So, You Got Ghosted — at Work - Deepstash
Professionally Ghosted

To be ghosted by your professional contacts, like a Linkedin connection, your prospective client, or your office colleague can feel confusing, with a sense of rejection that can shatter your confidence.

We try to retrace our steps and figure out what went wrong, and also try to follow up for the sake of closure.

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Ghosting can happen anywhere:

  • During a job interview when someone the prospective candidate ghosts the recruiter after a series of interviews.
  • During hiring when the recruiter ghosts the candidate even after all the application process and the hiring has been completed, with only the employment contract formalities remaining.
  • Many newly hired candidates don’t show up on Day one, wasting the HR resources of the employer.

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Many employees suddenly quit a bad job, never showing up the next day. This can also be due to their getting a better offer with immediate joining.

Professional networking is prone to ghosting, with Linkedin messages suddenly not being responded to, or a client that is being pitched for a prospective sale suddenly losing interest and blocking contact.

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  1. People don’t like to say no, and suddenly not responding seems an easier and lazier option than a nuanced, thoughtful response that will take time and energy.
  2. People avoid conflict and don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.
  3. They are waiting for an update or a decision from someone else and don’t have the authority to respond.
  4. They are stuck in bureaucratic discussions and internal office problems, which is also a red flag.
  5. They may be too busy or sick.

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We all hate it when someone ghosts us, both professionally and personally because of the Zeigarnik Effect. This is a phenomenon that makes our brain linger on to something that is unresolved, unfinished or demands closure.

There is a cognitive tension inside our minds that makes us want to seek out a satisfactory resolution instead of being stuck in limbo.

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  1. Consider Your Approach: If you are asking for favours without any strong ties, the entire interaction can feel like begging, a transaction with no roots. Shortcut strategies and hustling without context can backfire. People may be ghosting you because you deserve that.
  2. Embrace The Awkward: Instead of feeling rejected or haunted by the sudden loss of conversation, one can send a brief, lighthearted message to help the other person reconnect if they wish to. They will let you know the reason for their not replying, and if they still don’t reply, simply move on.

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