At a certain career stage, rising young professionals want to know how to be appointed to a board of directors. Unlike a job hunt where you should be the active party seeking a position, a board seat is supposed to come to you. There are, however, some things you can do to help the process along to gain a seat at the table.
Keep in mind that you have to be at the right level for the size, scope and type of enterprise seeking a board member. A small business owner might be invited to a local non-profit board in their town simply by starting to volunteer. But, a corporate executive would more likely be on a regional or national non-profit board through business colleagues. Board positions of privately held or public companies are a greater level of difficulty to achieve as your network needs to include those decision-makers and stake
Here are some tips to get you onboard:
It is tough getting on boards. The small startup companies want people with either access to venture capital and private equity money or star power in the field. The mid-sized and big public companies want experts and top executives to guide and support their company’s top executives. Private company boards, especially small ones, tend to be an inside job, in that the board members are family, friends, and members of their support system.
The best strategy is ongoing networking in the right place with the right people, so that eventually it is the right time for you to be asked.
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