REUTERS | David Mdzinarishvili

The benefits of being a NED

There are many reasons why professionals and business leaders should consider the transition to a non-executive career. Here are our top ten benefits of becoming a non-executive director (NED).

Fast track your executive career

If you are an executive, becoming a NED may boost your career. While the time you commit to fulfill your duties as a NED must be balanced with your other professional obligations and priorities, being a NED allows you to develop your strategic thinking and business acumen. You also approach issues from the perspective of a board member.

Prepare your next move

Becoming a NED helps you to prepare for your next career move. For example, if you are a senior executive looking to position yourself to enter the boardroom in the company for which you are already an executive. A NED role may also complement an existing portfolio career.

Be rewarded emotionally (and perhaps financially)

A NED makes substantive and measurable contributions to board decisions and, as such, to the growth and delivery of the mission and strategy of an organisation.

Contribute your talents and skills to a board

As a NED, you bring your experiences, expertise and skills to a board. You may also generate business through your connections.

Live varied and new experiences

A NED role may be a welcome change from having to focus on operational and managerial aspects of an executive job. Each NED role is specific to the organisation that you serve, the stage of growth at which it is when you join, the other board members, and the external and internal environments that affect your organisation. Being a NED can bring a lot of variety to your career.

Learn new skills

A NED is not an executive, a board adviser or a consultant. Becoming a NED calls for the development of new skills and the use of existing skills in new ways.

Broaden your network

Being a NED will expand your network and provide you with new professional opportunities. A NED will interact with other NEDs in the boardroom and may choose to join a NED membership organisation.

Increase your professional status

The NED role is a prestigious position. Being a NED will position you for other NED roles with larger organisations or for bigger professional challenges.

Enjoy independence and flexibility

There is tremendous flexibility in being a NED and having a portfolio career. A NED is not an employee; they are appointed to a board.

Fulfill your need to “give back” to society

Being a NED allows you to “give back” to society because you contribute your skills and expertise for the benefits of an organisation and its stakeholders.

If you are an experienced NED or a chair, NEDonBoard is keen to hear from you. Tell us the benefits that you have gained as a NED. Please contact

If you are an aspiring NED, first acknowledge that the transition from exec to non-exec requires a commitment. If you are looking to secure your first role, please contact

NEDonBoard provides the training and connections you will need to become an effective NED. The NEDonBoard Foundation Online Course, designed by experienced NEDs and led by subject matter experts from our partner organisations, Willis Tower Watson and Herbert Smith Freehills, will support you in your first steps as a non-exec. 

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