Ghosting Consequences Can Hurt Your Career

If you’re guilty of ghosting in the workplace, you may think the consequences will be small or nonexistent. But think again. There are several reasons you don’t want to slight others with your indifference – even in a strong economy.

What is Workplace Ghosting?

In recent years, job seekers in all industries – not just commercial real estate – have increasingly failed to show up for interviews or for their first day of work. Many are even walking off the job without notice. Others ghost their peers and colleagues by ignoring repeated voicemails and emails, thinking it’s no big deal.

But it is a big deal. And it’s getting bigger.

According to a recent study by research firm Clutch, a whopping 71% of job seekers have abandoned a job application with no notice. And nearly half stated it’s reasonable to ghost a company during the application process. Reasons for ghosting include:

  • Accepting a competing job offer

  • Unsatisfactory response from the potential employer

  • Deciding against the role

The prevailing theory as to why ghosting is becoming so prominent is the job market. It’s now a job seeker’s market, and candidates go where they are treated best. A type of nomad economy has replaced the old paradigm of working forty years at the same place and getting a gold watch.

Opportunities abound, so if an interview process grows tiresome, there are second thoughts about an accepted job offer, or you don’t feel like turning in your two-weeks’ notice, you walk. But what are the consequences of ghosting in the workplace?

Negative Ghosting Consequences

1. Diminished Trust

Trust is essential in any career. Brokers must be trusted by their principals. Appraisers must be trusted by their clients. Assistants must be trusted by their bosses to handle the essential responsibilities that make their job so necessary. Trust is directly linked to value. And when you can’t be relied upon to show up or provide notice or follow through, your career value drops.

2. Damaged Relationships Relationships with others in our industry are vital to our career success. The hiring manager you ghosted after the first interview may well be your boss at another job. The recruiter you stopped replying to will remember your name next time you are on the beach.

3. Uncertainty While the CRE job market remains strong, and by all signals will continue strong for the near future, you never know when it will change. Developing and nurturing a reputation of trust and follow-through may not seem that important right now, but it will be vital to your career next time things swing the other way. Just a few years ago, it was the employers ghosting candidates because they had their pick. A few years from now, that could very well be the case again.

Additionally, as employment specialist John Feldmann points out in Forbes, respect and the Golden Rule should be our number-one consideration in the workplace. You might score a really good job by taking an offer after already accepting another. But is that the kind of team member you want to be? Is that the kind of reputation you want? Isn’t your career about more than getting ahead for the moment at the expense of others?

It’s not just about ghosting consequences in the here and now. It’s about being considerate to others, knowing full well that it will come back around to you.

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