What is Rage Applying?

rage applying; phone with angry face
angry woman yelling; rage applying for new jobs

What You Should Know About Rage Applying

You may have seen the term “rage applying” getting thrown around online lately. It is used to describe a newly visible trend of (mostly) young adults mass applying to new positions after a bad day, week, or month, at their current job. Notably, they’ll deal with an especially bad customer or client, a toxic manager, or a combination of poor work conditions that drive them to a point that they send out dozens or hundreds of applications in one evening. Several have seen exceptionally positive results in form of promotions and raises.

Obviously, this practice is reasonable. If you don’t like a place or have outgrown it, you don’t stick around and complain. You leave and find something better. People have been doing so as long as the job market has allowed it. The trend of staying at one company your entire life has been over for decades at this point in time.

Yet, these young adults are getting pinned as being disloyal, picky, spoiled, and more. All for not wanting to stay at a bad job.

Why Now?

For the most part, the attention on rage applying seems to be stemming from the craze surrounding the mass resignation and quiet quitting. At the same time, people are sharing their thoughts and experiences on social media platforms such as TikTok and getting millions of views. Their stories also embolden and encourage others to do the same. Basically, news outlets were already watching employment trends and are taking notice of the factors that make people quit.

At the same time, toxic managers are looking for the next big thing to blame for why employees are leaving companies in droves for better opportunities. Poor work conditions, bad management, and low pay have been normalized for years. And as these companies continue to make record profits, they have little to no incentive to change.

Notably, employees really began seeing these issues during the pandemic. Service and frontline workers saw themselves getting called “essential” all while getting treated poorly by customers and supervisors alike. Truly, their low pay did not make them feel essential as they struggled to pay medical bills and rent.

Ultimately, this “trend” of rage applying comes from more and more people refusing to accept the bare minimum. People do not see a reason to stay loyal to a company that isn’t loyal to them.

angry lego heads lined up in front of a white background

Why Rage Applying is Becoming a Trend

There are a lot of factors that go into each individual’s choice to live a job, let alone the thousands that have left during the great resignation. Among them include a change in priorities and perspective, illness, and the economy. Truly, we will likely continue to notice the absence of these employees in addition to the millions who were disabled or taken by the pandemic for years to come.

We’re continuing to see a lot of people leaving the most public-facing jobs; notably, the healthcare and service industries have been most affected. Thus, it makes sense that news outlets and the public are trying to put a name to these trends.

However, they shouldn’t be labeled negatively. The employees leaving aren’t to blame – they are simply taking care of themselves, as we all should. Some of the impacts are more severe, especially in the healthcare sector, but we can’t expect people to freely sacrifice their own time, health, and energy for a paycheck that won’t cover their own healthcare needs.

Below, we’ll go over the top five reasons we shouldn’t expect rage applying – or the media coverage of it – to go anywhere any time soon.

woman handing a stack of money; rage applying works for increasing salary

1. It Works

While there is no official data for this trend, anecdotes from successful rage appliers show that the technique is rather successful. Individuals report receiving five-figure salary increases, better benefits, and a more desirable workload. While some are bound to regret their decision, that is a risk that comes with every major life choice, especially when starting a new job. Indeed, every workplace has its issues, major or minor.

In the end, despite the current economy, people are seeing results. And they’re encouraging more to follow in their footsteps across multiple platforms.

Notably, the change shift from the mass resignation to rage applying may simply be people recognizing that resigning without another job lined up is dangerous, especially under the looming threat of a recession. Instead of leaving their job as the stress builds, these employees wait to leave until it is financially safe to do so.

2. Bad Bosses are Looking for Ways to Blame Employees

We’ve talked briefly about toxic workplaces. Truthfully, almost everyone has had that job that makes them want to rip their own hair out. Their turnover rates are often high, satisfaction is low, and they consistently have trouble meeting deadlines. Yet, they never seem to change, no matter how much money they spend on getting new trainees every few months.

These trends – the mass resignation, quiet quitting, and now rage applying – give them a sort of out from the responsibility. Bad managers look at what’s going on and blame social media or “this new generation.” Obviously, it’s happening everywhere. The problem couldn’t be coming from within. Indeed, these companies will keep the trends alive and visible in the news as long as it justifies their high turnover rates and allows them to maintain the status quo.

purple glitter makeup spread with a makeup brush to form a 'Z'

3. Attention is on the Youngest Members of the Workforce

Notably, our society seems to enjoy placing the blame for all of our issues onto the youngest working generation. For the longest time, this generation was millennials. They were blamed for the fall of multiple industries, were the scapegoat for social issues, and were referred to as spoiled and lazy. Now, Gen Z has taken over that mantle.

Employers and news outlets enjoy focusing on their sensitivity, “wokeness,” and, again, laziness (every new generation since the beginning of time appears to get the “lazy” label). Of course, this tendency is boosting attention on work culture trends, including rage applying.

Depending on which article you read, you’ll probably find some of them attributing the rage applying to the lazy nature of Gen Z. They just want to do “less for more,” they expect everything to be handed to them, and so on. Again, these labels are given to basically every new generation. It seems to be a side effect of growing technology and visibility through social media.

Due to this issue, many of the articles are less about the job market and more about why Gen Z is so awful. The same can be said for the whole quiet quitting debacle. Basically, anything that will rile people up is bound to be newsworthy.

4. We’re More Aware of Working Conditions and Pay

Another reason rage applying is gaining traction is the attention on individual company’s working conditions. Consider how many horror stories you’ve seen about big-name businesses lately. These insider views of warehouses, factories, and offices alike do not paint a pretty picture nor do they encourage new employees to sign on.

Truly, as employees continue to reveal what they’re being asked to deal with or do at work, attention grows on callout culture, work culture, and the job market. As rage applying is happening in part to these poor conditions, of course, news outlets are going to pick up on it.

Thankfully, this trend may end up improving work conditions as a result. Companies will recognize that they must change to survive or else see their names flashed across the screen of every major news outlet. While changing jobs when you’re unhappy is nothing new, this new culture of airing their dirty laundry is unheard of. Simply put, employees are tired of putting up unsafe and toxic jobs for the sake of a paycheck that doesn’t put enough gas in the car to make it to the office.

group of happy coworkers sitting together on a couch; rage applying for new jobs

5. You Deserve Better

Ultimately, rage applying is becoming a trend as people are realizing that they deserve better. Life is hard. Pandemics happen, inflation rises, and we must work to continue living the lives we desire. Covid-19 made many people realize what was missing in their lives and what goals they want to pursue. They’ve decided that there’s no reason for work to be miserable, draining, and uninspiring. After all, many of us spend a minimum of 40 hours a week every week doing it. That’s a lot of time to spend on something you hate.

This trend is flourishing because people everywhere are valuing a work-life balance over impressing the boss and family time instead of overtime. In the end, it’s really nothing new. People grow, adapt, and change jobs as they always have. So, rage apply, rage quit, or whatever you must do to find better opportunities. We only get one go in this life – don’t waste it on a supervisor who wouldn’t give you time off for your own wedding.

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