I Have Been “Ghosted" in the Workplace -- Here are my Thoughts

Let’s face it─we all have "ghosted" others and have been ghosted ourselves in the past. It is, unfortunately, no different in the workplace. Ghosting among professionals take on many forms: ignoring messages, getting stood up to a meeting, or even when an individual accepts a job offer and then never shows up. As a college student, I’ve sent countless emails inquiring about internships, only to be met with little to no response. I’ve networked with professionals at events, thinking that we had a good conversation, but later received unexpected silence from the other party. After experiencing all this, here are my insights:


Accept that ghosting is present within any context.

Life gets messy and people can only do so much in a limited amount of time. Maybe you attended your first networking event, hoping to make some lasting impact on a random recruiter. The room probably had at least fifty students just like you. Standing out, especially if you’re not particularly experienced, was and will continue to be a challenge. Turn every professional opportunity into a learning point for improvement.


If you have been ghosted, do not take it personally.

Many of my job-hunting friends tell me how difficult it is just to get a response from the HR department of wherever they applied. They go for job interviews that seemed promising but then fizzled into nothing. I’ve witnessed first-hand their frustration which turns into self-doubt and eventually rejection. Your worth is so much more than that. You can always bounce back. Don't give up!

Find another way to approach the person again. Personally, I reach out to people whom I admire through LinkedIn. Although, they don’t always respond back. If you’ve faced the same problem and are determined to get to know this individual, be creative! If there is an article that someone might be interested in, drop them a note. Recommend a good book that you come across. Show them your portfolio and ask for advice. Send a message during holidays and wish them well. There are 101 ways to start conversations and it’s never too late to initiate.


Broaden your horizons.

There are roughly 260 million active users on LinkedIn. The downside is everyone is bound to get ghosted in the workplace. The good news is that technology connects students like us to people of all walks of life─all of whom have unique stories and valuable lessons to teach us. The only thing left to do is open our hearts and minds to learn.


When in doubt, look at the bigger picture

Relationships take time to build. As future college graduates, we have to learn how to navigate the working world, which includes ghosting and rejection. With practice, you will learn when to move on and when to persevere. Remember, there are always people willing to help. Don’t let these opportunities slip by.


In a way, ghosting in the professional realm can be a good thing. Let your experience serve as a lasting reminder to never do the same to others in the workplace.



Sources: 1, 2

Images: 1, 2