Ghosting Has Hit the Workplace: How to Quit the Right Way

by Jul 9, 2018

Ghosting is no longer being relegated to awkward Tinder convos or Facebook messages from strangers; it’s now happening in the workplace.

A recent LinkedIn article shed light on the issue, noting instances of people straight up not coming to work anymore with no reason given, candidates being offered roles but not replying, and new employees never showing up on their first day – all of which never to be heard from again. ‘The practice is prolonging hiring,’ explains author, Chip Cutter, ‘forcing companies to overhaul their processes and tormenting recruiters, who find themselves under constant pressure.’

And recruiters are taking notice, with many keeping a mental list of names of everyone who’s ghosted them. Meredith Jones, an HR director in the US, noted that despite internal tracking systems she doesn’t need a database for ghosts. ‘I have a list of names in my head that have burned me so bad.’

Why is it happening? Well there’s no precise answer (it’s not like many of these ghost are available for comment), but some have speculated that this new trend of ghosting is simply a reflection on what employers have been doing for years: ‘Employers were notorious for never getting back to people, and only letting them know what was going on if it turned out they wanted them to go to the next step,’ Peter Cappelli, a Management Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was quoted as saying.

How to quit the right way

So, what’s the right way to quit? (It’s not like that’s something you’re normally taught when you first enter the workplace).

Communication is key

Legit, if there’s one thing you should take away from this post it’s the importance of communication. There’s nothing worse than seeing that little ‘read’ icon and just knowing the other person has received your message but isn’t replying. Don’t be that guy.

So instead of giving in to the (kind of understandable) social anxiety of facing your boss and co-workers and telling them you’ve got to bounce and just never showing up again, it’s time to get your meeting game on. Organise a meeting with your supervisor or boss and just be honest and tell them that you’re resigning. Trust me, they’ll prefer that than having to chase you up for weeks on end.

Think about bringing along a resignation letter noting the day’s date, as well as the date of your last day in the office. They’ll usually ask for one, and having it handy saves them having to follow up.

Give notice

If you do decide to quit, give your employer as much notice as possible so you’re not leaving them in the lurch.

Most of the time, when you are leaving a workplace you don’t want to burn any bridges – after all, your professional network is a pretty valuable resource that you may need to draw on in the future. By giving them plenty of notice, you are making sure they have enough time to hire someone to cover your role without having to scramble around trying to cover your workload suddenly. Trust – your boss and your co-workers will appreciate it.

Be chill

And finally, once the cat is out of the bag and everyone knows you’re leaving, maybe try to tone down the excitement a tad. Walking around the office telling everyone how keen you are to leave or about how great your new job is, may not win you any friends.

You can obviously mention it, but just remember that while you may be leaving no one else is, and if you’re pretty open with how much you can’t wait to get out then you’re not going to be giving anyone the warm and fuzzies.

Instead, focus on socialising and maintaining the friendships you’ve built up while you were working there, and you may even find you end up keeping in touch with people once you’re gone.

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash


By Mia Casey

By Mia Casey


Mia is a Sydney-based copywriter and content creator, who has run the UTS Careers Blog since its conception in 2016.
Her freelance work focuses on branding development and helping companies create a cohesive identity narrative tailored for each of their platforms.
She enjoys piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.