Whether you focus your career on contract jobs or permanent positions, you may have been tempted to ghost an employer or recruiter at some point. The problem is that doing it even once can have serious ramifications, potentially doing serious harm to your career.
If you’re wondering why ghosting an employer or recruiter is such a big deal – and what you can do instead – here’s what you need to know.
What Is Ghosting?
Ghosting is a term that originally emerged in the world of online dating. It referred to a person ceasing all contact with a potential partner, usually without a formal goodbye or any kind of explanation.
Recently, the term has been applied to professionals who take a similar action with employers or recruiters. This includes not responding to communications during the recruitment process, no-showing on interviews, not arriving on the first day of work after accepting a role, or disappearing after working in a position for any period of time.
Why Ghosting Hurts Your Career
Ghosting harms your career because it damages your reputation. It makes you seem disrespectful, unprofessional, and unreliable, none of which works in your favor.
While it may seem like it only does damage at the individual company or recruiter level, that isn’t necessarily the case. Often, recruiters and hiring managers have robust networks, and they may discuss candidates or employees that decide to ghost the company with others.
As a result, word about a professional ghosting a recruiter or employer spreads. In turn, this hurts their future job prospects. Recruiters may not want to work with a candidate with a history of ghosting. Similarly, hiring managers may move resumes from those applicants straight into the discard pile.
Even if the professional does get an interview, if they ghosted on a job they had already started, getting a solid reference from that employer will be difficult. The former manager or colleagues likely won’t have positive things to say either, particularly if the person leaving placed a burden on them.
Along the same lines, if those former managers or colleagues head to other companies, they may block a professional from securing a role because of their past experience with them ghosting. Again, word of the transgression may spread there, creating a cycle.
What You Can Do Instead of Ghosting
If you’re ever unhappy in a role or are no longer interested in a position you were pursuing, ghosting shouldn’t be the answer. Instead, you need to have a conversation with the hiring manager, recruiter, or position supervisor.
With hiring managers and recruiters, let them know if you no longer want to go after a position. Whether you give them a reason or not, simply informing them helps, as it gives them closure and lets them know to move on to another candidate.
When it comes to a job you’ve accepted or already started in, you need to speak with your manager. If you’ve been in the role for some time, do try to give the company some notice. A few days isn’t two weeks, but it’s better than nothing.
However, even if you effectively quit on the spot, saying something to your supervisor is better than complete silence. Again, it gives them closure on the situation and will protect your reputation to a degree. Then, you can move on without burning multiple bridges along the way.
Unhappy With Your Current Job?
If you’d like to find out more or are seeking new contract jobs, the team at Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.