Corporate Loyalty is Fleeting

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Apr 08

You’re running the toughest project in the corporation right now. And doing it after being called in late when things, of course, are not going very well. It’s the enterprise project that affects everything from customer orders to financial’s.

You’ve given your all to the project because you know it’s important and your management team has told you it is important. You’ve been working long hours; weekends as well. You aren’t getting a lot of recognition for the work you’ve done so far, but you can tell that things are turning around — and quickly.

Finally, in a conference room where updates happen with management, you give your status and things turn to the good. Before leaving, the corporate sponsor of the project turns to you and says “working hard?” Yes. “Long hours?” Yes. “How is the team holding up?” Good, now that we’re making progress. “Thanks for all your work; it’s appreciated.” Shakes your hand and walks out of the room. A textbook use of power in the moment that gives strong recognition to you for your work.

It’s a good feeling and one that is passed on to the team. It’s going so good, in fact, that a month later you are given a gift certificate for you and your spouse for a weekend away at the coolest downtown hotel. You use the certificate and certainly enjoy the brief respite from the ongoing work.

Three months later, the project goes in successfully. A big turnaround.

But you’re also told that you should be looking for a different job because with the project being done, you’ll most likely be laid off since the work is complete. You casually mention that this same management team is the one that pulled you off of your previously job to save the project, which you did. For that, you should be laid off if you don’t find another job?


Pretty amazing, isn’t it? You pull someone off their current position to come in and turn something big around, complete that successfully, are recognized for the turnaround in the middle of the project, and then told that you don’t have a place when you come off the project. Corporate loyalty at its most raw.

If you think that can’t happen because you’re a good employee and loyal to the company, think again. That happened to me and it was eight years ago.

I found a different job.

  • Steve says:

    One should never imagine that as an employee that you are somehow magically “Family” and undividable from the firm.

    Sometimes the corporate leaders will brief you that you are doing the groundwork that lead to your own separation from the organization.

    Usually, for various reasons, they cannot.



  • […] also note that even though I say that “we owe our company our work, but we don’t owe them our loyalty,” I also think that you can be very engaged in your work and still believe that statement. […]

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