Taking your seat at the table

Taking your seat at the table

As we move through our leadership career, often our career trajectory is headed for the boardroom. When looking to become a board member, how do you know if this is the right career move for you?  Paid board positions are few and far between, and a board position can be very time-consuming. These roles also come with a high level of responsibility, accountability, commitment and risk.  That being said, it can be an enriching experience if you are passionate about the organisation or not-for-profit’s purpose and people.

If a board room seat is your goal, then here are some steps you should be taking to put you on the path to success:

  • Be excellentat your day job
  • Make it known that you are looking for directorship
  • Network and put yourself out there
  • Create another CV specifically for Board positions
  • Do your research and join board registers
  • Take on other roles within your organisation or pro-bono work that can boot your Boardresume and candidacy
  • Make sure your personal brand is onorder ordevelop it further to stand out.


Likewise, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Assess your knowledge; what can I bring to the table, and am I ready in my career to make this commitment?
  • Do you genuinely have the time and desire to serve this board?
  • What risk will I be taking on joining this board? Even voluntary non-paid positions still have legal and financial risks.
  • A board position is an extension of yourself, like your day job. How will this affect my reputation?
  • Are you financially literate? You need to ensure you are improvingtheboard or organisation by contributing to their objectives.
  • Are you genuinely invested in growing this board and organisation? Make sure this career move isn’t just about building an impressive portfolio.
  • In what capacity can I contribute beyond my day job?
  • Will this detract from other important things in my life, or can I strike a healthy balance?