Monday, January 24, 2011

Creating a Career Advisory Board

For-profit companies, non-profit groups, and professional associations have advisory boards. So why can’t an individual have a career advisory board? You can if you take the initiative and form one.


A career advisory board is typically made up of three-to-five people who provide career guidance. They help you brainstorm and share ideas, solve problems, answer questions, provide connections, and motivate you to keep working toward your goals.

Have a Plan and Goals

You need a career plan and goals in place so those you request as your advisers understand the direction in which you’re headed. As your career evolves, advisers can help you shape or redefine your goals.

Create a Diverse Advisory Board

When creating your career advisory board, invite those in your professional life whom you trust and mutually respect. These should be honest and candid people who are familiar with your work, working style, professional strengths, and challenges. Choose individuals with expertise in areas relevant to your career plan. Every member of the group does not have to be from the same career you are targeting. Your advisers should have varied perspectives, experiences, and skills; some may be more analytical and others more creative. If, for example, your career path requires strong verbal skills, choose a member or two who have proficiency in this area.

Express Gratitude

A career advisory board can help you grow professionally and personally. And with computers and Internet access, advisory board membership is not limited by geography. Recruiting multiple advisers helps you avoid asking too much of any one individual, but be sure to frequently express your gratitude to each adviser. Also, if possible, identify ways in which you might return the favor.

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