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Not Looking for a Board Seat Yet? Here Are 5 Reasons You Should Be.

When most people think about a Board Director role, they think of it as a great professional opportunity, but one that is for retirement or the end of their career. With more and more people hoping to stay active during their retirement, board positions are a great way to replace W-2 income with 1099 income and to remain engaged. As boards seek greater diversity in thought, we are seeing a trend toward adding executives who are still active in operating roles. So, if you still haven’t begun searching for your first Board Director role, here are five reasons why you should start now:

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1. Board Roles Expand Your Network.

Most people who are on boards get there because they enjoy networking and already have a strong professional circle that afforded them a board opportunity. When you serve on a board with these types of leaders, you will be able to expand your existing network with influential people outside your current industry, with different backgrounds and insights. This new, stronger network can be an asset for the rest of your career when you are looking for new executive jobs and new board opportunities.

 
2. It Strengthens Your Executive Brand.

Being a member of a corporate board shows hiring managers and executive recruiters that you are a leader who can assess an organization strategically and successfully manages change. A board role is an impressive addition to any resume, CV, or LinkedIn profile. As soon as you join a board, it will have a positive impact your visibility and make you easier to find when executive recruiters are sourcing candidates to fill an exciting, executive opportunity.

 

3. Boards Want Fresh Perspective Like Yours.

Corporations are looking beyond sitting CEOs, the traditional choice for board roles when filling in the gaps. They are looking for next generation leaders who understand today’s business climate and modern market disruptors. And it’s not just younger members they are looking for; companies are hoping to build boards that are fully reflective of their target market with people of different genders, races, backgrounds and life experiences. This combined with many board members approaching board retirement age, is making more seats available for younger candidates with fresh perspectives.  

 

4. It Makes You Better at Your Current Job.

Oftentimes in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to become siloed in your executive role. Serving in a Board Director role gives you a chance to gain cross-functional experience and new business perspectives. From listening to other board members and seeing how the organization operates, you will be able to learn different ways to approach problems and find new solutions. Those takeaways can not only help you during your time on the board but can also give you learnings that you can apply now, but in the future as you build your executive career.

 

5. The First Board Seat is the Hardest to Get.

Just like when you made the leap to the executive-level, you will find that landing your first board role is the hardest. . While you are working, you can take your time looking the right role that matches your skillset and hear about more opportunities by utilizing your network while it is at its strongest. After landing your first role while you are employed, you can then line up more advanced opportunities when you are ready to retire.

 

Want help preparing for and finding your first Board Director role? Our Executive Career Services team can guide you through the process, help optimize your career documents and provide interview preparation with our Board Ready Package. Learn more about Executive Career Services >>

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Complimentary Webinar Recording: Expert Tips for Finding Your Next Board Seat

This webinar covered:
- How to develop a strategy to get a board seat
- How the board recruitment process actually works
- What are the current challenges and concerns for boards
- What qualities are sought after in a board candidate
- How diversity issues are affecting the board room
- And more...

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About the author

Kathy Simmons's picture

With over 25 years of executive coaching experience, Kathy Simmons currently serves as the Executive Director of BlueSteps Career Services. Kathy is widely known as one of the world’s top career management experts.

She has coached thousands of executives across all industries for over two decades, providing counsel and strategic advice on all aspects of career management and the recruitment process.

Kathy founded and led a pioneer online network for executives. She is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, and has been widely quoted in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times on topics related to executive career management.

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