Many people shared that they were discarded and ignored multiple times despite being hardworking and nice.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 22, 2021. It has been updated.
It's important to take pride in your work and have a good work ethic. It's something that's been instilled in all of us from our childhood, by our parents, teachers, and pretty much everyone. We've been told hard work is rewarded and recognized, and to be fair, they were, at home and school, in most cases. But, that might not always be the case at the workplace. From taking on extra work and staying late to being at your boss' beck and call, many people have gone beyond the call of duty and they are realizing that it doesn't necessarily mean you are recognized or rewarded for your work. Toxic workplaces thrive on exploiting 'hard working' people because it means having to pay less for work extracted. As life goes on, you wonder if all the effort you put in was ever worth it, to you personally. You're left burned out and watching life pass you by.
One Twitter user, who goes by the name Kate Lister, sparked a discussion on the topic after asking: "How old were you when you realized your original plan of being really nice, working really hard, and taking on much more than you should in the hope you would be automatically rewarded for this without asking, was totally sh*t?" The tweet resonated with many people, garnering more than 351k likes, and was shared more than 50k times. Many shared their personal stories and revealed how their commitment and work ethic was abused, leaving them in dark places and so many with little to show for all the work they put in.
How old were you when you realised your original plan of being really nice, working really hard, & taking on much more than you should in the hope you would be automatically rewarded for this without asking, was totally shit?— Kate Lister (@k8_lister) July 24, 2021
Lister then said it's important to value your own work, particularly in monetary terms. "The Joker said, 'if you’re good at something, never do it for free.' While it is nice to be nice and it is great to work hard and to try and be good at whatever you do, but do not do that sh*t for free, people! Know your worth… and then add tax," she tweeted. Here are 20 people who wished they had realized the same sooner in life.
Worked for a company for 3 years and minimum wage went up, I got told I should be happy about it. Dude you legally have to give it to me it’s requires by law.— colleenCliff (@ColleenCliff) November 22, 2021
I was 20 when I found out that my reward for doing a fantastic job on something was to be given the work of the people who were completely useless at the job. So my workload doubled and they got to leave early every day.— Majikal666 (@Majikal6661) July 24, 2021
In early 30s I watched less senior men get promoted & earn starting salaries higher than mine after 10 yrs at ad agency. Abruptly I understood the glass ceiling is real. Having also realized I already hit apex of my career, I stopped giving a flying fu*k about working for others— An American Gypsy (@GypsyInAmerica) November 21, 2021
38. The best thing to come out of the last 18 months is the realisation that constantly striving to do better and be the best is terrible for my mental health. I'd rather work less, earn less and enjoy life more. You're a long time dead.— Emily Crabb (@emilyx1) July 24, 2021
I hear you.— Bl@z3r (@auntieblazr) July 24, 2021
My dad used to say “stick your fist in a bucket of water, then pull it out. That’s how long they’ll miss you.”
Cynical, but true.
13. They decided that my first place in the year’s English Lit tests “couldn’t be correct’ as I’d never excelled in English before. They remarked the top ten, found another mark for the boy who had came second and gave him first place. Note that *the whole year group* was told.— Farah Mendlesohn (@effjayem) July 24, 2021
Mid 30s... Realised I was being overlooked because I'd worked my ass off and become a safe pair of hands, part of the furniture.— Katherine Boyle (@KatherineEBoyle) July 24, 2021
Maddening, and bloody obvious when you clock it.
Mid 20’s. I internalized the lack of reward into me just being inadequate and worked even harder. I burned myself out for a few years then hit 28 and realized this mindset would put me in an early grave— NotHerAgain 🏳️🌈💖💜💙 (@anoticingsenpa1) July 25, 2021
I don't think I ever *didn't* know this.— intentionally lowercased nat • ey/em/eir (@GARBUTCHRIGHTS) July 24, 2021
I was raised by a struggling single parent who got up at like 4 every morning & didn't come home until the evening.
We still couldn't afford all three meals for all of us most of the time.
Faaar too old and late. Probably in my 30's it's really come home that the reward for hard work is more work, worse health, and less appreciation. People will take advantage of you, and give more benefits to others who do less.— Dario - Agent of G.I.R.L. (@dario006) July 24, 2021
16. I did a group project in my class-I had a deep need to be liked by everyone so I basically did about 80% of the project solo. They then purposefully did a poor job on their 20%, said that I did that portion and landed me with a C. People WILL take advantage if you let them— Abby Adams (@thelilbabs) July 25, 2021
I think I was 26. They had hired a new food and beverage director who hired his friend as my gm who hired his friend as my supervisor and I had to train them both on fine dining and our computer systems accounting procedures etc. I was paid as a server to do this.— Heether (@hbirddog) July 24, 2021
I was 20, and working at a beauty counter where we were murderously understaffed for months only because the corporate hiring process took so long. I worked soo hard all year only to get the same Christmas bonus as the girl they hired in October who worked 15 hours a week..— Emma Olivia (@EmmaOblivious) July 25, 2021
I was 31, and on my 8th 1-yr contract (university teaching), sharing office with someone on her 11th 1-yr contract, when a colleague retired after TWENTY-FIVE 1-yr contracts - sans pension. No coincidence we were all women.— Dr Helen Moffett (@Heckitty) July 24, 2021
37. Got my degree, which was supposedly a passport to a decent job and an escape from benefits. A better life for me and my daughter.— Lapsed Gradually 💙🚩🇪🇺 (@LapsedGrad) July 25, 2021
First thing I learned was that I was 'over-qualified' and I haven't had a permanent job since. I'm 63 now. Don't even get a basic pension.
I've been conditioned into being a people pleaser by my parents. I'm very introverted and nice till the end . All it does it let people walk all over me and I've never had a personality of my own. I just become what the environment requires me to be. 💀— Bels 🧣🌾 (@CorneliaConey) July 25, 2021
A few years ago I noticed that no matter how talented you are, if you don't have rich parents it will take time to get to wherever you want to go. Good to know this early so you don't lose your faith when you see others overtaking you— davis payola (@PrncAzy) July 26, 2021
18. First year of law school and I had sent like a million applications to get an internship and finally ended up getting one with a small time lawyer in my town. Came back from the sem break to realise all my rich batchmates had Supreme Court internships.— 💜Apoorva⁷💜 (@minyoongitis) July 25, 2021
In university. Grandma had always taught us not to be indebted to others, it's ingrained in me to do more even if it's to my detriment. The past few yrs I would remind my 11yo, "you don't have to light yourself on fire to keep others warm." I guess I needed the reminder too.— Christine Lee (@xtineAggy) July 25, 2021
Absolutely spot on. Time and peace-of-mind are much more important than money.— Collymac (@collymac) July 25, 2021