Whom do we work for? What do we work for?

One of my pet peeves is the expression ‘I work for somebody’ or being asked ‘Whom do you work for?’ These are fairly common expressions in the United States; some cultures find these expressions mildly derogatory.

Fundamentally, every person works for himself or herself and for personal gratification from a cause that he or she associates himself or herself with. The cause may be either personal or organizational, e.g. for a better future for children, to help rebuild efforts following an earthquake, to build a productive household utility, to develop an algorithm for efficient logistics, to save for a family vacation, etc.

The quest for meaning is one of life’s imperatives. Have you identified a mission, a purpose that you can work towards or go to school for? Have you then translated your objectives into a roadmap of actions towards the cause? Have you setup milestones that can help you measure your achievements? Answering these questions will help you look forward to toil towards a mission that you connect with and realize contentment in work-life.

P.S.: The next time somebody asks you whom or what you work for, tell him or her you work with your boss, you work for a mission, and you work at your organization. Watch the prepositions.

*Keyword(s): Purpose, Mission, Goals, Achievements

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