Credit unions are rewarding places to work—they benefit members, staff, and their communities. But if you want to feel more satisfied with the great work you’re doing at your credit union and take advantage of everything your workplace has to offer, you’ll want to find your motivation, or your “credit union why.” How? I’m glad you asked!
Name Your Values
Think about four core values in your life—they could be kindness, patience, generosity, or any number of ideas.
Now think about how you can practice those values in your day-to-day job.
What personal goals can you meet just by pursuing your career? Keeping these values in mind—and looking for ways to apply them in your workplace—will help you find more meaning in the work you do and take pride in your accomplishments.
My personal values are family, community, a voice for all, and financial wellbeing. I sum up my “credit union why” this way: I am a passionate credit union advocate who believes in building strong communities through the financial success of all people.
I am blessed to go to work with this “why” statement at the core of everything I do. Whether I’m at Financial Reality Fairs or helping credit Union professionals understand their own “credit union why,” I find great value in my job. I believe there is nothing more powerful than a person with a purpose to the work they do.
You can set yourself on the right path to living your “credit union why” by making a difference in your community. Are there any organizations your credit union partners with that you can volunteer for? Are there service projects that you feel passionate about? The more you do to contribute to your community, the more you’ll get to know your neighbors and feel invested in their success.
Some of my favorite service projects are Financial Reality Fairs, which are short sessions that teach students how to get by on a real-life monthly budget. They offer great opportunities to connect with members of the community and nurture skills they’ll carry with them for years.
This is also a great way to get to know the best sides of your coworkers. Working together towards a completely optional, but totally charitable goal will bring you closer together and give you collaborative skills that will carry over to your job.
Live Your “Credit Union Why” at Work
Credit unions are all about people helping people, but this doesn’t just mean service projects and interest rates. Every interaction you have with an account holder is a chance to help them out, brighten their day, and make small differences that add up. Remember, you’re not just helping people with financial transactions; you’re also helping them build a better financial future.
You can even make a difference by way you present yourself. When you dress professionally, you show others that you take your position seriously. When you keep your workstation organized, you show that you care about protecting important documents and that you are ready to tackle any project.
At the end of each workday, I ask myself, “What have I done to help the people around me?” and “What would I do differently tomorrow?” These questions help me make more of a personal connection to the work that I do. They also help me be more mindful of my actions, so I’m not just running through the motions automatically.
Embrace Your “Credit Union Why”
Now that you’ve thought about all the ways you can make a difference in your role at your credit union, take the time to write down your “why.” What is the motivation that will keep you going? What makes you feel personally connected to the work you do? This answer will be different for everyone, and it can be as big as “changing the world for the better,” or as specific as “teaching people how to pay off debt.” Write it down so you’ll remember it if you ever find yourself losing focus or feeling a little lost. Think about how your job connects to your values, your goals, and your community.