Being professionally ghosted is an awful feeling.
This is the kind of ghosting when you are courted for a business opportunity, a client matter or a potential job and then things go completely silent.
When it happened to me, I was left wondering what went wrong. Did I do something wrong?
Why would an opportunity disappear like that when they were so interested in me and they had approached me about it?
For one particular position, they took me to a pre-celebratory dinner and checked references. I had to then tell those references (who took time out of their busy days) that I never actually got a job offer and I didn’t know why. It was embarrassing to say the least.
It fueled my anxiety and self-doubt.
But then I realized it wasn’t about me.
I’ll never actually know what happened with that opportunity, but I know that I would not want to work for a company that treated me like that during the interview process.
Ghosting anyone for any reason is cowardly and unacceptable.
Of course no one wants to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s much better to get it out of the way rather than avoiding someone.
If you’ve ever been on the other side of a situation like that you know how terrible it feels to be left hanging, and I always say treat people the way you want to be treated.
It’s hard not to take it personally but don’t.
Why would you want to work with someone or a company that doesn’t follow up or give you closure?
Just know, if someone ghosts you, you probably dodged a bullet.
Their lack of a response is your response.
Reframe their lack of response as a redirection, not rejection.
Ghosting often has little to do with you, so don’t take it personally.
What can you do to avoid this happening to you in the future?
Do your homework on the organization before you decide to move forward with them or give them a proposal. Pay attention to red flags.
And if you are thinking about ghosting someone, please don’t.
You can have a negative impact on someone’s self-confidence.
It really doesn’t take long to let someone know where they stand with the status of a job or a project.
I understand that making an uncomfortable phone call is, well uncomfortable, but do it anyway because it’s the right thing to do.
And don’t underestimate the power of chatter within your network and industry. People talk.
Since so much of the business world is based on word-of-mouth referrals, it is risky to ghost or be a ghoster.
I always tell myself that doors that don’t easily open for me were not meant for me, especially in situations like this.
Move on and don’t assign your value to being ghosted.
Know that you deserve better than an employer or client who ghosts you.
Have you ever been professionally ghosted? How did you handle it?