You may have heard the term “ghosting”. If not, it is a term that means cutting off all contact with someone without an explanation. Many people associate the word with dating or other personal relationships, but it is also happening in the workplace. While this isn’t something new happening, it is becoming increasingly common among employees and job seekers.
About 90% of employers say they’ve been “ghosted” by current or potential employees. While it can go both ways, with employers ghosting candidates, it’s not professional and shouldn’t be done either way. Job seekers are not showing for interviews, stop communication with hiring managers and/or recruiters, or accepting a job and not showing on their first day. If you’ve done any of these, you could be hurting your career.
Consequences of Ghosting
While there isn’t a big permanent file on you listing every job you left or interview you didn’t show up to, you should still be professional. You don’t always know if people are connected, especially in the agriculture industry. Ag is a tight-knit industry, so be cautious. Skipping out on interviews or not showing up on the first day of work will tarnish your reputation as word spreads among hiring managers and ag recruiters in the industry. You might think the chances of employers remembering you a year or more later are slim, but they’re keeping track of job seekers who ghost them.
It’s also important to keep in mind the unpredictability of the job market. You never know when your employment status could change and you need a job. If you burn bridges, it’s going to be difficult to rebuild them later if you find yourself out of work and need to reapply at a farm or other agribusiness. Or you may need to use the same recruiter you ghosted a year ago to help you find a job. Chances are they have you flagged and likely won’t be quick to recommend you for a job.
Instead of becoming a no-show at the interview or dropping all communication, try communicating with the recruiter or hiring manager. If circumstances have changed and you can’t take the job or you’re no longer looking for a job, communicate it to them. You don’t even have to pick up the phone. Just shoot them a short email. Keep it short and sweet and thank them for their time. If the offer wasn’t acceptable or maybe you took more time to think about it and would like to rescind your offer, you just need to let them know. They may take it hard at first, but they’ll appreciate the communication in the end.
Ultimately, ghosting is never going to benefit you. It’s unprofessional, impolite, and childish. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you wouldn’t want to be ghosted by a potential employer, you shouldn’t do the same. Be considerate and friendly so you don’t burn bridges.
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