Stanford Graduate Says Truly Successful People Work Way More Than 40 Hours Per Week — ‘They Are Motivated By Work’

He advised people to put more hours into their job if they want to see results, ignoring the fact that so many workers are already burnt out.

two businesswomen talking and looking at laptop in office Branislav Nenin | Shutterstock

A Stanford graduate has ruffled some feathers after admitting that there's a secret to being incredibly successful in the workplace, and it means prioritizing your job over everything else. 

In a TikTok video, an NYC-based content creator named Drake Pooley offered people a "harsh reality" about what it means to find success in your career, even at the expense of leading a life outside of the office.


He claimed that successful people work way more than 40 hours per week.

"I have a very harsh reality for y'all, and you can take it or leave it, but more successful people ... more of these prestige-demand jobs, work way more than 40 hours a week," Pooley insisted. 

@drakepooley Dont compare yourself if you have different goals or are playing a different game #banking #consulting #law #finance #tech #career ♬ Storytelling - Adriel

RELATED: Worker Fired For Not Working 60 Hours Per Week & ‘Underperforming’ Despite Making 102% Of Her Goal


He explained that he wasn't choosing a moral stance on whether or not people should work themselves to the bone for a paycheck but pointed out that if you're comparing yourself against these people and wondering why you are not finding the same level of achievement and success in your own workplace, it's because of the hours they're putting in. Pooley remarked that bankers, consultants, and other execs running companies are working 50 to 70 hours a week.

A Gallup survey found that while four in 10 workers put in a standard 40-hour workweek, many others toil longer than that, including nearly one in five (18%) who work 60 hours or more. That translates into 12-hour days from Monday to Friday — or into shorter weekdays with lots of time spent working on the weekends.

However, what Pooley failed to mention is that most working-class Americans are more than over the 40-hour workweek. People are willing to choose comfort and enjoy their lives outside of work than they are willing to suffer behind a desk for up to 80 hours a week. 

This outdated notion that to be the most successful person in the company means that you have to work until your eyes glaze over and neglect the other important aspects of living life and finding happiness is simply not true.


overworked woman falling asleep at her desk dragana991 / Canva Pro

There are so many more important parts of living than working, and a company that has employed you should be able to value the work that you do without wanting to see you kill yourself, essentially, for a paycheck. Pooley even brought up work-life balance, claiming that while he does believe in it, he has observed that people are motivated by work.

"I have been in jobs that are very motivating to work for, even at that level," he continued. "Point two is that your brain is not fully formed until you're 26. So, if you're at one of those high-burn jobs early on in your career, your brain actually forms around this and starts to become the norm."


RELATED: Woman Warns Workers That Being Antisocial At Work Is A Privilege Only Reserved For People Who Are Excellent At Their Jobs

A staggering amount of people are stressed and burnt out at their jobs.

According to a 2022 global survey from Future Forum, over 40% of the global workforce feels burned out. In the United States, 41% of workers said they felt burned out, compared with 39% who said the same in May 2021. Those experiencing burnout are also more than three times as likely to say they plan to look for a new job in the next year.

Nearly half (48%) of 18-to-29-year-olds said they feel drained compared with 40% of their peers aged 30 and up, while women (46%) reported higher levels of burnout than men (37%). 

The last thing people need is to be told they should be working more hours during the week when working the standard 40 hours is already such a burden. It doesn't help that people already feel pushed to work more because of the rising cost of living and the need to support themselves against the extremely high prices of everyday expenses.


Living in America and trying to find success in a capitalist society that demands its citizens put work above everything else can be an incredibly draining reality to experience. All of our worth is put into the hours we work, the position we hold at a company, and the amount of money we're bringing it. 

When did it become normal for work to fill up every crevice of our life? When did we forget that work should just be a section of our life, and the other parts should be filled with things that make us happy? And if work makes you happy, then amazing! But it doesn't have to be the only thing.


You shouldn't sacrifice your mental health and personal life just to be successful at work. If a company refuses to value the amount of work you're putting in and the dedication you have to the job position as it is, without asking you to do more and stretch yourself thin, then unfortunately, that company isn't for you.

RELATED: Worker Cries About Being ‘So Tired’ After Working 40 Hours A Week & Only Making $2K A Month

Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.