Personal Growth for Credit Union Professionals

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Reflecting on the Year That Was

As the year draws to a close, there’s a natural urge to shift our focus to the future. Before you do… what story did this past year tell? How have your chapters unfolded?

Let’s not overlook the art of personal reflection. It can illuminate your path forward and pave the way for a more intentional and prosperous new year.

Before we begin, let’s laydown a ground rule. There are some common barriers and excuses used by credit union professionals. Blaming the economy, time constraints, and comparison to others can distract us from gaining clarity. When we focus on external factors as the cause of our problems, we adopt a victim mentality. A negative mindset can hinder personal growth and professional development.

Instead, let’s focus on empowering personal responsibility.

Celebrate Your Wins

No matter how big or small, you’ve made progress. As a credit union professional, you’ve made an impact on your member’s lives. List your accomplishments and milestones. Consider any feedback or recognition you received from colleagues, supervisors, or clients. Revisit goals you set for yourself. Even if they weren’t fully met, partial success can still be considered a win. Remember: Progress, not perfection.

Learn from Setbacks

Setbacks and challenges provide valuable lessons that can help you grow both personally and professionally. Assess the root causes. Was it a lack of a specific skill, poor decision-making, procrastination or maybe difficulty in setting priorities? Perhaps it was excessive workloads, lack of setting boundaries, communication issues, or negative self-talk.

Resilience is a key trait in personal growth. Identify what went wrong and how you can improve in the future.

Prioritize Your Well-Being

Are you well-rested, healthy, and happy? Take time to assess your physical and mental health. This could involve regular exercise, mindfulness practices, or simply spending more time with loved ones.  As you start to tell yourself “yes,” you will also need to learn to say “no” to things that zap your time and energy.

Note Well: Sometimes well-being can be used as an excuse for not getting things done. You can over-schedule self-care. You can use it as escape from responsibilities or as a source for external validation or sympathy from others. You can even overly focus on well-being to the point of perfectionism. Seek a healthy equilibrium by setting realistic goals.

Seek Feedback

Seeking feedback opens us up to the potential for disapproval, which is why we rarely ask for it. Too often we can’t seem to separate self-worth from feedback. The truth, however, is you develop a growth mindset when you view feedback as an opportunity for learning and growth.

When you ask for feedback regularly, you’ll become more comfortable with it over time. You do not need to wait for your next performance review to ask for it. When asking for feedback, request specific and actionable suggestions. This can make feedback feel less intimidating and more practical.

Embrace Change with Gratitude

Change is an inevitable part of life, and how we embrace it can greatly influence our personal growth. Meanwhile, gratitude is a practice that involves acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of our lives, both big and small. By embracing change with gratitude, you will improve relationships, become more resilient, and find yourself more prepared for circumstances and challenges that lie ahead.

Remember this: the past year’s victories or setbacks have shaped the credit union professional you are today. With a resilient spirit and commitment to personal growth, you can take on this new year as an opportunity to write new chapters. Embrace the upcoming year with open arms, and make it your best year ever.

As Vice President of Brand Experience for Your Marketing Co., Frank Allgood works with credit unions to develop strong leaders, create effective training programs, and build powerful brands. Want to connect? Call 864.326.8740 or email frank@yourmarketingco.com.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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