Worker Reveals The Compliment From Her Boss That Made Her Realize She's Doing ‘Too Much’ & Needs To Dial Back

Overachievers are often the most unhappy people at work.

Woman employee looking overwhelmed. Vlada Karpovich / CanvaPro

It’s the reality for so many employees in the United States today: a misguided dream of financial security and freedom that is actually a “hustle” corporate culture with no real compensation. 

One employee on TikTok named Tanya recently shared an interaction with her boss that reminded her of all the shortcomings of the corporate world. It put into perspective the “hard work” she’d been doing for a company that wasn’t truly looking out for her. 


“I wanted to pick you to be this month’s MVP, but you didn’t build a strong enough brand.” 

Her boss’ compliment made Tanya realize she’d been ‘doing too much’ at work without extra pay and needed to step back a bit. 

After being called into a virtual meeting by her boss, Tanya was concerned, especially after he led with, “I wanted to tell you this before it got out.” 



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As the conversation went on, her boss revealed that she’d almost been chosen as the company’s "MVP" — essentially the employee of the month — but was overlooked for another person. Although he recognized her hard work, Tanya's boss made sure to tell her it wasn’t enough but to try hard next month “so they could” gift her with the award. 

Typically driven by financial compensation or some kind of freedom from work, this company’s award had no real prize — other than verbal appreciation. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘Thank you for telling me this,’ because I’m just here to log on and get a check,” Tanya told her followers.

When her boss revealed he’d been close to choosing her as the month’s ‘MVP employee,’ she realized she’d been ‘doing too much.’ 

“You’re telling me that I was doing too much last month,” Tanya said, “and I need to reel it back some. I wasn’t getting extra pay for that ... It’s not what I’m here for.” 

Worker Reveals The Compliment That Made Her Realize She's Doing Too Much Without Extra PayPhoto: / CanvaPro


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A burnout epidemic in many corporate and professional offices is greatly due to actions similar to Tanya's boss — making employees work extra hard for empty promises. They’re working hard because they have to for survival — rising costs of living and insurmountable economic burdens don’t give much room for grace.

So, if there’s a chance that your boss will give you a raise, a bonus, or even a few days of extra paid vacation time, you’re going to put in the work. But, if they’re giving you an empty award, you’ll do the “bare minimum” you need to for the bi-weekly check and go home to your personal life.

Not only is this ‘do what you’re paid for’ approach completely reasonable at work, but experts suggest it also bolsters employee happiness and health. 

It’s employees with this mindset that are radically transforming the negative and toxic cultures of the professional world — where employees are dehumanized, overworked, and underpaid. We’re all just human and deserve respect, fair wages, and time away from work. 




“The happiest people at most companies are the people that do the least,” career and motivation expert @tanyaucoaching on TikTok shared. “They show up to work every day and do the bare minimum … they collect their check and go on their way. The most miserable people — the overachievers.” 

Instead of forcing everyone to make work their top priority and the pinnacle of their lives, try giving them more grace — or at least giving the top performers some kind of financial compensation. It might sound shallow to leaders already making 10 times their employees’ wages, but it’s what they need to make a living for themselves. 


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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango, focusing on pop culture and human interest stories.