‘I Love My Job’: I’m Able to Be the Best Version of Myself, Professionally and Personally

Sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union

Dr. Julia Metcalf

Photo courtesy of Navy Federal Credit Union.

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June 14, 2024 at 10:19PM UTC

Welcome to I Love My Job, the series where we hear from real women who really love their jobs. In this edition, we sat down with Dr. Julia Metcalf, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Navy Federal Credit Union.

Metcalf comes from a background of strong values and a family dedicated to helping others, of which Metcalf is the youngest of eight siblings. “My brothers are Marines, my sisters are in the Army and I joined the Air Force,” she explains. “I'm the first military officer for my family, and I proudly served my country for 11 years as a military intelligence officer.”

After her time in the Army, Metcalf remained focused on finding a career path that empowered her to help others. Her background shows this, and includes nine years as a company recruiting manager, five years as an executive director and several roles in HR. 

Now, she is the “proud AVP for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging here at Navy Federal,” Metcalf shares. “I've been here for five months now, though it feels longer because there's been so much fantastic work. My small but mighty team has the pleasure of helping to create the structure, strategy and processes to ensure employees can bring their whole selves to work and have a psychologically safe environment to flourish.”

I have the greatest opportunity that anyone can have in any job — I have the opportunity and privilege to take care of people,” says Metcalf.

In the following video, Metcalf shares more on why she loves working at Navy Federal. We also provide lightly edited highlights from this video discussion in the following article.

Tell us about a project you’re currently working on that you find exciting?

I’m building out the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging team at an enterprise level for a company of about 22,000+ employees.

It is a labor of love — and of anxiety, stress, excitement and emotion because, with this particular build-out and this project, we have the responsibility of creating a program that supports all of our employees and allows them to have courageous conversations… to learn, to understand and to share. 

It has been a lot of work over the past five months… But the most beautiful part of the build-out, and also the most exciting part of establishing the program, is the people. The people are the reason that I get up every day and get the privilege to do this job… And, on those days where it's meeting after meeting, I remind myself that a lot of these are one-on-one meetings with employees and team members that need me to get my job done right the first time so I can be an advocate for those that haven't found their voice yet.

How would you describe the culture at Navy Federal Credit Union?

The culture at Navy Federal Credit Union is like no other. I've been here five months, and my first time physically stepping on campus was at the end of my fourth month. And there were more than enough employees and leaders that made me feel included and invited me to the discussion…

It's that belonging piece that resounds the most when you think about the Navy Federal culture. Not only are you cared about and supported as an employee, but we have leader after leader and employees and peers and friends that make sure you feel included and feel that sense of belonging — that I can bring my whole self to work and be unapologetically me

It is truly being a family, and I'm excited to enter this phase of my career with the amazing Navy Federal.

What is your favorite thing about Navy Federal Credit Union?

The employees. I have had the pleasure of, every day for the past five months, meeting someone new who is comfortable enough to talk to me about their experience, [including both things that are going well and their challenges. I use] that unfiltered conversation to be able to say: How do we make it better together?

What I love is the passion that our employees and our leaders have for getting it right, and the importance of making sure that when our employees come to work… they’re being receptive to the unique experiences and backgrounds each employee has to make sure that they're able to reach their full potential.

I'm so excited to learn and meet more people each and every day so that we can figure out how to partner in this journey together.

How does Navy Federal Credit Union support employees?

The benefits at Navy Federal Credit Union are absolutely world-class. And I say that because there's something built in it for everyone at every stage of their life. So, whether you are starting your very first career or whether you are like me and you are a working parent who has a partner who also works and you have two beautiful, destructive kids (as well as a full-figured Frenchie), it gives the flexibility to be the best version of you on a day-to-day basis, both personally and professionally. I have the support, the accountability and the flexibility from my leadership team and my peers to be able to work toward what I need to do for that day, and no two days are the same.

It's important that I'm able to balance my physical as well as my mental health. That's one thing that I always talk to my employees about — that we're here to support you professionally, but we're also here to take care of you personally. We have wellness programs, we have mindfulness programs and we have physical gyms. But, we also give you the grace and space when you're working remotely to be able to take time to take care of yourself and those that matter the most to you. As a working mom, I’m able to see my kids get off the school bus every day, and I'm able to give them a kiss when I put them on the school bus in the morning. I'm grateful for a company that allows me to have that level of flexibility so that I can be the best version of myself for my employees, professionally, and also the best version of myself for my family, personally.

What advice would you give to other women who are looking to work at Navy Federal Credit Union?

Know your worth, know your value and know what you're looking for in an organization and in a company… Don't be afraid to ask for all the things that you deserve when it comes to both professional and personal aspects. Go in and set your boundaries as well… We're extremely hard workers. We balance multiple tasks and bodies of work over and over again; however, it's really important that we recognize that we have a responsibility to save something for ourselves as well.

So, as I look at my career for Navy Federal, I found the perfect balance for me… Don't be afraid to set your own terms when you're looking for your forever career.

Interested in joining the team at Navy Federal Credit Union? They’re hiring! Click the link below to browse opportunities.

Fairygodboss is proud to partner with Navy Federal Credit Union. Find a job there today!

Check out other posts in the ‘I Love My Job’ series:

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