Who Do You Work For?


Years ago, when someone asked you “Who do you work for?”; it was a very easy question to answer. You worked for someone…a person or a business, and that was that. Nowadays, the question can be a bit trickier. Even in my old position at California University of PA, I worked for them, but because they were part of PASSHE, I was paid by them, which made me a public state employee. But if anyone ever asked, I would never say that I worked for PASSHE, because I didn’t. Or did I?

At my new job, the local company, Vocollect, was acquired by another (remote) company in Everett, WA called Intermec. On top of that, I’m actually in a unique division called Vocollect Healthcare Systems, whose product is Accunurse; a voice-activated healthcare aide. The reason why this is such a tough situation to explain, is because on a local level and in external communications, Vocollect is known for the engineering and assembly of warehousing equipment. Internally, Intermec policies and systems are at work. However my paycheck is from VHS and to the people I interface with, I work for Accunurse.

Two weeks ago in my business strategy class, we covered and talked about corporate merges and acquisitions. We mainly focused on the mechanics of them…the need to properly define value and goals and other techniques to achieve proper integration. But we would be amiss to forget about the internal impact of M&A; especially in regards to the employees. How does the change in the corporate hierarchy effect your day-to-day work? Which workplace policies have been changed, and which ones have been maintained? How much will the company culture be shifted? How long of an “adjustment period” will the parent company give to the subsidiary?

In my case I am still new, so the transition will not be that noticeable from my perspective. It might take a while, but one day I’ll get my “elevator pitch” refined when it comes to answering the question “Who do you work for?”. But in the end, for me, it’s no about who you work for. It’s about what you do and how to make your professional relationships (between you and your employer, and you and your customer) fruitful. Focus more so on that…because companies come and they go; perhaps more often today than ever before!

Real estate professional with an MBA in Marketing ~ writer and multiculturalist.