For the aspiring director, finding a directorship involves the creation opportunities. Most aspirants will start small, usually in the not-for-profit sector. As you gain boardroom experience and build your networks, other opportunities will arise.

It is important to understand why you are seeking board positions, what you can offer a board and the impact of your choice of boards on your future career as a director. While making a good choice can bring personal satisfaction, enhanced reputation and financial reward, a bad one can mean litigation, loss of assets and a damaged reputation.

Consider your ultimate goal in seeking directorships and how you can build towards this goal. Define what sort of boards you would like involvement with – the industry, size and revenue range to which you could bring your best experience. You can then work backwards and find companies which meet these criteria and move you in your chosen direction.

Before you begin your search, it may be useful to understand how directors are currently appointed. In general, the most common route is through an executive career leading to a CEO position.

What are some ways to increase the opportunities for success?

Networking

Join and attend functions of prominent business organisations such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Business Council of Australia (BCA) and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) to develop your business networks and build relationships with decision makers. Make known amongst your contacts that you are seeking board positions. Show interest in how your contacts found their first board position and ask who else they know who might be able to help you.

Become involved in the Not-for-Profit sector

The not-for-profit sector includes advisory boards, industry associations, arts bodies, medical research organisations and educational bodies. It is more likely to seek diversity than the commercial world. The key is to become known and to develop a track record as a useful board member. In practical terms, this gives you exposure to how boards work, what works best, what not to do, as well as extending your professional network.

Executive search firms

Write a director’s CV and submit it to executive search firms. More boards are turning to these firms to facilitate a more formal and objective approach to board appointments and to widen the pool of potential candidates.

What are some opportunities provided by the organisation?

Directorship Opportunities

A customised program to better assist members looking for directorships and connecting them with organisations seeking board members. This directorship search service has been designed to specifically address the issues of greater visibility and control over finding new directorships. Directorship Opportunities replaces the Directors Register service.

Whether you are looking to keep up-to-date with the latest openings on Australia’s private, public and not-for-profit boards – or to help your organisation find the ideal candidate to strengthen your governance team - this service may meet your needs: Directorship Opportunities

Company Director Course

The Company Directors Course is recognised as the definitive program for company directors in Australia. There are now more than 12,000 graduates in Australia and overseas. The course focuses on the responsibilities of directors in larger organisations. It has the added advantages of providing networking opportunities for participants and demonstrating to boards that you take your duties seriously.

These suggestions can assist in creating opportunities but there is no guarantee of success with any of these methods.

Further Reading

Moodie, A.M. (2001), The Twenty-first Century Board: Selection, Performance and Succession,Australian Institute of Company Directors, Sydney.


Feedback

We encourage members to provide feedback by emailing library@aicd.com.au

Updated January 2013

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