Say Hello to the New Quiet Quitting: Rage-Applying

Updated: Mar. 14, 2024

Some people quit, others quiet quit and still other rage-apply hoping for a better job. Here's what it is and what to look out for if you're considering this strategy.

Millennials and Gen Z have a different view of work—instead of climbing the corporate ladder at any cost, they’re quiet quitting, looking for lazy girl jobs and acting their wage. Unlike previous generations, they recognize the signs of a toxic workplace, and instead of burning out, they’re walking out. And if they’re not actually walking out, they’re taking their frustration and anger and channeling it into rage-applying. You can save yourself some time as these red flags let you know that you’re interviewing for a toxic company.

Bridget Lohrius, the Founder and CEO of SANDWINA, a platform built to close the gender gap faster by making career coaching more affordable and accessible for all women, isn’t surprised that so many people are rage-applying. “Workers are wiped out,” Lohrius said, “In fact, 96% of people plan to switch jobs in 2023. They want more. More money, more flexibility, more recognition, more purpose.”

What is rage-applying?

Rage-applying is the phenomenon of simultaneously applying to several different jobs when feeling burnt out or distressed at your current job. “Most rage-applying occurs when individuals channel pent-up feelings of frustration and rage into action,” says Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist, “People tend to rage-apply when they feel as if they’ve been under-appreciated, passed over, or stuck in a toxic work environment.”

@redweez Keep rage applying when youre mad 🫶🏼 that energy will push you to greater horizons than the job youre stuck in! #work #milennial #worklife ♬ The Sign – Ace of Base

Jenn Lim, a global workplace expert and bestselling author of Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact, explains that the term rage-applying was coined by TikTok user @redweez, a Canadian millennial working in social media marketing. “Her video went viral after she told followers, ‘I got mad at work, and I rage-applied to, like, 15 jobs. And then I got a job that gave me a $25,000 raise, and it’s a great place to work. So keep rage-applying. It’ll happen.’ The video has had more than 2 million views and has been shared over 20,000 times,” Lim said.

What should you keep in mind about this trend?

Dr. Manly recommends self-reflection to learn why you want to leave—such as exiting a dead-end job, increasing your salary or leaving negative co-workers behind—so that you don’t take any baggage with you to the next job. “Although rage applying can yield positive results, it’s generally wise to process one’s anger and frustration before taking action,” Dr. Manly says, “Some people find that they leave a series of jobs for the same reason—such as a critical boss—only to find later that unaddressed personal issues (e.g., a fear of conflict or trauma) had contributed to the problems.”

It’s empowering

Working for a bad boss or mediocre pay can lead to diminished self-worth. “Rage-applying is a result of wanting to take your power back however you can,” explains Gracie Miller, a life purpose and career coach, but she warns against being reactive. “You’ll always have better results when applying to something because it feels like a fit, not out of a reaction to your current role,” she says.

You might get more than just a new job

The process of searching for a new job can teach us a lot about ourselves. “Another plus—through reflection on your own personal values and purpose, you may have a clearer understanding of what you need as a human at work and in life, which, in turn, can become a filter you can use in different situations,” Lim points out.

It can be risky

“If your company prohibits applying to new jobs while employed, you could risk losing your current job before securing another, which isn’t helpful when trying to get a new position,” Lim points out.

Sometimes it’s not the job

Sometimes it’s the job, and sometimes it’s you. If you job-hop without reevaluating your goals and yourself, you might wind up in the same scenario in a different place. “The riskiest aspect of rage-applying is a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction,” Lohrius says, “If you don’t do the work to understand why you’re unhappy in your current role, you run the risk of walking into another culture, dynamic, or boss that doesn’t work for you.”