Small, medium and large businesses all have them. Why shouldn’t you have your own Personal Advisory Board?
I am a big supporter of having a Personal Advisory Board to help ensure career resilience. In my coaching practice I see people struggling to bounce back when they have a career wobble. Wobbles can range from suddenly finding yourself with a difficult new boss, missing out on your dream promotion, needing a sounding board for an idea you want to pitch to your employer, or finding yourself unexpectedly in the job market.
Clients who bounce back quickly often already have in place a group of people that they draw on for support, use as a sounding board, and seek ideas and strategies from. They don’t always refer to this group as a Personal Advisory Board but once I share the concept with them they respond with “Yes that’s what they are, I never thought of them as that before”.
What exactly is a Personal Advisory Board? It’s simply a group of people who know you well, whose judgement and achievements you respect, and who will challenge you. It’s not people who will just tell you what you want to hear! I recommend keeping your Advisory Board to around 3-6 people, drawing on a range of backgrounds and personalities.
You would normally meet your Advisory Board members one-on-one. Although recently a client had identified their dream role so got their Advisory Board together over a glass of wine to help develop a strategy to secure the role.
There is no golden rule on how often you should meet with your Advisory Board as this is largely driven by what’s happening in your own career. I highly recommend that you don’t just contact your Advisory Board when things are wobbling. Share your successes or just catch up to treat them to a coffee.
I have my own Advisory Board both for denovo HQ and for Brand Jann. This group has changed over the last 14 years with two key people remaining and two others coming on board. They help keep me on track and provide a well-needed nudge every now and then. Most of all, I use them as my go-to group when something is niggling and I can’t break through on my own.
If you don’t already have an Advisory Board in place, take some time to identify who you would like to co-opt onto your Board. Get in touch with them and arrange a time to meet to float the idea. If you already have an Advisory Board (whether official or not), flick them a thank-you email for being on your team and update them on how things are going with your career. And perhaps offer to serve on their Personal Advisory Board!