4 Reasons to Work at a Credit Union
The start of a new year brings with it, for many, a desire to change or start fresh. Sometimes, that looks like a change in habits — dropping old ones or taking on new ones.
Sometimes, a new year means finding a new career. Maybe you’re stuck working in an industry you no longer feel passionate about … or maybe you’ve reached the ceiling at your current employer but still have things to prove.
If this sounds like you, perhaps joining the Michigan credit union movement is the right move for you. With dozens of positions, at all levels and throughout the state, MCUL thought it would give potential employees four reasons why credit unions are a great place to work.
Making a Difference
Credit unions are most associated with one thing: their non-profit cooperative structure. Credit union members are also its owners.
What does this mean for a potential employee? Well, quite a bit. It means working at a credit union, as opposed to a for-profit institution (such as a bank), is a chance to be part of a team that takes pride in making a difference — a difference in each members’ life as well as each community it serves. And each employee has an opportunity to be a part of that difference.
The Michigan credit union movement makes a significant impact in its communities through year-round community outreach initiatives, such as fundraisers and random acts of goodwill — all of which are done through the cooperation of team members throughout each credit union.
Opportunities for Women Leadership
Last year, MCUL CEO Patty Corkery noticed that Michigan credit unions were surpassing the national average at credit unions regarding women in leadership positions, particularly at larger institutions. At larger Michigan credit unions (between $750M and $1B in assets), women are in the leadership position 60% of the time, compared to 22%, nationally, or the 0% of women leaderships at this size of bank.
“Our credit unions, membership and communities benefit from the gender diversity that we bring to our board rooms and decision making,” said Heather Luciani, Honor Credit Union’s Chief Strategy Officer. “The data reflects our commitment to overall diversity and inclusion for credit union stakeholders and I am proud to be part of, and help to represent, an industry that recognizes and elevates women in leadership roles.”
The difference between credit unions and banks extends not only to the member, but to the employee.
Looking for a job in the credit union industry?
Remote Work Possibilities
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Michigan, credit unions, like many businesses, quickly made the transition to remote work for many positions. Since then, MCUL has heard from many executives that, through the transition, they’ve seen the flexibility to work remote beneficial team members and the organization as a whole.
The trend we’re seeing in Michigan now is the integration of hybrid work environments — a mixture of remote work and in-person work. Executives say this allows for team member flexibility while not sacrificing the collaborative and cultural benefits that come with in-office work.
Remote or hybrid work also appeals for the potential employee, who no longer has to look for work in offices close to home.
The Industry is a Family
In Michigan, when a credit union executive retires, we regularly hear stories about how they spent their entire careers in the credit union industry. Sometimes this means 30 or 40 years at just one credit union, growing from a teller to a CEO!
We call the credit union industry a “movement” because we’re all working towards the same goals: to create a stronger financial environment for members. And that goal fosters a passion in many of us as we work together, day in and day out, to make this movement a stronger force for the state’s nearly 6 million credit union members.
This type of unified passion creates a family-like industry rather than one of competition between credit unions. Employees don’t just find a place to work at a credit union, but a family striving to make this state a better place.
“Everyday, I see how our credit union leaders are committed to their teams. They are committed to diversity, fair pay and work-life balance,” said Corkery. “Having been in the industry for over twenty years, I cannot think of a better place to work than a credit union.”
Logistically, finding a place that values you as a person means an opportunity for growth. Starting at a credit union can mean growing your skill set in order to rise in the credit union.
But don’t take it from us…
“The credit union industry may not be one that most young people think of when planning their career or looking for a job. I believe that’s unfortunate since many people that luck into getting a job at a credit union find that it’s much more than a job,” said ELGA Credit Union EVP Terry Katzur. “It’s a career and a home. That certainly was the case for me when I took a co-op position with ELGA Credit Union while in high-school. Now I’m becoming the CEO of the same credit union that gave me that opportunity 25 years ago. Many credit unions invest in their employee’s skills and education along with promoting from within, so it’s the perfect industry for a person looking for somewhere to develop and grow while making a difference in their community. Having a career in the industry is rewarding because of the work we do to help individuals, businesses and communities alike.”
“Since I started working at CCU, I have been inspired by the credit union difference and all the good it brings to my community,” said Rachel Chojnacki, Marketing Specialist at Calcite Credit Union in Rogers City. “My life has forever been changed for the better by starting here as a part-time teller and growing into my current position as marketing specialist.”
At MCUL, we hear stories like Terry and Rachel’s all the time. If you’re looking to join a family, a place where you can grow and expand your skills for the betterment of Michigan and its many communities, apply for a job at a Michigan credit union today.