Ghosting. It’s a phrase that describes a situation where someone abruptly and permanently cuts off all contact with someone else. It has in the past been used to describe personal relationships when someone you have been dating suddenly drops off the face of the earth. But it is now being used in the business world as well to describe job candidates who have accepted a job offer but then suddenly disappear, never showing up on their scheduled first day of work, or ever.
Why People Ghost
There are several reasons offered for such behavior. One is the tight job market, where people may be pursued by more than one employer and feel they are in the driver’s seat and can afford to be cavalier in their dismissal. For others, there is an element of payback – in the past, it was employers who never responded to applicants, and some feel turnabout is simply fair play.
Why You Should Not Do It
The fact of the matter is there really are no good reasons for ghosting. You burn bridges, create a lot of anger, and can end up ruining your professional reputation.
Recruiters and employers don’t forget people who have ghosted them, and that can cause problems in the future. You just don’t know who you may be working with, who you may run into at a professional conference, who may be on a professional conference panel with you, or who may be interviewing you. If it is someone whom you have ghosted, this could make for an uncomfortable situation.
Moreover, word of your behavior may spread. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals talk to each other, and people whom you have ghosted may tell others, and word of your lack of professionalism will get around.
Also, don’t forget about social media, especially LinkedIn. No one can remain hidden today with this technology. You may end up with a nasty message on your social page criticizing your behavior.
So, if you decide you don’t want a job, be upfront and, tell the organization in a graceful and tactful way, so your reputation remains intact and you don’t burn any bridges.
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