Jan 20, 2023
'Rage applying': The latest social media trend by fed-up workers
Jobs data was a 'huge surprise': Goldsmith
Workers frustrated with poorly run meetings, toxic bosses and too much work for too little pay are taking “quiet quitting” a step further with “rage applying” – the new social media buzzword for applying to dozens of jobs after reaching a breaking point at work.
“Rage applying” videos have picked up steam and drawn attention on TikTok in recent weeks, as users of the video social media platform share stories about applying to as many positions as they can out of anger at their employers and in some cases, negotiating better jobs for higher salaries.
The exact origins of the term are unclear, but videos appear to date back at least a year ago.
“Today was another boring day at work, spent half of it rage applying again,” a TikTok user said in one video. “I actually applied to be a funeral director. I figure since I’m dead inside in this dead-end job I’m more than qualified to actually work with the dead at this point.”
User John Liang, under the account name johnsfinancetips, shared his take on the phenomenon in a video posted this week. He acted out a conversation where his boss demands more overtime, faster work performance and denies his time off, then asks him if he’s “quiet quitting” – the trending term from 2022 loosely defined as workers meeting the basic expectations of their job descriptions and not going above and beyond for no additional compensation.
In the video, Liang replies that he is actually “just quitting” after “rage applying” to 20 different jobs and receiving offers for more money.
“Folks, (it’s) just the concept that you’re fed up with your boss and you’re sending out a bunch of applications to get a new job and to move on to the next one,” he said.
Michelle Slater, director at jobs site Indeed Canada, said it makes sense that the “rage applying” trend is gaining momentum at the beginning of the new year, a time when people typically reflect on their lives and feel motivated to look for new work.
Indeed has had more traffic on its website this month, she added, suggesting Canadians are genuinely on the hunt for new employment.
While the phenomenon of a January spike in job seeking isn’t new, Slater noted that a recent survey of Canadian workers by Indeed found that people have higher expectations of happiness at work compared with last year, and only about half of Canadians feel satisfied in their current jobs.
Slater recommended that job seekers with the urge to fire off applications take a moment to research company cultures, values and salary ranges, and only apply for jobs they are “genuinely interested in and genuinely quite excited about.”
“Taking that little bit of extra time to do the research and to evaluate what’s important to them will make a difference in the long run,” she said in a phone interview with BNNBloomberg.ca.
Certified career strategist Sweta Regmi, CEO of career consultancy Teachndo, said workers should assess the source of their “rage” and channel their frustrations into strategic applications for jobs that fit their goals and skills, if other options aren’t available to fix things.
Regmi said she thinks the term “rage applying” puts a negative spin on what she sees as a generally positive phenomenon of workers taking action in response to legitimate sources of dissatisfaction with their jobs like overwhelming workloads, toxic cultures and being denied raises during high inflationary times.
“People are applying because they know their worth,” she said by phone.
Regmi prefers the term “loud quitting” – if raising concerns about the workplace doesn’t result in change, it’s a way for workers to show their employers they won’t tolerate poor conditions by leaving altogether.
The trend should be a wake-up call for employers to check in regularly with employees and put their feedback into action before it’s too late and people have already decided to move on, she added.
“We need to hold employers accountable,” she said. “Why are people leaving?”
Slater said the popularity of the trend, like “quiet quitting” before it, makes it clear that employee wellbeing is an increasingly important consideration for Canadian workplaces.
“It’s becoming more and more important for employers to think about workplace wellbeing,” she said. “It’s not something that is a throwaway, it’s something they must do.”