From the book "Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn't Want You to Know — And What To Do About Them. By Cynthia Shapiro, St...

Share story

From the book “Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know — And What To Do About Them. By Cynthia Shapiro, St. Martin’s Press. © 2005 by the author. Reprinted with permission and available wherever books are sold.

Part 2 of two parts.

Without learning the secrets that unlock the key to career prosperity, you will merely be one of the “regular employees” — Invisible.

All companies have employees who are fireproof, marked indispensable and protected at all costs. But the path to get there is kept top secret; in many cases only those at the very top have full access. And the truth is, without learning what those highly protected secrets are, you will merely be one of the “regular employees.”


From the book “Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know — And What To Do About Them”

by Cynthia Shapiro, St. Martin’s Press,

Copyright © 2005 by the author.

Reprinted with permission and available wherever books are sold.

The regular employees are the workhorses companies simply aren’t invested in. They are the employees who fail to inspire special treatment, so they don’t receive it. They work hard but remain virtually invisible. They are routinely overloaded and undercompensated. They are easily replaceable and because they don’t seem critical to the company’s success, the company doesn’t feel compelled to support their job goals or career aspirations.

As long as you are one of the invisible employees, working harder won’t accomplish anything. Unless you learn the secrets of showcasing yourself as indispensable, you are doing nothing better than spinning your wheels. Once you’ve been labeled indispensable your work life will never be the same. Welcome to job nirvana. The indispensable employees work less for higher rewards.

First, they are the ones protected in every layoff or reorganization — they’re fireproof. Second, no company will overwork their star employee; they are much too hard to come by and much too valuable for the standard workload of the masses. Indispensable employees actually work less, achieve higher recognition for their efforts, and receive more overall support because companies believe these individuals will make the entire organization successful. The best projects, the best office, the most prestigious clients, and anything that might make your job easier — it’s all yours.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

I’m about to give you the heavily protected secrets to make this all happen. Whatever your career aspirations might be, these are the secrets that will get you there.

Secret 31: You can inspire loyalty from your employer.

Just imagine if you never had to worry about your job security. You knew that no matter what, your job would be protected. Think this is only reserved for executives? It’s not. Employees at any level can enjoy this secret world. It is the very definition of what it means to be truly indispensable, and thus fireproof. It is what happens when a company is inspired to give you its loyalty.

Employees complain that there is no loyalty in corporate America anymore, no loyalty shown for hard work or years of service. While it can certainly feel that way, it’s definitely not the case. There is fierce loyalty in companies, but it’s now given much more carefully, sparingly, and secretly than it used to be. It’s no longer automatic.

Having become somewhat distrustful of the true motivations of employees, companies now require an act of faith before they will feel inspired to invest in or specially protect an employee. Here’s how it’s done.

I asked you first: Most employees make the mistake of waiting for loyalty from their company before they are willing to show any in return. That’s backwards. It has to come from you first. If they see you as 100 percent loyal, putting their interests first and protecting what they value, they will then return in kind — and not before.

The company’s problems are now yours: Most employees focus on their own personal issues and imagine the company will take care of its own problems. They see themselves as separate. Many don’t care about, or are even unaware of, the problems and fears facing their company. They don’t think of becoming part of the solution. You can’t keep your distance from the company, believing their problems and fears have nothing to do with you, and expect them to feel inspired to go out of their way for you.

If the company is having trouble getting clients, that is now your problem, not just theirs. See what you can do to be part of the solution instead of waiting around for them to solve it for you. If the company is having trouble motivating employees, don’t grumble with the rest of them about how uninspiring the work environment has become, get out there and figure out what you can do to make it better.

If you were the owner of this business, these problems would be yours. That’s the mind-set you want to keep coming back to — “ownership,” not that of an employee along for the ride wondering why things aren’t going your way.

Employees have fallen into a bad habit of thinking they deserve loyalty and support just because they’re there. You have to earn it. You have to be part of the company, not just in it. If you don’t care about what they care about, why should they care about you?

Without an open commitment to the company, you will always be seen as “just one of the employees” rather than an individual with a vested interest in the company’s success. Again, you will be an outsider from those who work at the levels to which you aspire.

If you want loyalty, you give loyalty. That’s the way it works.