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Men in Suits
  • Directors' Institute

How to Become a Paid Member of a Board

Being paid is highly crucial for many aspiring board members, especially if you are a non-executive director. Nevertheless, before you go on your path to the boardroom in earnest, you must be properly taught and certified, as well as design a strategic roadmap, just as you would for a new job.

In most nations, there are more unpaid than compensated non-executive director positions. The unpaid ones typically serve on the boards of charities, sports organizations, community groups, and even state-funded organizations. In the United Kingdom, for example, there are over one million non-executive directors on the boards of charities.



The more glamorous and well-paid board positions will be with PLCs, financial services organizations, or major private corporations. The less glamorous, but more dangerous, positions will be on the boards of start-ups that lack the money to compensate non-executive directors.


The path to becoming a paid non-executive director (NED) will be difficult since the standard expected from boards with the ability to pick and choose will unavoidably be greater. Most boards are cautious and conservative, favoring experience (sometimes many years of the same experience), which, while safe, may not be the best thing for the organization, which craves creativity and new air in the boardroom.


Globalization, digitization, cyber security, and new tech-based business models, on the other hand, will give chances to a younger generation of capable non-executive directors.


With that in mind, here is a six-step plan for landing a compensated board position:


1. Evaluate your potential

This means, what are you offering today? What talents and experience can you bring to the table? A SWOT analysis of yourself might be an excellent first step. Seek the assistance of a friend who is more objective in their desire to assist. Is this procedure identifying any gaps that need to be filled, such as a suitable governance qualification?


2. Establish your market position

This procedure will be aided by a thorough understanding of the market you seek. Learn about the emerging demands on the boards in your target industries and how you can position yourself to capitalize on these possibilities. Understanding how boards work, what boards require, and what abilities you can offer to the table is essential to learning how to become a paid board member.


3. Create a market profile

Edit your Resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect the target industries you are seeking. Most recruiters will look at your LinkedIn profile first, so make sure you have a decent professional photo, that your relevant experience is brief and to the point, and that it contains the important search words that will catch a recruiter's eye.


4. Use your network

We all have networks, such as those at school, university, business school, sports, professional groups, trade bodies, and so on. Sit down and figure out who in these networks can assist you in achieving your goal. Networking is also about giving, so think long-term. Make yourself prominent by writing blogs, hosting webinars, speaking at conferences, and becoming an influencer. Your ultimate goal will be to establish yourself as the go-to person in your numerous networks.


5. Have a plan

Create a step-by-step plan for what you want to do and when you want to accomplish it. Be realistic, as this is a highly competitive market.


6. Begin today, not tomorrow

The sooner you begin, the better. It will take you longer than you expect to get a compensated role.


Our Directors’ Institute- World council of Directors can help you accelerate your board journey by training you on your roles and responsibilities to be carried out in an efficient manner helping you to make a significant contribution to the board and raise corporate governance standards within the organization.


Our ESG Expert certification will help you to amplify your understanding of corporate governance in a detailed manner paving a way for you to become a globally recognized ESG leader.



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