Kaarle Wasama: The importance of interaction is emphasised on a warship
I am a small but important part of Finnish security, says Kaarle Wasama, Lieutenant, Senior Grade, at the Finnish Navy.
I work at MLC Hämeenmaa, a warship used by the Finnish Navy. The ship is my office and workplace, but I also travel a lot in my role.
My work is to plan ahead and look into the future, meaning that when the ship is given a new mission, I analyse the situation and think about what we need to do and take into consideration in order to complete the mission well.
My daily work feels meaningful, because it affects other people’s opportunities to perform well.
Hämeenmaa employs dozens of people, including paid crew and conscripts. There are no pointless tasks here, but everyone has their own important role, including the conscripts.
My role is to be the link between the commander and crew. I am the supervisor of the branch directors, each of whom manages their own team.
My daily work feels meaningful, because it affects other people’s opportunities to perform well: the better I do my job, the easier it is for others to work on the ship.
I am working closely with people. Our work community is close, genuine and caring.
The importance of interaction is emphasised on a warship. Of course, our organisation is hierarchical, but because the ship is such a small space physically, everyone must get along with everyone else, and the hierarchy is not strongly reflected in day-to-day encounters.
For me, interaction is a major part of why the work feels meaningful. I am working closely with people. Our work community is close, genuine and caring.
Perhaps the greatest source of meaning in my work is the fact that on the warship, we contribute to the statutory tasks of the Navy and the Finnish Defence Forces at grass roots level, having an impact on national security.
The war has not affected my work as much as you might expect.
The war in Ukraine made the Finnish Navy more important and increased respect for the Finnish Defence Forces in the eyes of the people.
The war has not affected my work as much as you might expect. We have always worked for national defence, systematically and over the long term, and this has not changed. The potential threat is always present in the work of the Finnish Defence Forces.
Of course, we take this situation seriously and keep a close eye on it, but the Russian attack on Ukraine did not cause panic or even amazement in my working environment. It simply made us believe more firmly in the reason why we are doing our work and made us respect the national defence system even more.
I want to continue this work and develop into a strong professional in Finnish defence.
I fell in love with the archipelago and the coast when I was completing my service in the Navy. I was also impressed by the Navy working culture that is built on interaction and professionalism: these are qualities I would want in any work community.
When I was given more responsibilities, I was sold. I started as a summer worker. After the summer, I completed a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree at the National Defence University, and the President of Finland appointed me as a permanent officer.
I want to continue this work and develop into a strong professional in Finnish defence. I dream of more demanding tasks and responsibilities in the future.