In a week I’ll transition from one great job to what has the potential to be an equally great job. After last year I doubted my ability to have a great job. Funny and annoying what one will let others do to their confidence.
I’m not one that needs to be patted on the back or even ever told I’m doing a good job. Just give me a nice place to work that embraces, professional respect and accountability. I’m a firm believer that you can have this anyplace in any business. And surprise, surprise I found it in a shipyard of all places.
The shipyard is unique because it’s real. The work is real. The people are real. I spent 15 years in the world of drama that is the creative industry. I’m not saying that the people or the work there isn’t real in the creative industry (when I hit the publish button on this post I risk – well let me say this – creative industry peeps – my apologies – do not take this personally) But really, the worry of the day there in the world of worries is, well pretty insignificant.
Shipbuilding is a dangerous business. The people there are smart, talented, focused, engaging and interested in who their co-workers are. And how their co-workers are doing. They are ready with an answer to your question and take pride in what you learn, even if they weren’t the one teaching you. They welcome the opportunity to teach you. They care about their co-workers and take pride in what they accomplish as a team and individually. They take pride in showing off their daily accomplishments. They can’t afford to think of only themselves. That can be fatal.
Their code is;
Be Smart-Be Careful-Be Productive-Be Flexible-Be Considerate
And you know what, they are. And much more.
Last year after being dropped to half time, banished to the basement (my dining room table) and leaving on a date set by employer at what I thought was my dream job (more risk here after I hit publish) for a handful of mistakes. Small mistakes they said. I doubted everything. I thought about listing some of those small mistakes. Or listing the mistakes (some similar some not so small) I saw others make as I sat in my dining room table working of the final three months at 20 hours a week. But I’m not competitive when it comes to wining, so I’m certainly not competitive when it comes to mistakes.
So to hear the things I heard last Friday from one of the General Manager’s, it’s alleviated some of the still present sting from last year. Simple professional respect and an acknowledgement of abilities I believe I possess.
In the preface of one of the books a read a few years back, “how” by Dov Seidman he writes. “Think about it. If you make stronger connections and collaborate more intensely with your co-workers, you can win. … “The tapestry of human behavior is so diverse, so rich, and so global that it presents a rare opportunity, the opportunity to out behave the competition.”
Be different out behave your co-workers, take respect and professionalism to a whole new level. Regardless of where you are.
I will miss you shipyard, but you have restored my faith in respectful, accountable profesional business.