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The problems with rage applying

Feb 20, 2023

While some people encourage you to "rage apply," it probably isn't a good idea.


What is rage applying?

Simply put, rage applying consists of sending out a flurry of applications because you are sick of your job. Maybe the company passed you over for a promotion – again. Or perhaps you are sick of the negative culture. Or they insist that everyone return to work in the office full-time. Or your salary is not competitive with other jobs you found online. Whatever the case, the main catalyst is the same: you are mad as hell, and you aren't going to take it anymore!


In particular, rage applying includes:

  • Applying to a lot of jobs within a short time frame.
  • Applying to jobs randomly instead of strategically.
  • Only apply to jobs easily found online, such as through Zip Recruiter, Indeed, or LinkedIn.
  • Not tracking the jobs your applications.
  • Not researching the employers.
  • Not reaching out to hiring managers.


Why some people are encouraging you to rage apply

In particular, the rage applying trend is more prevalent in Gen Z workers than others who are a bit more seasoned in the work world. In fact, many of these younger workers claim that they increased their salary by $30,000 from a job they found through rage applying.


While these numbers sound great, some facts contribute to those big salary numbers:

  • Changing jobs to a new company almost always increases the salary by 7 – 25%.
  • The original company may have been underpaying their employees – which is why the job seeker was looking in the first place.
  • Companies are more willing to negotiate higher starting salaries when competing for new employees.


Problems with rage applying

The biggest problem with rage applying is stepping into a job that is just as bad as the original position – or worse. Many job seekers will ignore the obvious red flags that the new employer is waiving because they are desperate to leave their current one.


In 2022, we saw far too many job changers turn the Great Resignation into the Great Regret. According to a survey by Paychex in October 2022: (Source

  • 80% of people who changed jobs during the Great Resignation of 2021-22 regretted leaving their employer.
  • 68% of employees say they have attempted to get their jobs back, but only 27% of employers have rehired employees that left during this period.
  • Gen Zers have the most regret about swapping jobs during this time.


Second, taking the shotgun approach to job searching is the hardest way to find a position. Instead of carefully weighing the options and researching employers to uncover bad cultures, rage appliers fire off the resumes to anything and everything that looks remotely interesting. As a result, they can't screen out bad employers.


Third, rage applying relies heavily on the "numbers game" approach to job searching. Ideally, you want to land 2-3 initial interviews per every 10 applications. (Source: Get a Job Without Going Crazy, 3rd Ed.

By comparison, a "spray and pray" method might only gain one interview for every 50 applications. (Source: CNBC


Bottom line: Don't Hulk Out

While walking out of a job in a blaze of glory or shooting off 20 resumes in a day feels like a great way to rage against the machine, it is definitely not a reliable way to find a GOOD job. After all, you want to land the RIGHT job, not the RIGHT NOW job.


Want more?

Check out our latest episode of Tattooed Freaks in Business Suits podcast on “How to Evaluate Your Job Search:”


Looking for a way to control your inner rage monster and improve your job search?

Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our career coaches:

Wondering how effective your job search is? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our career coaches, Donna Shannon or Dia Kline

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