By Julie Wiles, Director, Enterprise Business Agility, FedEx Services, and PA Women Work Board Member
Do you want to find a meaningful endeavor that is sure to benefit you both personally and professionally? Have you ever considered joining a Board of Directors? If you haven't, you’re in the right place. I’m writing to share with you this often overlooked or unconsidered opportunity that is sure to reignite your career and boost your resume. This is the perfect opportunity for those looking for a career change, a promotion, or to fill a resume gap.
At the top of many organizations and all nonprofits sits a Board of Directors. These boards are charged with the responsibility of governing, planning, and budgeting. Volunteering your time on a Board of Directors is a way to make a tangible positive impact for an organization and your community, but beyond that it also offers the ability to grow your network, build executive level perspective, and develop your skills.
Grow Your Network
Networking is one of the most important paths to success in the professional world! From finding mentors and peers, to growing a professional community, networking is often the key to reaching career goals and milestones. Participating on a board is sure to increase your network, expand your reach and visibility to new industries, lead to leadership opportunities, and give you a platform to meet professionals, mentors and peers.
Executive Level Perspective
So often our jobs force us to focus only on a specific piece of a very large puzzle, i.e. marketing or accounting. However, missing the high-level view of operations limits some of our promotional opportunities. How can you gain operations and high-level experience without the job title or responsibility? Join a board! From participating in an organization's strategic planning to understanding each individual and department’s impact on the mission, being a member of a board allows you the opportunity to expand your vision and see the entire picture.
Skill Usage and Development
Being part of a Board of Directors allows you to put your expertise and skills to good use to support an organization. Many nonprofits have a small but mighty staff, and they look to their boards to provide support, guidance and knowledge. This gives board members the chance to put their skills to work and help make an impact for the organization.
Additionally, this professional opportunity can provide you with the chance to develop new skills or volunteer for projects or experiences that spark your interest. Learn about organizational budget management, strategic planning, large-scale operations management, operational leadership, political savviness, marketing, fundraising and so many other incredible skills that will make you stand out in the workplace.
When you are ready to take your next professional step, rebrand your professional image, or breathe some new life into your resume, consider joining a Board of Directors and place your energy where it really matters. Use your existing experiences to make an impact on others and, in return, you’ll gain new contacts, perspective, and skills.