Engaging in Rage Applying? It Will Backfire!

If you are angry over mistreatment at work, watch your step. Reacting impulsively, such as sending out job applications while in a rage, will backfire.  

“Rage applying,” in case you don’t know, is an activity taken by those frustrated with their current positions. Ragers turn to submitting rapid-fire applications as a way to vent erupting anger over grievances or insults. Ragers, however, rarely find success.  

Chances are, whomever is on the receiving end of a rage-provoked application will recognize the tenor of the applicant and quickly move the correspondence to the trash. One telltale sign is a complaint-laced cover letter about the applicant’s current job that barely references the company or the applied-for position. 

Granted, the workplace is rife with ways to feel slighted, undervalued, or ill-treated. You may have been passed over more than once for what you felt was a wholly deserved promotion. Or perhaps your boss is a narcissist who buries your accomplishments in an attempt to make herself appear superior. Or you may regularly suffer a Sunday migraine over the stress of facing another toxic work week. Honestly, the list of reasons to rage about work is endless. But do whatever it takes to not snap! 

Find ways to release the pressure valve before your rage erupts. Take a break and walk outside. Find an empty room where you can take deep, calming breaths. Let go of the office drama on your off hours — go to the gym or take a yoga class. It’s important to think self-preservation, not vindication. 

Here’s how to turn that rage into productive job-searching karma: 

1. Salvage the situation.

 Before you start looking in earnest for another position, calm yourself and consider whether there’s something you can do to improve your situation. Can you approach the mean-spirited boss or colleague and resolve your conflict? Are there enough good aspects of the job to make trying to salvage it worth your while? 

Pro Tip: Go to the source of annoyance directly. Speaking to Human Resources is your last resource. 

2. Stay on top of your work. 

If you’ve resolved to move on, make sure that you don’t let your dissatisfaction show in your performance. In fact, now is the time to work even harder. Go to that drink after work. Sign up for the softball league. Remember, you may need to come back to these colleagues for a reference.   

3. Remain employed until you secure your next job.

 As unfair as it seems, it’s known that employers tend to look askance at jobless candidates. Anyone who walks off the job without lining up new employment lowers their chances of finding a new job. Even if you have a valid reason for needing to leave — your sanity being foremost — employers will question whether this may become a pattern with you. Keep your head down and push through until you have a solid offer. 

4. Put the word out to your network.

 Reach out to your contacts, your former coworkers and bosses — even your cousin’s brother-in-law who raves about his company. Let everyone know that you’re open to opportunities. Keep the conversations upbeat — no raging about your present employer. Complainers can be such a downer!  

Pro Tip: Be sure to contact your network after hours, and don’t do it from your employer’s computer. 

5. Give notice within the appropriate timeframe.

 Generally, employees are expected to give two weeks’ notice, but check your handbook. When you announce that you’re leaving, remember all the great things about the job and cite those. This is not the time to rant about your grievances (again, you may need a reference down the line). Less is more when it comes to behaving professionally. A simple, “I received an offer I can’t refuse from X Company” will suffice.  

As the old adage says, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Landing a fantastic job with a superb company will soothe the rage inside more effectively than raging ever could.  

This guest post was authored by Vicki Oliver

Vicky Oliver is a leading career development expert and the multi-bestselling author of five books, including Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots (Sourcebooks, 2008), and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks 2005), named in the top 10 list of “Best Books for HR Interview Prep.” She is a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter and a popular media source, having made over 901 appearances in broadcast, print and online outlets. Vicky Oliver is the Nonfiction Editor at LIT Magazine, the Journal of the New School Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and teaches essay writing at the New York Writers Workshop. For more information, visit vickyoliver.com.    

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