Just Checking In...Again

Ghosting has now moved beyond the dating world and into the workplace

I’m still in the running for a job I interviewed for in 2014. At least, I think I am? I never heard one way or another. After an initial phone interview, I hopped on a train, taking an eight-hour, round trip journey to meet my potential employer. I was even asked to write an essay—about as long as this piece—as a test run. But in the weeks that followed, despite promises of “wanting to move quickly on this” from management, I heard nothing. Every check-in email—my teeth grinding with each attempt to play the role of an exceptionally competent, but also totally laidback candidate—went unanswered. After a while, even the crickets should’ve started to feel guilty. I’d been ghosted. It wasn’t the first time—and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

Initially, I blamed my industry. (My career is about as unstable as my romantic life, so it figures that my professional correspondence would mirror that of my Tinder matches.) But the more friends asked for nonexistent updates on job leads, the more we ended up commiserating over similar experiences. They too had encountered endless rounds of interviews, some amassing unpaid hours while completing elaborate tests only to be frozen out. Nearly everyone I spoke to—mostly millennials who requested anonymity because they feared professional repercussions—had at some point endured a bizarre hiring process that trailed off in noncommittal silence or reached a similarly ambiguous ending. Art galleries and photography studios ghosted. So did tech giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Google, along with lifestyle heavyweights like Nike and Red Bull.

However anecdotal, the evidence suggests that more and more companies—particularly those skewing younger, hipper, and richer—are developing a culture where professional ghosting is acceptable, perhaps even the norm. The more publicly desirable the employer, the more disposable candidates seem to become.

This trend isn’t quantifiable. While consulting firms and the government regularly compile employment statistics, no one keeps tabs on the in-between process. The internet provides a never-ending supply of advice for finding great employees and preparing for interviews, but there’s no cut-and-dry etiquette when it comes to the treatment of candidates. Technically, it’s a good-faith process in employers’ favor. While bound by discrimination and other labor laws in choosing employees, companies have no pre-employment obligations, communication-wise, to potential hires. Ironically, neither national human resources organization I contacted responded to multiple requests for comment.

But if that’s always been the case, why does it seem like professional ghosting is on the rise now? Maybe it’s yet another symptom of the radically changing workforce. Employees are more mobile. Remote work is on the rise, encouraged by email and instant messaging. Turnover is lightning fast. Startups often explode before founders can establish consistent professional practices, and many companies don’t have human resources departments at all. Employees are tasked with conducting the hiring process, but aren’t empowered to actually make hiring decisions. In a culture that celebrates slapdash success, normalizes overwork, and prizes idealism, it should be no surprise that the instant communication era hasn’t produced instant decision-making.

A workforce in flux is bound to invite insecurity at both the institutional and individual levels. Uncertainty and risk breed indecision. The psychological concept of analysis paralysis, wherein workers overthink problems so deeply that they bottleneck their own success, is another possible explanation as to why you haven’t heard back yet.

Some etiquette standards would be a reasonable first step to addressing this 21st-century predicament. One ghostee I spoke with suggested companies send formal, timely rejection letters after two interviews. Hell, I’d settle for a “THX BUT NO THX HAVE A NICE LIFE” text, so long as it’s mandatory. Until that happens, I’ll just be over here incessantly refreshing my inbox and typing, “Hey, just checking in again!” for the millionth time.


The global climate change strikes on Friday are said to have been the largest protest for climate change in history. An estimated four million people participated in 2,500 events across 163 countries on all seven continents. That included an estimated 300,000 Australians, but a total of zero were in Hyde Park in Sydney, despite a viral photo that claims otherwise.

Australian Youth Coal Coalition, a pro-coal Facebook page, posted a photo showing trash strewn across a park after what appears to have been a large event. "Look at the mess today's climate protesters left behind in beautiful Hyde Park," the photo was captioned. "So much plastic. So much landfill. So sad." The only problem is, the photo wasn't taken after a climate change protest. It wasn't even taken in Australia.

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via GOOD / YouTube

Last Friday, millions of people in 150 countries across the globe took to the streets to urge world leaders to enact dramatic solutions to combat climate change.

The Climate Strike was inspired, in part, by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden who has captured worldwide attention for her tireless work to hold lawmakers responsible for the climate crisis.

The strike gave people across the planet the opportunity to make their voices heard before the U.N. General Assembly Climate Summit in New York City on Monday.

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

As world leaders meet to discuss new ways to tackle climate change at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, they might miss one very big part of healing nature – nature. In a new short film, youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot, a writer for the Guardian, talked about how we need to use nature as a solution to climate change.

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Climate Action Tracker

In 2016, 196 countries signed the Paris Agreement, pledging to combat climate change by taking action to curb the increase in global temperatures. The Paris Agreement requires countries to report on their emissions and what steps they're taking to implement those plans. Now that the countries are coming together again for the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City, it's worth taking a look at what kind of progress they've made.

The Climate Action Trackerkeeps tabs on what each country is doing to limit warming, and if they're meeting their self-set goals. Countries are graded based on whether or not their actions would help limit warming to 1.5 degrees C.

According to a recent article from National Geographic, The Gambia, Morocco, and India are at the head of the class. "Even though carbon emissions in The Gambia, Morocco, and India are expected to rise, they'll fall short of exceeding the 1.5-degree Celsius limit," the article reads. Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, on the other hand, get a big fat F. "Projected emissions in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States are far greater than what it would take to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

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Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

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