By Jade Stevens, President
Serving on a board is often the last concern of an up and coming professional. I’d like to think that the perception of serving on a board is something that happens once you gain more experience or are older. However, after taking the position as president of Young Professionals, I have learned that this is completely not true.
First and foremost to be on a board allows you make an impact on the things that matter to you most. However, you also gain invaluable skills along the way. From the time I have served on the board, these are the three things that I have benefitted from:
Professional Development- When you serve on a board, you have the opportunity to develop skills that you might not have gained while working on the job. For example, as president I am expected to oversee everything that happens in the organization. From membership and fundraising to social media and events, it is important that I stay in the know of all of the inner workings to make sure the overall organization runs smoothly. This in turn helped me understand how my boss thinks and works (who happens to be the President & CEO of the company I work for).
Build A Professional Network- Serving on the board allows you to interact with individuals who might be outside of your professional network. I have had the opportunity to meet veteran public relations professionals from mixers and board meetings. In addition to expanding my network, I have developed deep relationships with these people because we have done work together. These relationships could in turn become a mentorship or future professional opportunities.
Improved Business Knowledge- Being on a board allows you to gain hands-on experience on how an organization runs. Accounting, ethics, strategic planning, key decisions are all things that young professionals might not have the opportunity to experience when they first start off with a company. However, within a short amount of time, I have been able to experience this and more. It in turn has developed my leadership skills and provided exposure that most people would not get at the stage I am in my career.
I challenge all of my readers to consider serving on a committee or board of an organization that they are passionate about. Rather than sit on the sideline, make a difference and take on a leadership role. If you’re not sure where to begin check out some of these resources below to help get you started.
- Go to Idealist to learn the difference between volunteering and serving on a board
- Find board opportunities at Boardnet
If you are looking to serve on a committee with Young Professionals, I am currently looking for people to support through event planning, social media, fundraising and recruitment. If you’re interested email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you currently serving on a board? Share your experience!