April 12, 2024

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Unhappy at work? Rather than rage applying for jobs, experts advise taking a strategic approach

3 min read
Unhappy at work? Rather than rage applying for jobs, experts advise taking a strategic approach

This is the weekly Careers newsletter.

Radhika Panjwani is a former journalist from Toronto and a blogger.

Hate your job? Rage applying may not be the answer. Instead, take a pause and plan your next move, advises career and resume strategist Sweta Regmi.

Ms. Regmi, a Sudbury, Ont., native and chief executive officer of career consultancy firm Teachndo, has watched job trends such as quiet quitting, quick quitting and quiet firing become popular on social media and then spill over to the mainstream.

Rage applying, she says, is when people are so fed up with their current job that they cast a wide net and e-mail their resume indiscriminately to dozens of prospective employers. Rather than get distracted by sending out all those resumes, Ms. Regmi suggests jobseekers use strategic techniques.

“Becoming self-aware of the source of your rage is more important than just spraying-and-praying [resumes and cover letters], Ms. Regmi says. “Emotional intelligence is key to good execution. My suggestion would be for applicants to do extensive research to gain clarity on what employers really want. For instance, if you’re looking to work in a particular industry, then look up at least 10 job descriptions [from different companies] for the role you’re interested in to get an idea on what core competencies you need to succeed.”

The term “rage applying” went viral after TikTok user @redweez posted a video claiming to have found a job that pays $25,000 more than what she earned in her previous job.

“This is your sign to keep rage applying to jobs,” she says in the video.

A blog post in HR Exchange Network says Gen Z and millennials as the demographic most likely to rage apply to jobs. One possible reason is some Gen Z employees who started their careers during the pandemic may not have cultivated meaningful relationships at work because of remote working. This, coupled with a lack of effective mentorship programs, may be the source discontentment for some, notes the blog. The other reasons could be inadequate remuneration, work culture and bad managers.

When employment firm Robert Half surveyed 1,100 Canadian professionals in December, 2022, they found half of the respondents said they were planning to look for a new role in the new year.

Those most likely to make a career move are:

  • Gen Z and millennials (56 per cent)
  • Technology professionals (57 per cent)
  • Employees who have been with their company for two to four years (61 per cent)
  • Working parents (55 per cent)

Mass applying may improve the odds of snagging an interview and a job offer, but doing so without a plan could result in applicants ending up in the same situation as the one they are trying to flee, Ms. Regmi warns. She suggests job seekers first explore suitable roles and then rebrand their resume by highlighting a mix of soft, technical and organizational skills to match the requirements.

“I often see applicants stuffing their resume with ‘fluff skills’ that are not evidence-based,” Ms. Regmi says. “Don’t just tell me you’re a hard worker and good communicator, show me. Include data that prove your claims.”

What I’m reading around the web

  • In this column from Insider, the author, talked to several ambitious women in their midcareer who quit during the pandemic. The women all shared one trait: they admitted to caring “too much” about their jobs. “Health and happiness require a kind of personal-investment tightrope walk,” says the article.
  • In this Fast Company story, productivity expert Donna McGeorge talks about four strategies that will allow your brain to do more by working less. One of Ms. McGeorge’s suggestion is to let your brain work at 85 per cent of its capacity to optimize resources and mental systems. Much like capacity utilization in manufacturing. “It is unlikely that a company will function at 100-per-cent capacity, so 85 per cent is considered optimal,” she writes.
  • This blog in Psychology Today suggests watching someone’s outward behaviour can reveal what’s happening inside them. For instance, how you use your mouse can say a lot. Researchers at the University of Chicago studied the frequency of participants tapping on a mouse or tablet as they completed an online task and found mouse-based care correlated with conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to experience.

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