Career Advice From Three CU Leaders

young female executive getting advice from a colleague
Contributing Writer

1 minute

Building a successful career no longer means climbing a ladder.

“Don’t build walls. There is a nearly irresistible drive within us all to fortify our positions and become indispensable by whatever means possible. I’ve watched so many careers derail this way. I try to make a point of giving everything away. Sure, there are times this has cost me in the short run; credit gets taken by someone else with fewer scruples. In the long run, though, giving knowledge away builds trust and reputation. Also, let go of your pride once you’ve completed your work. Allow someone else to come along and make it better; even if it means tearing it all down,” CUES member Brandon Hahnel, VP/data Analytics, $1.4 billion Whatcom Educational Credit Union, Bellingham, Wash.

“Know your principles and hold to them; do what is right, no matter how difficult. Get out of your comfort zone regularly. Never take the parking spot closest to the front door. Also, the only thing constant in this industry right now is change so you’d better learn to like, love it, embrace it and anticipate it,” CUES member Josh Rodriguez, president/CEO, $36 million Missouri Valley Federal Credit Union, St. Peters, Mo.

“The advice I always give to young professionals just starting out is don’t over-think things—trust your gut. Throughout my career I’ve resisted conventional wisdom and done what I knew to be the right thing and it’s worked out.” CUES member Teresa Y. Freeborn, president/CEO, $1 billion Xceed Financial Credit Union, El Segundo, Calif.

Pamela Mills-Senn is a freelance writer based in Long Beach, Calif. This is a bonus article from "A Roundabout Route" in the September 2017 issue of CUES' Credit Union Management magazine.

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