How did I get my first Non-Exec position? Network, Network, Network

These days, more and more organizations are looking for a highly qualified non-executive director to help their companies. If this is your vocational objective, you should know that the key to getting your first NXD position is oftentimes networking. With this thought in mind, be sure to review the following networking strategies so you can optimize your job hunt process:

1. Join Relevant Organizations/Associations/Clubs.

If you’re serious about getting your first non-executive director position, this is a highly effective strategy to implement. When you join a NXD club or association, you’ll be able to meet other non-executive directors as well as numerous business professionals who can play a direct or indirect role in jumpstarting your career. Luckily, there are a wide range of non-exec organizations and associations that you could opt to join. In many cases, these associations will have job listings. If you are serious about your non-exec career, we recommend you join as many organisations as you can. Some organizations you might consider joining include: Non-Executive Directors Association or NEDonBoard.

2. Attend Conferences And Lectures.

Attending relevant conferences and lectures is another effective strategy you can employ for the purpose of gaining your first NXD position. When you attend a conference or lecture within the field you’re seeking work, you will likely run into board members and business professionals who are interested in hiring someone or who know another individual who is attempting to do so. To make the most of this strategy, be sure that you bring your business card to each conference or lecture you attend. Remember, proximity is power.

3. Contact A Recruitment Company.

Recruiting companies are also networking strategy you can utilize to land your first non-executive director role. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that recruiting companies might become aware of job openings before they are publicly listed. Moreover, recruitment company specialists frequently develop professional relationships with organizations that are ready to hire, and this enables them to get a detailed understanding of what type of employee a company would be most interested in. As a result, a recruitment agency specialist will oftentimes be able to recommend you to a company where you would fit in well (both personally and professionally.)

At the end, it is all down to one strategy: network, network, network. So let me ask you a question for our experienced non-execs: what is the best piece of networking advice to implement as you looked for you first NED position?

2 thoughts on “How did I get my first Non-Exec position? Network, Network, Network

  1. Rob Morgan on Reply

    Here is my advice. Be persistent. Finding your first non-executive director role can be challenging because of the experience catch-22. (You need experience to get hired, but companies want you to have experience before they hire you.) Keep networking and building your resume until you find a company that recognizes your potential and gives you the opportunity to assist them.

  2. David Cuningham on Reply

    Sometimes it’s not who you know, it’s what you know. Specifically, people oftentimes think their first key to finding a great non-exec position is meeting all the right individuals. However, it’s even more important that you have a great deal of knowledge throughout the job hunting process. For example, if you’re attempting to attend a lecture or conference for networking purposes, it’s important to get background information regarding what that meeting will be all about to ensure that you’ll connect with ideal individuals within your industry.

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