3 Critical Career Mistakes Business Analysts make

Have you ever felt like your business analysis career is standing still?

These mistakes most Business Analysts are guilty of making at least once in their careers.

Mistake #1: You get too comfortable in your current environment

We have all done this. We get into an organisation where we find the work quite easy and we have a lot of great ‘friends’ in the office. This scenario is very common and happens to most of us. You might ask – what is wrong with this scenario?  This type of situation is you not stepping out of your ‘comfort zone’. Things we tend to tell ourselves when we make this mistake include things such as: “This a is good job”, “This is a good company to work for because …” or we say something like the market out there is too quiet to move between jobs right now. There is nothing wrong with it to be comfortable in a job but just don’t expect your career to go anywhere fast. If however you did want to progress your career to the next level or beyond, you need to recognise when you step into this ‘comfortable’ zone where nothing or very few things challenge you in your day-to day job. The only way we grow (ourselves or our careers) is when we expand our comfort zones by doing things that feels “uncomfortable” regularly. When you feel “uncomfortable” most of the time, then you will know you are growing yourself and your career and soon that uncomfortable feeling will feel comfortable again…then you know you learned something new and it is time to challenge yourself again.

Mistake #2: You do anything and everything on the project

This is something else most of us as Business Analysts have done at some stage of our careers. We tend to do anything that a Project Manager asks us to do because of a variety of different reasons. Sometimes we may just want to ‘please’ the Project Manager and not cause offence. In some cases we almost treat it as a way to prove we are capable and can do anything anyone throws at us. In some other cases, more often than not, this mistake gets made because it is the Business Analyst that doesn’t really have a clear view of what a Business Analyst should and should not do within their roles. Again, you might ask what is wrong with doing anything that comes your way on a project? Don’t get me wrong, it is good to help out from time to time with a task that falls outside of your role, but very often the project team starts to expect of you (and your role as a Business Analyst) to do anything and everything that comes your way. They don’t recognise that you do this as a favour to the project.  Doing non-business analysis tasks too often on a project dilutes your role on the project and soon you will be viewed as a general helper rather than a professional Business Analyst.

Mistake #3: You operate without a career plan

The good news is if you manage to prevent making this mistake, then you will automatically not make mistake 1 or mistake 2 in this article.

However, this mistake gets made by millions of people who end up finishing their careers in the ‘slow lane’. They never implemented a plan of where they were going with their careers and this resulted in most of them never achieving anything remarkable during their careers. As a Business Analyst who wants to achieve success in your career, you should create a career vision with goals and action plans. This will give you a roadmap to follow to keep you on track with achieving success in your Business Analysis career. Take action now, and define your career goals.