfacing across the landscape — affecting both employees and managers and many people around them.
Here’s what to know about this latest trend affecting many Americans.
What is ‘rage applying’?
For those who aren’t happy at work, the short-term answer might be to apply to multiple roles elsewhere, in the hope of finding a new position quickly.
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The problem is that this job-application action can be based more on emotional zeal rather than a clear, thoughtful and well-planned strategy, experts say.
“Rage applying” is a new workplace trend encompassing the emotions and actions of those employees unhappy with their workplace. (iStock)
“‘Rage applying’ describes the practice of employees submitting job applications to another role out of frustration or anger with their current employer,” Bob McIntyre, the Chicago-based director of service operations for Insperity, told Fox News Digital.
“Discussion of ‘rage applying’ on social media in the past several months has led HR leaders to wonder how they can strengthen culture and improve employee retention,” McIntyre added.
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When employees feel underappreciated or even disrespected in the workplace, they may pursue employment elsewhere, said McIntyre.
He noted, however, that while some workers may be unhappy, the vast majority of employers “value their employees deeply” and do not want them to be unhappy or feel unsatisfied in their role.
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“Rage applying should be a sign for employers to audit their culture and understand what team dynamics might have led to an employee’s desperation to leave,” McIntyre added.
What personality type is prone to rage applying?
Someone who is “impulsive” is most “at risk” for applying for multiple jobs out of anger, said one psychotherapist.
“Other factors that may increase the likelihood of rage applying include a lack of assertiveness skills, difficulty with frustration tolerance and feelings of being under-appreciated,” Amy Morin, a psychotherapist in Marathon, Florida, told Fox News Digital.
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An employee who feels as if his or her skills and contributions are not valued is likely to try the “spray and pray” approach to job hunting, said Morin, who is also host of “The Verywell Mind” podcast.
Employees may try a “spray and pray” approach to job-hunting if they are unhappy, said one psychotherapist about the new “rage applying” trend. (iStock)
“They may apply for dozens of jobs at once because they’re feeling resentful about how much energy they’ve invested into their work while not being appreciated,” she also said.
Here’s what happens when rage applying occurs
When candidates apply to a high volume of jobs at once, they may struggle to complete the recruitment process while juggling the responsibilities of their current position, noted McIntyre of Insperity.
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Mass applying to roles with an emotional motivator can be problematic, too.
“Anyone who reports feeling overworked and undervalued may ‘rage apply’ out of sheer frustration.”
“Applying to multiple positions at the same time can also prevent candidates from taking the time needed to make the right decision,” McIntyre said.
Hiring managers may consider this when interviewing potential candidates
It’s important to acknowledge that job candidates may have various reasons for leaving one position in search of another.
“Unhappiness with their current corporate culture is certainly one factor to motivate candidates to seek out a new role — as are compensation, benefits and work-life balance,” McIntyre said.
The fact-finding by recruiters and HR departments is also important, he noted.
“Unhappiness with their current corporate culture is certainly one factor to motivate candidates to seek out a new role, as are compensation, benefits and work-life balance,” said John McIntyre of Insperity. (iStock)
When hiring managers interview a candidate, they can and should ask why the candidate is seeking a new opportunity.
“Most candidates will refrain from bad-mouthing their current employer but may instead allude to wanting a better culture fit,” he said.
If candidates openly criticize the culture in their current workplace, this can be a concern, as the candidates may struggle with authority or hierarchy — or it’s possible they don’t “take accountability for their own actions,” McIntyre added.
Here’s a surprising plus of hiring a potential ‘rage applicant’
A “rage applicant” may be capable of juggling the current job with recruiting for a new one, said McIntyre.
“The recruiting process can be time-consuming and difficult to balance with a full-time job,” he said.
“By recruiting for multiple positions simultaneously, ‘rage applicants’ demonstrate their time management skills.”
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In addition, a “rage applicant” may recognize and reject a toxic work culture, he noted.
The downside of hiring a candidate who comes from a toxic work culture might include his or her feelings of bitterness or resentment — feelings the person may bring into the new job, HR professionals note. (iStock)
While the term “rage applicant” has negative connotations, these applicants are actively seeking a positive, supportive work culture in which they feel appreciated, he said.
“That means these candidates are likely to contribute to corporate culture in a positive way once they are on the job — and feel more appreciation toward employers who actively create a healthy work environment,” said McIntyre.
Here are definite downsides of hiring a rage applicant
The cons of hiring a candidate from a toxic culture might include his or her feelings of bitterness or resentment toward the previous employer — feelings they may bring with them into the new position, say HR professionals.
“However, in a supportive culture where employees are seen and appreciated, employees who once felt negatively toward their job will often transform into a positive influence,” McIntyre said.
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“Organizations should not underestimate the ability of a healthy corporate culture to revitalize candidates with a toxic work experience under their belt,” he added.
Know the signs that someone is unhappy enough to start rage applying
Employees who report not being heard may feel they need to show their dissatisfaction through their behavior, noted Morin of Florida.
Employees “may grow frustrated and resentful about being micromanaged or about getting poor performance reports despite their clear effort,” said Amy Morin, a Florida psychotherapist. (iStock)
“Be on the lookout for employees who express frustration about management not listening,” she said.
“Employees who report not feeling valued or who report not having enough autonomy may be at risk of rage-applying, too,” she also said.
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“They may grow frustrated and resentful about being micromanaged or about getting poor performance reports despite their clear effort,” she also said.
An employee who is “upset about being overlooked for a promotion” or one who is “frustrated about not getting a raise” may be most at risk for rage applying, Morin added.
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“Anyone who reports feeling overworked and undervalued may ‘rage apply’ out of sheer frustration,” she also said.
Erica Lamberg is a contributing reporter for Fox News Digital.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.