Is ghosting your employer ever warranted?

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Graphic by Kash Patel

You’ve probably heard of people ghosting their crappy tinder dates or ghosting on friends they had plans with. Typically, this is looked down upon; no one wants to come off as flaky or unreliable. 

In recent years, it’s become more common for people to ghost their employers as well. 

Those who are looking for jobs or who are currently employed are always told to be as courteous and considerate as possible when it comes to letting your employer know if you can’t make a job interview, are calling in for a day off, or giving two weeks notice before resignation. 

But often, this consideration isn’t returned. Anyone who has applied to or held a job knows what I’m talking about. Especially now that summer jobs are starting shortly, people are applying to numerous jobs with the hopes of hearing back from at least one. 

Employees have learned to accept that they won’t always hear back from potential employers after applying to or even interviewing for jobs. 

Some jobs do respond to applications, but not for months after the fact. I recently got an email for a job I applied to last spring saying that my application has been declined. Thanks for letting me know, I guess.

Even jobs that have “probation” periods are allowed to fire their staff on a whim, without much of an explanation.

Everyone’s heard the quote “treat others the way you would like to be treated,” but this notion isn’t always extended by employers to those looking who are for employment.

Some people believe that those who ghost jobs are showing that they lack the ability to be civil and professional. 

It’s always in your best interest to evaluate the situation and weigh whether it’s worth it to ghost your employer.

I’m not endorsing ghosting your employer. But if you ask me, it’s more of an ironic turn of events that employees are beginning to dish back what they’ve been served. 

The job market is strong right now and there are opportunities everywhere, so if you’re not happy with where you’ve landed, who’s to say that you can’t just take off again?

Last summer I was fastidiously looking for a job, and it took me weeks of searching and dead-end interviews to finally land something. 

I found employment after an extensive interview process for a minimum wage retail job. 

An hour in on my second day on the job, I was sent home. I guess I wasn’t performing to their standards — which, might I add, were pretty high standards for my literal second day at a low-end retail store.

They told me they’d call me, but after an entire weekend of me waiting for them to contact me, and then subsequently trying to contact them myself, I got the hint. 

They were purposefully ignoring me with the hopes that I’d come in for my next shift with a renewed perspective, and put in even more work than before. 

I didn’t want to give in to their twisted business practice, so I skipped my shift on Monday. They had sent me home without specifying whether I should come back or not, so I didn’t.

I know I’m not a bad employee and that them sending me home was completely unwarranted. Shortly after, I started working for a renowned Canadian charity, who were much better employers.

In my case those employers kind of ghosted me first, but I think it proves my point regardless. If employers are stringing you along or devaluing your work, do they really deserve your courtesy? 

When an employer ghosts you, there’s really no take-away from that experience, except the feeling that you’re not worth their time. 

I’m not even going to disagree with those who say ghosting employers is unprofessional, because yeah, it can be. 

But they’ll get over it. There are countless people looking for employment, and even more jobs waiting for people to apply to them. 

While I do think it’s poor practice to forgo calling in sick or jilting your employer altogether, I think ghosting can be justified in certain situations. 

It’s always in your best interest to evaluate the situation and weigh whether it’s worth it to ghost your employer. 

While it’s a pretty solid way to burn bridges at your old workplace, the grass may be greener on the other side, or at the next job. 

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