I have always been a believer in the power of education.
Hello, my name is John Jaeger, I have been a member of NACM Connect for many years. During that time I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors, many different committees, and also as an instructor for the Institute of Credit, the school for credit professionals run through NACM Connect. The school is the source of the Certifications through NACM to allow for Credit Professionals to stand out from our peers. I feel fortunate to have had these experiences.
I have always been a believer in the power of education. I believe that is something that no one can take away from you. I was fortunate that I was able to obtain my B.A. after I graduated from high school. I then went back for my M.B.A. after being in the workforce for about 5 years. It was hard to do with a young family and I respect the many students who have been in my classes over the years for making their commitment to give up evenings to attend classes because I know how difficult that is.
The Credit Profession is constantly evolving and we need to remain current on changes that effect my industry, my company and my position. We are the subject matter expert on all things involved with the order to cash cycle for our company. We need to know about bankruptcy, fraud, contracts and a list of other topics that are too numerous to name. I believe the best way to remain up to date is through education.
I truly believe that you need to try to learn something or meet someone new on a daily basis. I usually remember to tell my classes or people in my seminars that I hope to learn as much from them as I hope they learn from me.
Most companies respect the employees who make the commitment to keep current with their responsibilities and their craft. Credit is certainly a unique craft. I believe it is a career that you either love or hate, there is no middle ground. Credit is unique in that we deal with almost every department in the organization on some level.
I have used an example from my past about the reputation of credit. I was with a friend in Indiana and he was having a few of the neighbors for a campfire so I went. Most of the individuals knew each other and were talking about their jobs in the RV industry. At that time they were in a downturn and were working 3 or 4 days a week or part-time. As such, they were having financial issues losing wages and benefits. One of the men asked me what I did for living when I said credit everyone got real quiet and no one spoke to me the rest of the night. After we got home my wife asked me why I told these guys that I was in Credit and I said that it is the truth. Never got invited to another campfire after that. (So there was a plus to being in credit).
I was in Credit for almost 20 years before I became aware of NACM Connect. Before that, I depended on a mentor and a limited number of Credit Professionals in my industries. I urge all Credit Professionals to take advantage of NACM Connect and the services and affiliates they have it will enrich your experience and prepare you for the future. Also to get involved through trade groups, education, committees.