Should you consider becoming a Non-Executive Director?

nonexec director Ellis Fox blog

For many who have achieved a great deal of success in their career, it may get to a point where you wonder; “What’s next?” At a senior level, options are limited simply because there are fewer positions available and senior executives don’t move frequently. However, with the right level of expertise and experience, becoming a non-executive director may be a course to pursue, and here’s why:

Bridging the gap

Because it is not generally a full time role, taking on a non-executive directorship can help bridge the gap in terms of career progression. While most commonly non-executive directors are semi-retired or take on the role leading up to retirement, it is also an opportunity for younger professionals who wish to gain boardroom experience. This comes with a caveat though. They’d need to get permission from their existing employer and they could not work for a competitor, supplier or client as this would be a conflict of interest.

While it may seem surprising, many companies are open to this type of arrangement. Typically a non-executive directorship would require only 2 to 3 days a month so it won’t encroach on their full time position. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to gain boardroom experience which could benefit the employer long term if the person is someone who could potentially fill the role of CEO or Chairman in the future.

Reviews and resolutions

Non-executive directors are sometimes employed for several months in order to investigate and report back on specific issues within an organization. This is an opportunity for a person of influence who is well respected and connected within an industry, and has specific expertise, to make their mark. This type of interim role has the potential to open up future consulting and other non-executive directorship roles. It’s therefore a good consideration if this is the route you envisage for your career path.

Cashing in on expertise

For someone who has dedicated their life to their career, and wants to slow down without it having a negative impact on their earnings, becoming a non-executive director may well be the answer. There is keen recognition for the expertise provided and it is handsomely rewarded in financial terms. While non-executive directors often serve on several boards concurrently, they have the option to select how many roles they wish to take on and subsequently determine their earnings and time invested.