One proven way to build leadership skills, elevate yourself in the eyes of higher ups and network in a meaningful way, is to volunteer for a non-profit board or committee.
Find an organization you can really get behind and offer your skills, expertise and energy. Volunteering is an outstanding resume builder. More and more, employers are looking for well-rounded, socially responsible employees who proactively create their own opportunities to improve their skill set.
Start by identifying a cause you are passionate about. Volunteer to serve in a leadership capacity on a standing or ad hoc committee. Show up to every meeting and get involved with projects that will stretch you and introduce you to new people. Organizations of all kinds are starved for volunteers from the business community who bring their knowledge and resources to bear.
Make your mark in the community and score points with the people responsible for your career trajectory.