Fuelled by Resentment, Rage Applying is the Latest Workplace Trend

It’s 5 p.m. and you’re getting ready for your evening plans when you hear a new Slack notification ring: Your boss is asking you to work longer hours to get a project across the finish line—the third such request in the past Month. Feeling annoyed and overworked, you dream of slamming your laptop and frisbeing it out the window. But instead of maiming your computer, you could channel that resentment into the latest workplace trend of 2023 – “Rage Approach”.

According to a recent forbes Articles, Gen-Zers and Millennials who feel underappreciated or taken advantage of by their employers are shooting hundreds of resumes into the airwaves in hopes of landing a more balanced job with better pay. The trend gained prominence on TikTok after one user told her followers that she was upset with her job and had applied “anger” to 15 jobs, eventually leading to a new position with a $25,000 pay rise. The video, which has been viewed 2.4 million times, ignites online conversations about how mass-applying for job vacancies could be a way for frustrated workers to regain some sense of control over their working life — and possibly land a new job while they’re stick it out to their evil bosses.

What is driving anger?

Anger applications reflect a larger problem in today’s work landscape: employee dissatisfaction — something that’s been on the rise over the past three years. According to a 2022 survey by office supply company Hamster, 24 percent of Canadian workers say they are less satisfied with their job since the pandemic began, due to things like increased workloads and salaries that have not kept pace with inflation . 40 percent of workers are dissatisfied with their salary, up 10 percent from 2021. Additionally, one in five workers is considering a job change soon, with 72 percent viewing their current position purely as a means of making money and nothing else that brings them fulfillment.

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Whether employers offer competitive salaries and generous pay increases contributes to employee retention, according to the survey. Hamster also found that while workplace recognition and advancement opportunities play an important role in job satisfaction, employers tend to ignore the importance of these factors, leading to employees not feeling valued.

Michelle Schafer, an Ottawa-based careers coach at Clariti Group, says that dissatisfaction with a job almost always stems from management. “A lot of that comes from leadership,” she says. “Some leadership approaches really don’t work with employees.” These can include narcissistic behaviors when managers acknowledge employees’ work, or a lack of boundaries, which can happen when managers email their team 24/7. However, one of the most common ineffective approaches is micromanagement, says Schafer.

Micromanagement has increased with remote work, Schafer says, as it has left many employers feeling like they have no control over employee productivity — even when there’s no evidence productivity has fallen. This fear has led some companies to start tracking their employees’ time, asking for more personal follow-up, and even proofreading emails before sending them to customers. Workers affected by this behavior may angrily turn and apply instead of discussing this issue with their employer, betting that if they send out enough resumes they will surely find something better.

Is Anger Use Effective?

According to Schafer, the short answer is no. While she doesn’t doubt that some employees have found better opportunities through rage applications, especially as LinkedIn streamlines the process by allowing job seekers to apply directly through its website, the scattershot approach has its downsides. “It doesn’t get the candidate any closer to knowing what’s a good fit for them,” she says.

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Schafer explains that job seekers are not intentional in their applications because angry applications increase the speed and volume of the job search. It’s likely that without a search strategy, employees will end up in the same situation they left the company in – or possibly worse. Instead, she recommends a “mindful application”. When looking for their next opportunity, job seekers should consider what type of work drives them, what values ​​they want to see in their future company, and identify any non-negotiable factors such as: B. a salary below a certain limit or restrictive mandates in the office.

“Once you know this framework, you have a certain goal. Then you can search specifically for organizations that fit this profile,” says Schafer.

What to do if you are dissatisfied at work?

Trends like Quiet Quiet, The Great Breakup, and Apply Rage can highlight bad work situations, but they don’t address the root problem – which is often the employee’s relationship with their employer. Whether you’re bored with the work you’re given, feel your personal time isn’t being respected, or you need more support, Schaefer says you should first discuss these issues with your boss and make it clear to him what you need.

If you approach your boss with concerns, be careful not to let emotions run high. “The key is not to approach the conversation with blame, anger, or frustration,” says Schafer. The conversation needs to be a collaborative one, not a rant. For example, if you’re asking for a raise, start by talking about how much you enjoy working for the company, followed by the results you’ve had during your time in the role. Then ask if your employer would be willing to talk about a raise and what range they could offer.

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“There’s a good chance the leader doesn’t know what’s causing their team members’ dissatisfaction, so engage in the conversation to create awareness,” says Schafer. “The employee may be surprised at what happens next when they bring up the reason for their dissatisfaction.”

At the end of the interview, ask your employer for a time frame in which you will see these changes. Don’t be afraid to follow up if the date has passed and there has been no progress. If your employer isn’t responsive to your concerns and unwilling to make changes, Schaefer says it might be time to lay the groundwork for a job search. She recommends developing a job search plan before making any big decisions, such as getting a job. B. Quitting. Find out what kind of jobs you want to apply for, update your CV and LinkedIn and start networking.

“The most important thing to remember is that you can only change yourself…not your boss or the organization as a whole,” says Schafer. “If a team member expects a culture shift overnight, maybe they should consider whether this organization is right for them.”


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