If you're an experienced executive looking to expand your career through Board service but unsure of where to start, don't worry. I've helped prepare C-suite and other executive clients for Board positions and am happy to offer some guidance.
Serving on a Board can be a highly rewarding experience and offer opportunities to build new industry connections and widen your business expertise. However, before jumping in, there are a few crucial factors to consider.
First and foremost, determine whether you're interested in a compensated or non-compensated role. Compensated positions are available in both private and public firms. Though public positions require more scrutiny, they are also more lucrative. Just like with a job search, have a compensation range in mind.
If compensation isn't a top priority, think about your goals. Nonprofit and startup company Board seats can be incredibly fulfilling, particularly if they align with your values or passions. However, keep in mind that nonprofit Board spots often require a minimum financial commitment.
It's also essential to consider your time commitment. Some private companies may want Board members to serve as consultants, while nonprofit and for-profit positions may require only quarterly meetings and an annual offsite. Be honest about how much time you can devote and avoid over-committing.
Once you've considered all of these factors, assess your level of preparation. Have you served on a Board before? If not, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with Board structures and governance protocols through resources and programs.
Lastly, consider your time horizon. Most Board roles are 2-3 years, and some organizations encourage multiple terms for continuity.
Board service can be a natural extension to your career as an executive. Whether it's a compensated or non-compensated position, nonprofit or for-profit, serving on a Board can be both financially and personally fulfilling. Take the time to explore your options and find the perfect fit for your professional goals and interests. If you get stuck, reach out.