Alessandra Patti

FindYourWay Coaching - Zurich

info@findyourway.company  +41(0) 76 407 44 64

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The analysis of the wording: "He/she works for me"

April 3, 2018

 

English-speaking bosses from all around the world, may I challenge you? And I am ready to receive comments on my inbox, with the explanation of the English preposition "for", when used together with the verb " to work". Why would anyone say "XXX works FOR me"? It might be correct on a linguistic perspective, but it is so wrong in the real world, and it sounds so patronizing. It sounds to me just as the word "restructuring": why would anyone use it? 

 

I love the English language for its variety and yet easiness for reading and building complex sentences with minimum structure, but this one... When you are saying to somebody else, in front of your employee, that he/she works for you, you are practically saying that this person wakes up every morning and performs a serie of tasks, because of your very existence! That the work done has been performed for you, or for somebody else, for that matter. Do you realize how arrogant of a statement this is? Or at least sounds, for a foreigner.

 

I think that, if  we really want to use "for", we might use it with a company name, such as "I work for Apple". Since Apple is an entity, nobody would actually take the pride in saying that somebody is working for my purpose. The truth is that everyone works for themselves, or for their families, or for their dreams, purposes, for money, for being able to do things, for the fact that we are in a society that is paid for providing a service. I mean there are many reasons. So when I was asked "who do you work for?" I always answered with "I work for myself. But if you mean who my manager is, he/she is right there, it's XXX". And if you are someone's boss, you could say "this person works in my team". There is indeed something about the preposition "for" that indicates purposes. And someone's purpose of work, deeply inside, cannot be to make someone else happy because it's their boss. There is nothing shameful in saying that you don't work for your boss, but you work with him/her, or following his/her guidelines. There is nothing wrong, and no manager will lose his/her credibility if they say that "somebody is working with them". 

The truth is that nobody should be afraid of indicating what their real purpose or passion is. Are you looking for it and would like to know more? Check it here.

 

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