In mid-January, I had the fun experience of moving my only child to Chicago to start her professional career in business consulting. As a recent college grad (Go Blue!), this is her first permanent, regular paycheck gig. Not only that, but it is also her first time living on her own, on her own dime (hallelujah), and setting up an actual home.
Having a front row seat to her first few days in Chicago, after driving the U-Haul to the big city and assembling a lot of furniture, I couldn’t help but get caught up in her excitement and reflect on my own early beginnings to a career.
I have a few solid memories on becoming a lawyer that stand out. First, learning that I passed the bar was a biggie. Getting sworn in was another. I also vividly remember the first time I put my appearance on the record in court as a litigator. It was in Pontiac district court and my client was a credit union. Flash forward to my MCUL career, I specifically remember picking up the phone in my law office when caller-ID showed that Dave Adams was calling. He was calling about an opportunity at the Michigan league and that call changed the trajectory of my career. (Thanks, Dave).
Remember your beginnings and the excitement and nerves that came along with it?! What memories stand out? So many “ifs” and uncertainties, right? For some of us, it’s imposter syndrome; the feeling that we are not qualified or capable. So many questions and not always answers to those questions.
For CEOs, walking into your office for the first time with an empty desk and blank walls. The feeling of excitement and pressure swirling in the air. There is really nothing quite like your first board meeting with all eyes on you!
There is a lot of focus on being present in today and not spending too much time looking back, but there is a lot of benefit to looking back at the road you traveled. That doesn’t have to wait for your retirement; you can take a pause and do it now! For some, it has been a long road; for others, the journey is just beginning. And we know that the road is not always straight. There are detours, dead-ends and plenty of ups and downs in the career journey.
I guess my point in all this reflection is to encourage you to bring some of the excitement you had at the beginning into to your current role and current time. Something nudged you or appealed to you along the way to get you where you are. What was it? I know with so many in our industry it was the desire to make a difference in people’s lives. What a great mission. We are so fortunate to work in an industry with such passion and purpose. While sometimes it may be hard to find one, let alone both, we proceed forward and rely on our credit union family.
I hope you know that you have people rooting for you and a great community of people who have been there! Trust that you are where you’re supposed to be and find joy in helping those who are just getting started -- whether that person is your kid or a new employee. Sharing that journey with them is so rewarding.
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