With all the budget talks and looming state-shutdown in Minnesota, along with the many layoffs that have occurred across our country recently, many people have something new to worry about – the dreaded hat with the title of “non-essential”. While an outsider can easily run down a list and pick and choose some jobs that are not necessarily critical for the world to go on operating for a short period of time, I think if put on the chopping block, we would each scramble to find reasons that our job is essential. While there are many details that go into budget talks and layoffs, details irrelevant to this discussion, there is an important point here –without choice, people are being categorized by businesses as either essential and non-essential, and depending on the category into which they fall, are treated differently as a result.

Businesses everywhere, specifically financial organizations, choose between putting profits or people first. And that decision makes all the difference. If profits are what are considered essential, then people become secondary, and unfortunately become non-essential. It is only when the consumer is considered essential, and the profit is secondary, that people are valued for who they are, and can feel validated as an individual.

So although we can’t change whether the government will shut down or more layoffs occur and those workers become non-essential for a short period of time, we can make sure that this dreaded title is not carried over into the relationship you maintain with your financial organization.

Do you feel “non-essential” when you walk through the doors of your bank or credit union?  Everyone deserves to be validated with the title of “essential”. So maybe it’s time for a change.


As a credit union advocate, Kate believes that businesses will succeed only when their customers are put first.