“Rage Applying” Fueled by Workplace Dissatisfaction, Mass Layoffs, & Gen. Z

rage-applyingFirst, it was the Great Resignation, followed by Quiet Quitting, and then the California pattern of Overemployment

Now, the U.S. workforce is seeing yet another pattern driven by fears of mass layoffs and the desire for higher pay: “Rage Applying,” otherwise known as the alternative to Quiet Quitting.

Thanks to social media, recent waves of layoffs, alongside workplace dissatisfaction, younger professionals are applying by the droves in hopes of a better opportunity. 

Find out what Rage Applying is, why workers are engaging in this trend, and whether hasty applying in such an uncertain time is advised.


What Is Rage Applying?

Rage applying is when frustrated employees channel that anger towards a mass job application spree. Employees that loathe their jobs, want an improved work-life balance, or believe they deserve higher pay are applying to as many jobs in as little time as possible to boost their chances of a quick transition. 

Similarly to previous workplace trends, Rage Applying was sparked by social media and the younger, less tolerant Generation Z.

Much of this newest trend’s traction can be attributed to TikTok. Young Millennials and Gen Zers have caught public attention with their stories of significant salary boosts, better training opportunities, and improved well-being by rage applying until they found a new role. 


Why Are People Rage Applying?

Broadly speaking, rage applying is driven by feelings of unhappiness at work. You may have been overlooked for a promotion, haven’t seen a raise in far too long, or simply feel unappreciated in your place of work. These are all common drivers, but combined with external factors, it’s clear why this trend has caught fire.

Recent layoffs by the thousands have invoked a sense of fear and uncertainty in employees. 

Hence anxiety-driven job applying, motivated by the worry of a recession and the instability it poses. So, both internal and external elements are at play, encouraged by the stories told on TikTok. 


How Can Employers Counter This?

In the chapter of my book titled Employee Engagement: Building Your Best Team Yet, I mention how thriving organizations excel at employee appreciation:

“Workplace well-being matters, especially during turbulent times. More than ever before, employers are being held accountable for the work environment they foster.”

If organizations hope to retain frustrated employees, expressing appreciation for high performers and tending to their well-being are two standards that must be met. Feeling undervalued, unseen, and not having health needs met can quickly drive employees to apply with rage.  

However, on the employee side, acting hastily in such an uncertain time may end up backfiring on antsy applicants.


Act Now or Wait It Out?

Despite the stories of $15,000-$25,000 salary boosts thanks to rage applying, taking a beat and a deep breath may be best for some workers. When the economy is uncertain but your job is secure, it may not be the time to jump ship. 

However, on top of a recession, we have mass layoffs due to COVID-19 overhiring, especially in the tech sector. Those stories have been front-page news recently, and layoff fears among workers are infectious. 

Combine this with workplace frustration and emotions can run high. For these unhappy workers who foresee layoffs, looking around for other roles could serve to benefit them. 


About Angela Reddock-Wright

Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal, and Media Commentator 

Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. 

Furthermore, she’s been named a “Top 50 Woman Attorney” in California by Super Lawyers, a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal, and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.

Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Signature Resolution, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram @iamangelareddockwright, LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/in/angelareddock, and tune in to my weekly radio show, KBLA Talk 1580’s Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright each Saturday and Sunday at 11 am PST, or catch past episodes on Anchor.fm/Spotify.   You can learn more about the radio show here – https://angelareddock-wright.com/radio-show/.

Also, learn more about my book – The Workplace Transformed: 7 Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic – here – https://angelareddock-wright.com/book/.

For media inquiries, please reach out to monty@kwsmdigital.com.

For more information regarding resources for employers, businesses, and employees during this time, connect with Angela on LinkedIn for new updates or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.

This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.

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