one hand for (oneself) and one (hand) for the ship

one hand for (oneself) and one (hand) for the ship

Always take steps to ensure one's own safety, security, or wellbeing in addition to focusing on one's duties or responsibilities in a job. A reference to sailing, in which captains advised to steady themselves with one hand while also steering the ship. All I'm saying is that it's good to have things in place in case you ever lost your job—savings accounts, an updated résumé, contacts with other companies. It doesn't mean you should stop working hard, just keep one hand for yourself and one hand for the ship. Doing your job shouldn't mean putting yourself in danger. Demand that your employer respect workplace safety so you can keep one hand for yourself and one for the ship.
See also: and, hand, one, ship

One hand for oneself and one for the ship.

Prov. When you are on a ship, always use one hand to steady yourself, and one to work; likewise, always put some effort into safeguarding yourself as well as into working. The old sailor chastised us for forgetting to hold onto something during the rough weather. "One hand for yourself and one for the ship," he bellowed. This company expects you to work hard, but not so hard that you hurt yourself. One hand for yourself and one for the ship.
See also: and, hand, one, ship
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