It is not uncommon for people in their mild life (35-55) to consider joining a board or committee. Which makes sense as you have no doubt developed some great skills and experiences that would be highly valuable to an organisation, however, it is difficult to know how to go about securing your first role. It is very much like when you first entered the job market – it was likely a challenge to find that first organisation or person to give you a go!
Before embarking on your board or committee search have a think about the following:
- Why do you really want to join a board or committee? For example: develop new networks, help to make a career transition, apply skills learnt through post grad study, give back to the community etc
- What types of boards or committees are you most interested in, and why? For example: a board position within the disability services area, as I have a family member with a disability and am passionate about the insights and experience, I can bring to improve the services provided.
- What tangible value do you offer? What your transferable skills or key capabilities to a board or committee? If you are not sure do some reflection of your skills and some research on what they look for! For example: Risk & Governance, Finance, Talent Management, Corporate Strategy etc.
There are many channels available to search for board and committee roles. The key really is to select the right channel/s for you and where you are at in your life and career. There are other channels available I have just included those that I have used and can recommend.
Board Membership Organisations
Organisations such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Women on Boards are terrific however do require a financial investment to join.
Not for Profit Board & Committee Roles
If you are looking to give back to your community and are happy to start in an unpaid board or committee role, Our Community is fantastic. There is no fee and they offer an extensive range of Board and Committee roles across Not for Profits in Australia. I secured one of my earlier committee roles via this site and to this day am thankful for the opportunity.
Government Board & Committee Roles
For Government related board and committee roles see your local state government site such as Get On Board for the Victorian State Government.
There is the Victorian Women’s Register where women can register there interest in opportunities. Check your state for equivalent government initiatives.
It is important to remember you will need to create a board CV or adapt your general CV to make it relevant for board or committee roles. Also remember, just like when your job searching, a great cover letter is required and reason for why you want to join them and the value you can bring. Boards and committees are just as selective as other employers when looking to appoint talent so be sure to keep this in mind.
Being on a board or committee is a wonderful thing to do both for yourself and the boards or committees you are contributing to. Wishing you the best of luck with securing your first board or committee role.
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