How to start a career of an International Corporate Director
One of the topics which comes up during the career coaching sessions is that many high-level professionals wish to have an opportunity to do more in addition to their full-time job. Their daily routine is familiar, not exciting enough and there is not much room for growth, or because they are willing to move towards an autonomous lifestyle and a location independent career.
If your current role is on a level of one of the International Directors at global companies like Facebook, Amazon, etc. even if you decide to change your career tomorrow, the opportunity won't present itself so quickly. The scale of a current company, the benefits, and the opportunities it offers are still quite significant.
At CxO we always check if such candidates explored the opportunity of becoming an International Corporate Director/Board Member as we see it as a good move to getting prepared for more senior assignments outside of the current role.
Here is our list of recommendations on how to start :
Check with your in-house HR department if you can take Board roles (usually if it's pro-bono and there is no conflict of interests - there should be no problem).
Check the local country regulations, especially if you are a foreigner - this will help to define the target companies you can join.
Check if you need to be certified/accredited to take on such a role in this company/country.
Start from the charity pro-bono role - it helps to get the experience and will always look beneficial for your next assignment.
Depending on your current location and future aspirations, find relevant associations or networking events and join a few of them from different providers to feel the atmosphere, gather information, and start building your network. You may discover where your experience fits the best.
Many of those associations offer annual membership, which allows you to attend their closed events for a fee of 150-250 SGD/year. They also bring in esteemed speakers in this field to help their members to stay on top of the current trends.
E.g., if you are in Singapore, there is Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), Australian Institute of Corporate Directors (AICD) and depending on your plans, at AICD you can choose either International Director course or a regionally-focused course for Australia, SEA, MEA.
Many top business schools, like INSEAD, have the course for International Corporate Directors. Based on the feedback from the candidates, a program with such schools is of great value as it also connects you to a global network of great professionals.
The next event you can attend is INSEAD Directors Forum & Certification Award Ceremony Singapore, 25 & 26 February 2019.
If you want to explore more on this topic see a detailed guide here.