It’s easy to get caught in the grind of day to day work. One way to boost creativity and network is by joining a board. Getting involved in something you’re passionate about will keep you motivated and will give you an alternative space to pour your energy into.
Depending on the board, finding and joining isn’t a huge task. There are many boards that seek out candidates just as diligently as you are looking for them. Generally, there are two types of board positions, a paid member and a volunteer seat. Whether you’re vying for either position, make sure to research existing members, be well versed on the organization, and offer expertise that they might be missing. This sets you up to be a top candidate and demonstrates sincerity.
Important questions to consider before joining a board:
· Do you believe that the existing members have a shared vision of the organization’s strategy and capabilities?
· Do your goals mesh with organizations?
It’s becoming more popular for organizations to nominate younger professionals to boards or create a separate board entirely. Young professionals bring a different perspective to the table and those who have technological skills are in high demand.
Joining a board is a great way to market yourself and share your talents so treat the process like it’s a job interview. Spruce up social media accounts (especially LinkedIn) and familiarize yourself with news or anything policy related to the organization. Be prepared to answer questions about collaboration, problem-solving, and communication. Regardless if it’s a paid position or not, existing members want to be sure that they’re aligning themselves with someone who’s honest and will represent the organization well. Like any job interview, if you’re not selected, it’s still a great learning experience and there will be other opportunities.
Here at KK & CO, our team is invested in many projects outside of the company. This spring, Mary Kuna joined the Young Professionals Board through Special Olympics of Minnesota. Mary has devoted her time as a coach, volunteer, and cheerleader to her older brother, Robert, who has down syndrome. As an account executive, Mary is excited to bring her knowledge of grassroots issue advocacy to the Young Professionals Board.