Are You “Rage Applying” to Release Job Frustrations?

“Believing the grass is greener at another company will normally cause job disappointment and dissatisfaction.” Jeannette Seibly

“Rage Applying” is not new. It’s a form of “quiet quitting” that occurs when employees feel unappreciated, stuck, micromanaged, or frustrated with an inflexible boss and/or inflexible company policies.

If you’ve ever had a boss criticize your work and fail to offer constructive feedback, you can understand an employee’s frustration. (This is one example of so many!) Today, employees, often in retaliation, spend time blasting out their resumes looking for the greener grass. The problem is that it’s for jobs they don’t know, don’t have an interest in, and/or don’t meet fit job requirements.

As an employee: “Rage applying” is usually not the most brilliant move when feeling frustrated or stressed. It can hurt your future career options.

But there are benefits you can: Improve your interview skills, give you a broader professional perspective, and feel in control of your career. Also, you may find your boss and company look pretty good (the grass isn’t necessarily greener, just different).

As a boss, it’s essential to understand that employees need outlets to express their frustrations with you, the company, and the policies & procedures (that are probably out-of-date). SEE the paragraphs at the end of the article for recommendations.

How to Reduce Your Job Frustrations and Avoid “Rage Applying”

First, talk with your boss: Don’t bypass the boss when having conversations about what’s next and how you can achieve it. Otherwise, s/he can hinder your career progress.

What Do You Really, Really, Really Want? First, list in writing things you want in your job or future job you don’t currently have. Then, select the top 3 “must-have” items. If you get them, don’t keep asking for more, or it’ll backfire!

Complete Your Brag Work. Before pitching to your current boss your “wants,” showcase what you’ve achieved. Saying you’re great and wonderful will only have your boss roll his/her eyes and not take you seriously! So instead, do the brag work before pitching yourself.

Be Willing to Negotiate. Your boss may be unable to provide promotions, new work assignments, or pay increases. Be willing to negotiate for a win-win-win outcome. But remember, having your coworkers upset with you because the boss offloaded your work on them will not decrease your stress.

Pay Is Not a Motivator. Yes, I know. You really need that extra cash. But do your homework. Some pay increases may put you in a new tax bracket, and the net result is less than you’re currently making! So do your research.

Focus on Job Fit. This IS very important and often overlooked. If you’re stressed out a lot, chances are very good that you’re in the wrong job for you. Take a qualified job fit assessment and work with an experienced executive coach to ensure you’re not jumping from one bad situation into another. The bonus is: the awareness could alleviate your current job stress too.

Second, when applying for new jobs: Jumping from one job to another doesn’t quell the frustration or stress. Often, it can hurt promotability and pay increases. For example, if you’ve been unsuccessful in outside sales, look at inside sales or customer service as other options.

Get Real. Too often, we latch on to jobs that sound better and pay more (e.g., sales, being a boss). But usually, those jobs don’t pay more! The other challenges are: those jobs may not be a good fit for you, or you’re not ready! So, take a qualified job fit assessment and remove your rose-colored glasses. This can prevent you from getting snookered into thinking the grass is greener elsewhere. Otherwise, your frustration will follow you and hurt future job opportunities.

Tell the Truth About What You Want. Tailor your cover letters and resumes to the specific job posting and include your brag accomplishments in both!

Take Time, and Don’t Jump. When offered a new job:

  • Take time to review your top 3 “must-have wants.”
  • Ensure everything promised during the interviews is in writing.
  • Never rely on verbal promises that the new boss may not remember later.
  • Otherwise, you may find your new job opportunity isn’t so great.

Talk with Your Network. Now is a good time for lunch and after-work network meetings. Be clear about what you’re seeking. Otherwise, you’ll have many job opportunities that don’t support your career goals. (See Chapter 10 for how to network effectively: The Secret to Selling Yourself Anytime, Anywhere: Start Bragging!)

Do the work! It’ll make a big difference in the quality of your job offers and opportunities.

For ALL Bosses:

It’s a red flag when job candidates:

  • Apply for positions they don’t have the skills for.
  • Have had many different jobs in a short period of time in different companies or geographic locations.
  • Seem scattered and unprepared for the interview(s).

Use a strategic selection process and “Job Fit Triad” (e.g., give equal weight to interviews, job fit assessments, and due diligence). Otherwise, you’re hiring someone else’s problem.

Also, ensure your employees:

Employees that “rage apply” also cause upsets with your team members, ongoing projects, and customer fulfillment. Using the ideas above will reduce “rage applying.”

Last, but not least, get guidance to develop an effective “boss style.” Every boss needs help at some point to address “blind spots.” Yes, they pop up at inopportune times! But addressing them will improve retention, revenues, and results!

©Jeannette Seibly 2023 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She is an award-winning international executive coach, speaker, and business author. Her wisdom of over 30 years guides clients to work through sticky situations and challenging relationships. Contact Jeannette for a confidential discussion. PS: She’s also a three-time Amazon Best-Selling Author!

A note from Jeannette about “rage applying:” This is the newest form of an old practice of quiet quitting. This article is written from both perspectives: employee and boss. Contact me for a confidential conversation about how to improve your retention, revenues, and results.

Have you considered the benefits of strengthening your superpowers and becoming a great boss? It’s not complicated, but it does require an experienced sounding board. I have extensive experience guiding bosses and leaders to work with and through their teams to achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one hour coaching program over 13 weeks. Remember, coaching speeds up your ability to win.

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