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Working ‘FOR’ OR Working ‘WITH’ a Company. What does it mean?


Working ‘FOR’ OR Working ‘WITH’ a Company. What does it mean?

I was in the office of the National Sales Manager of the firm in which I work. And during one of training sessions about how to answer phone calls and get a conversation on with a customer he gave an illustration of how he usually make phone calls and get conversations going. The line went thus:

“My name is  xxxx and I work with xxxx …” bla bla bla… So the call went on. I took a sharp notice of the word ‘With’ which he used instead of the usual ‘For’ which others are likely to use.

For example, when asked “Where do you work?” Most people will say “I work with P&A oil and gas”. Some will likely put it this way “I work for P&A oil and gas”. Now I have come to understand what those two different answers may mean in the ordinary or sarcastic sense.  In real sense and tense, to work for a company basically means that you are an employee of that company. The same thing may be meant when one says he works ‘in’ a company. Whereas to work with a company in real sense and tense means either you are a consultant part time for that company or you are rendering services to that company without being a full time or contract staff but on some certain cases.

Despite what the above explanation gives, curiosity and observation has led me to think otherwise. During conversations with friends and relatives and colleagues, the answers given about where they work portrays more about how attached they are to a company and how satisfied and happy they are where they work. Further research and observations proves that an employee of a firm feels more attached to, and willing to continue working for a company and then warrants him to think or say that he works ‘with’ a company whereas the reverse is the case when an employee professes working  ‘for’ a firm. More explanations…

Working ‘WITH’ a Company:

Personally, when you work ‘with’ a firm, I see it as being on a divide that accentuates the very essence for which every valuable employee should be with a company. In this sense, when you work ‘with’ a company, you are well in tune with everything that a company stands for and you thrive to make sure the company succeeds and excel in its dealings. You see to solving even the most infinitesimal of challenges that arises daily with colleagues especially when it does not have to do with your unit. You do not complain instead you work towards solving other people’s complaints. You work with passion and gradually grow to love your job. The pay is good, the work condition, good or possibly may not but you just find peace being where you are. Such employees usually stay very long with the firm.

Working ‘FOR’ a Company:

To explain this I’ll like to draw an analogy from a period of time I was at a firm before I gained admission into the university. I worked there for only 3 days and had to resign the 4th day. Now I worked ‘for’ that company because I needed some money for myself. I resigned the 4th day because a new policy was made that we must work on Sunday and I could not just accept it. Working ‘for’ a company (to me) means you are just leaving your house to a location just because you want to pay the bills are the end of the month. You find minimal satisfaction being where you are and you could open the exit door any minute. You see your involvement in the firm as a form of paid slavery that will end one day. This could be the case as a result of not being in the right career line, not finding fulfilment at work or with what you do, not being in the right role or wishing for a better work satisfaction, pay incentive, environment or belongingness. Such employees more or less complain everyday of one system not working or a faulty policy that is being overlooked by management.

Whether you work with or for a company depends on you and your affiliation with what you expect or seek to gain in your career. The human resource manager can go a long way in helping staff finding fulfilment in what they do and mentorship sessions organised by the management will help more in making sure that a marginal percentage of general staff work ‘with’ the firm

So the next time someone asks you “Where do you work?” or “What’s your employment status?” what will your answer be? Do you work for or work with your company?

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