I started my Credit Union career as a summer student in 2011. After I finished school I returned back to my MSR position until May of 2012 when I took a temporary 1 year term as the Learning & Development Coordinator. Knowing that this was only temporary I was on the hunt for ways that I could develop myself further to have a chance at future opportunities. The first opportunity that presented itself was the SYL’s “Your Future is in Your Hands” conference. There were many things that I took away from this conference, but the biggest takeaways were something’s Devin Selte had said. “Take a chance and invest in yourself” and “Don’t let setbacks stop you from continuing on your path to be that leader.” Now these aren’t earth shattering quotes, but for where I was in my career, knowing that I really needed to make my time in my temporary role count because my time was limited – these stood out.
I came back to work with many new ideas and started making changes. At the beginning it was very awkward for me because I wasn’t sure how the new ideas would be accepted. I wanted to do something else that would force me out of my comfort zone and benefit me in the long run in my career. So I applied for the SYL Committee and was shocked when I received my acceptance letter. As Sam mentioned the first meeting was definitely awkward and I felt out of place being as the majority of the committee members were in leadership roles. I felt that I wasn’t going to be able to contribute as much, as I didn’t have the leadership experience and very little time in the Credit Union System compared to the rest. I felt one of the turning points for me was when we talked about professional development and different offerings that are out there. Being as these are conversations that I have daily back in my role I took the lead on the professional development sub-committee. Taking the lead on a sub-committee was definitely something that I have never done; I have always watched someone else be the first one to offer to take the lead.
My experience on the SYL committee has been by far my favourite. Not only did I get to work with amazing people and meet so many others within the CU System, I was able to prove to myself that I am a leader, that I can push myself out of my comfort zone and succeed. I am happy to say that the time I took and invested in myself paid off as my temporary Learning & Development position became a permanent position at the end of my term.
I dare you to feel awkward and take a step out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you.
Amanda Thoen, Innovation Credit Union