When I first started my new job:
In early March of 2015, I finally landed my first ‘big girl job’. Full time, benefits and to my surprise, at a Credit Union. What? I didn’t even know what Credit Unions did. I didn’t grow up dreaming that I’d one day work at a bank or in anything related to finance. It was probably the last thing on my radar. Why? Because of my personal relationship with money. Ah, money and me. A long-standing relationship that I hadn’t really bothered to improve. To me, money management was something I would like to touch with a 40-foot pole. Let’s just say it wasn’t a warm and fuzzy feeling.
But within the first few weeks of working at Community Credit Union, I realized that I was somewhere that I had never been before. Somewhere good. Somewhere different. Somewhere empowering. What my mind perceived about banking was slowly becoming transformed by learning the ins and outs of Credit Union operations. For the first time, I was becoming unafraid of banking and money. And as I came to work each day, I slowly chipped away at the gnawing fear that I would ‘never understand’ money or that I could master the relationship.
Strengthening the relationship:
Obviously, our relationship with money forms very early on in our lives. And until we pull it up, or in my case, be around it every day, we can’t really change anything about how we relate to it. Basically, I had this deep-seated belief that I could ‘never win’ with money. That I’d always be in debt, or defeated, or never be able to have ‘enough’.
But what I found through working at Community Credit Union has changed my life forever. One of the key ingredients to my change came through my boss and mentor Nick Sarantopoulos. His basic premise was that learning and educating yourself about what is really going on in the financial landscape can really change your ideas and views about ‘how things are done’. But also, the key difference between my relationship with Community Credit Union vs. Bank of America (that’s where I had banked before this job), was that Community Credit Union positioned themselves as ‘the guide’ and positioned me as the ‘hero’ of the story. This was catalytic in changing my relationship with money. I viewed the Credit Union as being on my team. A friend. Someone with whom I could trust with the good, bad and ugly parts of my personal financial landscape. And that’s what we need right? Someone in our corner that wants to help us through our financial questions without trying to gouge our eyes out in fees and other things.
Why I like Community Credit Union:
I was impressed with the membership requirements. That you only need to live, work or worship within 25 miles of the Lynn, MA headquarters. I was impressed with the willingness of the retail staff to help the members, including myself, with their banking needs. But also, how, they helped. With intention, with hope and with a willingness to work with each person no matter their background or status. Basically, in so many words, Community Credit Union, whispered to me, “you can win at your financial life.” This is a powerful message and it’s why I will not bank anywhere else. This is the driving message and in the fabric of Community Credit Union DNA. You’re a winner, you’re a hero in the story of your money life.
Something powerful happens when you feel empowered in your life verses disempowered. Empowerment encourages you to act, set goals, come out on top, to face your fear or to face things that may feel uncomfortable. You move from stagnation and ‘it’s someone else’s responsibility’ to NO! My future, my life, my choices, my money, is my responsibility and I CAN manage, and I CAN grow. I am so grateful for a chance to change my relationship with money and for the opportunity to work at a truly amazing place.
Jodi works at Community Credit Union as the Marketing + Business Development Manager and lives in Somerville, MA.