LAKE JACKSON — Starting as a bank teller, Vickey Livingston’s career at TDECU has spanned more than four consecutive decades. With that comes a certain perspective on corporate careers.
“Stand firm on what you believe in,” she said. “Don’t always go with the flow. Be your own person and work through the challenges to have the best outcome.”
Livingston, who retired this months after 45 years with the credit union, started as a teller at the age of 18 and ended her career as a vice president of plastics, which oversees the debit and credit cards TDECU issues.
She witnessed significant changes in technology as she worked her way up in the company, such as the emergence of ATMs and the usage of credit and debit cards, Livingston said.
In her 45 years, she has amassed a certain outlook on having a long-term job and what it means to stay with a company, something she believes has been lost with current generations, Livingston said.
“If someone stays with a company for as long as I have, you see so many changes,” she said. “I just never was that type of person to think, ‘Oh, well I am tired of this. I want to go to another job.’ I would move to another department and learn that department and stay within the organization.”
If you move from company to company, you don’t get to experience overcoming challenges with co-workers and having the opportunity to better yourself within a corporate setting to create loyalty, Livingston said.
“I don’t really understand why someone needs to go from one job to the next,” she said. “Try the next challenge.”
If she’s learned anything from her time at TDECU, it’s kindness, Livingston said.
“Compassion for people,” she said. “Everyone has different things that come into their lives, and just knowing an organization like the credit union tries to do everything that they possibly can to accommodate that person in their time of need. That’s truly what we do strive to do.”
She knows the credit union is based on people helping people, and it’s that aspect that made her career uplifting, Livingston said.
“I truly believe that is what we stand for,” she said.
It was a bit surreal to celebrate her career at the credit union with her peers and family at the end of June, Livingston said.
“It was a little overwhelming,” she said. “People came up to me and said some really, really, really nice things.”
It was wonderful working with Livingston, co-worker Denise Wortham said.
“She was actually my first supervisor when I started here 37 years ago,” she said. “She was very member-focused. She fought to make sure the member was taken care of.”
It’s bittersweet seeing her go but she’s excited to see what Livingston does with her life now, Wortham said.
“I am excited for her and what her next chapter holds for her,” she said. “I definitely will miss her.”
She has been in a special position to help people with loans and credit and it is those experiences she will hold close to her heart forever, Livingston said.
“To think that I made a difference in some of those folks’ lives as far as being a mentor to them and helping them through challenges, not only through work but personally, it meant a lot to me,” she said.