Work Is What You Make It…

[Post by Chuck Krugh, September 11, 2023]

I’ve talked a lot about attitude and how it affects your success in the last several blogs. That topic has likely been most relevant to those of you actively thinking about your overall career as opposed to your day-to-day role. However, your day-to-day role is vitally important to you and to our company. Furthermore, the attitude you bring to work every day is not only important for you in your current role, but also to your coworkers, your leadership and ‒ probably most significant ‒ to your family! Work is an important part of our lives. How we approach it matters to a lot of people.

This leads me to ask: have you checked your attitude lately? I know this is a loaded question, but have you? How would you describe your work attitude? Is it the same as the one you have at home? What makes you happy at work? Who or what affects or changes your attitude? I bet you think I ask a lot of questions, but questions lead to thinking and answers. Answers help provide insight as to why you are the way you are and can lead you to ask whether you are where you want to be.

In the blog It Doesn’t Cost Anything…, I wrote about some things you can do at work to not only influence your own attitude, but also that of others. The first bullet item is Have a positive attitude – smile. Probably nine out of ten days I come to work with a positive attitude and seven out of the ten I leave work with a positive attitude. Not too bad. What does your survey of your own attitude look like?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, only you control your attitude ‒ and only you can change it.

For most of us, work is sort of a “necessary evil” in that we have to do something that pays us to support our families and our lifestyles. Since most of us weren’t born rich, we are here ‒ together ‒ working to earn a paycheck. We all have at least that single, common purpose for being at BIW! But I am confident that there are more reasons we share, for example: I like the people that I work with, love my job or trade, love my country, feel like I’m serving our country again (for those of us who are veterans), or maybe that building Arleigh Burke destroyers is just badass. I think many of us would at least add the last one as a common reason we’re here.

Since we have to work, why not make the best of it? If you are wondering how to make the best of it, let me offer a few ways:

  • Come to work with a positive attitude. Leave outside problems at the gate.
  • Get involved with your team of coworkers, department, trade or company.
  • Become actively engaged in helping the company do better. Problem solving can be very satisfying. Getting involved in finding solutions that cause the problems you routinely encounter not only helps you by reducing your frustration, but it helps the company improve.
  • Get involved with BIW Employee Spirit Team (BEST) activities like picnics, trips to ball games and other outside-work activities.
  • Get to know other employees from parts of the company you might not interact with frequently. We are a big company and that means many opportunities for new connections and friendships.

You have the power to be a positive influence if you want to. Why not be positive?

I hope I have demonstrated over this series of blogs how important your mindset or attitude is for your wellbeing and career management. As with everything in life, our thoughts require actions to make accomplishments. Your thoughts are a direct reflection of your attitude – stay positive!

In the next blogs, I will go back to discussing the process of how we manage our business.

See you on the deckplates!

Safely Execute High-Quality Work

President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

Click here to view more From the Helm blog posts.