Explained: What is ‘rage applying’ and why it is the newest trend?


Move over quiet quitting and moonlighting, rage-applying is dominating the internet space now, quite literally. The trend which reportedly took off after a Tik Tok video went viral, means exactly what it says. Gen Z and millennials are aggressively shooting off applications in search of better pay and work environments. Read on to know why.

What is all the rage about?

2022 was defined by quiet quitting and moonlighting, the concept of doing the bare minimum at your workplace or “acting your wage” and taking up a second job, typically secretly, respectively.

‘Rage-applying’ is supposedly taking charge of your unhappy professional life and channelling the frustration into getting back at your unfair bosses by applying to scores of vacant positions. It aims to realise your worth and attach a quantitative value to it with respect to your career.

Last December, a Canadian Tik Tok user Redweez, a social media marketeer, shared her experience of applying to 15 jobs after being angry at her workplace and subsequently landing a job with a $25,000 hike. Garnering millions of views, many users are vouching for the trend by sharing their successful stories of securing jobs with hefty hikes and perks. Christen, another TikToker, also went viral for bagging a 20 per cent raise by rage-applying. “Rage on,” users cheered on in the comment section.

I’m making almost 30k more a year bc of rage applying 🤣 DO ITTTT pic.twitter.com/qT4Ah9C1s8

— Jas ⚡️ (@Jasminnhere) January 5, 2023

Why the aggression?

The cost of a good quality of living in the present times is at an all time high with reports of a looming recession, massive layoffs across sectors, economic slowdown amid the raging Russia-Ukraine war, record-level inflation and high borrowing costs leading to the disillusion amongst the young workforce. Adding to the woes, stagnancy, dissatisfaction and a poor work-life balance are forcing individuals to literally flee from their previous toxic jobs.

The people who have resorted to rage-applying have complained of being unfairly treated by managers and ignored during promotion cycles and appraisals. Coupled with less disposable income in hand after expenditures for the increasingly expensive essential items, job seekers are desperate for fat paychecks.

However, for the current generation, it’s not just about the money. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, Gen Z, being the “most ethnically and racially diverse generation”, wants meaningful jobs that give them a sense of purpose, along with fair pay.

A 2022 report from Gallup, an analytics and advisory company, stated that only 21 per cent of employees were actively involved in their work while stress was at an all-time peak with 44 per cent workers saying they underwent a huge amount of stress the previous day.

Since the ‘instant-messaging’ generation is more averse to difficult conversations over phones with their bosses regarding issues faced at work, they prefer the more comfortable route of ghosting employers or quiet quitting, a Forbes report quoted Alison Papadakis, the director of clinical psychological studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Are there cons to rage-applying?

Although many on the internet have claimed to have benefitted from rage-applying, experts say that a decision taken in a “fit of rage” may not be the ideal option always. Applying to dozens of jobs when looking to change roles is not a new concept. However, the term captures the frustration of young adults in a post-pandemic, climate-challenged world.

We used to call this, “applying for new jobs”.

— Andrea Kuszewski 🧠 (@AndreaKuszewski) January 14, 2023

For a generation that feeds on instant gratification, a career expert in a Stylist UK report, warns against mass applying to jobs without proper reflection and weighing the pros and cons. Higher pay does not always guarantee a happier work environment or mental satisfaction. The expert also suggested to focus on rage-searching for jobs instead of applying, as a job-change should never be a hasty decision based on an impulse.






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