Hooking up with the National Digital Forum has probably been the single most transformative act of my professional. As a conference convenor and a Board member, my connections and confidence grew exponentially, and the friends I made and the things I learned have helped me so much. Nearly ten years on, we're still going strong.
I ended up on the Board because Penny Carnaby, who was the CE of National Library when I was working there, shoved me into a board meeting she wasn't able to attend. I felt totally out of my depth, but Penny trusted me, and after a while I trusted myself. One thing turned into another and eventually I became a board member in my own right. Now I really appreciate her faith in me, and the way that her belief in me pushed me to prove myself.
NDF is currently calling for nominations to replace one member of the Board, due to someone standing down. I would really like to encourage people who are early in their careers but excited and knowledgable about the work NDF stands for to go for this opportunity.
To stand for the Board, as I understand it, you must be an individual member yourself and be nominated by an Institutional member. The Dowse is an Institutional member, and I have previously nominated people. I'd be delighted to support someone to have the same kind of experience I've had, so please get in touch if you'd like to talk it over.
This is a working board. You need to be ready to get stuck in with the myriad projects the Board supports and runs. It's okay if you're not sure exactly what you can contribute to the digital GLAMs sector yet, apart from enthusiasm and commitment and your time. But you do need to have the confidence to stick up your hand and offer to do something - even if you think you're "not quite ready for it" yet. I personally think the GLAMs sector has a bit of a problem with people hanging back and waiting to be asked to take on responsibility - or feeling like you need to serve your time before you can take on management or governance roles. So, you could sit down and read Sheryl Sandberg's book if you haven't already and learn why this is daft, or you can put on your big kid pants and go for it now.