“Business Analyst! Are you burying your head in the sand?”
All of us are working hard in our roles as Business Analysts and sometimes we forget about looking after our own professional development needs or even our Business Analysis career’s future overall. You may be in a role right now where you feel comfortable and don’t really feel the need to think about how to improve as a Business Analyst. Does this sound like you?
These days the economies around the world are somewhat unpredictable and we must consider the possibility that our comfortable Business Analysis jobs we have today may not be there later this year or perhaps next year. Are you prepared for the day when this happens and your Business Analyst role you have now is no longer needed?
This blog article is not written to scare you or make you worry! It is written to outline three strategies that you can implement into your daily Business Analysis work life to ensure you remain prepared for any change that might come your way regarding the future of your Business Analysis career. So let’s jump right into looking at some easy but essential strategies for you to follow.
Strategy #1: Maintain professional development goals and plans
Having a professional development plan with specific career goals for your Business Analysis career is essential. If you don’t have plans for your career as a Business Analyst and you don’t have goals set, you certainly can’t take specific action to achieve your Business Analysis career goals. Without clear Business Analysis career goals you will not be able to create a professional development plan and consequently you will not be able to progress your Business Analysis career effectively at all.
With this strategy you don’t have to follow a special format or template but you must work out in a way that makes sense to you what your Business Analysis career goals are. Once you know what you want to achieve within your Business Analysis career you should work out a plan (a professional development plan) of how you could achieve those goals. Some might be achieved by endorsed business analysis training or business analysis certification programs, some might be by getting involved with local Business Analysis networking groups and some might simply be to ensure you get onto a project of a certain type to make sure you gain specific Business Analysis experience and skills you might be after.
Regardless of how you plan to tackle the achievement of those goals, you will be in control of your Business Analysis career and achieve great career progress. Ultimately, by knowing what you want in your career as a Business Analyst and working with a goal in your mind, you will be surprised at the doors that open for you in terms of great Business Analysis opportunities.
By following this basic but essential first strategy, you are proactive as a Business Analyst and a person. This makes dealing with any eventuality regarding a Business Analysis job change much easier and much less challenging.
Strategy #2: Understand the Business Analysis Industry direction
You should keep an eye and ear out for what is happening in the Business Analysis industry. Read online forums, participate in interesting Business Analysis webinars and keep your Business Analysis skills up to date with online training. You should also try to be involved with local and international conferences and Business Analysis meetings so that you can be informed of what are the latest Business Analysis tools, techniques and trends.
A great example of a change that has affected so many Business Analysts in the last few years has been the emerging Agile Project Delivery method. Some Business Analysts have stayed ahead of the crowd, some has joined the crowd and some are still wondering what Agile means for Business Analysts. This one example of a massive change and shift in thinking when it comes to Project Delivery has had a tremendous affect on the Business Analysis world. Although there are still many projects and organizations not adopting Agile methods yet, the industry and the job market is asking for those skills loud and clear. Are you ready for it?
This strategy is so easy to implement into your daily life as a Business Analyst and should be something you do while you have your breakfast every morning at work – read the latest blogs, be involved in forums and stay up to date. Then when the day comes that you might have to either step into a new project or even go out to find a new Business Analysis job, you feel empowered and ready to embrace the Business Analysis industry with confidence.
Strategy #3: Be ready to leave your current Business Analyst job today!
Finally, with strategy three you need to do a little every now and again. What does this mean? Every couple of months in your current ‘comfortable’ job as a Business Analyst you should pull your Business Analysis resume out and update it with your latest online Business Analysis training course, your most recent Business Analysis experience gained and highlight specific achievements. This strategy might seem like it is something you can ignore and just do once you need to but guess what? There is much more to it than just updating your Business Analysis resume every few months – you are forcing yourself to have your Business Analysis resume front of mind and hence you will think about what you do every day from a “what will this work task I am doing right now do to help me achieve a more positive result on my Business Analysis resume?” This indirectly will help you in your daily work life as a Business Analyst to focus on the Business Analysis tasks and responsibilities that makes a difference to your Business Analysis career. You will no longer be satisfied with doing the exact same task every single month, you will be challenging yourself and developing your Business Analysis career with renewed focus. Do this strategy well and you will never have to worry about being left out in the cold.
It is totally all right for a Business Analyst to feel comfortable in a particular role within an organization and to pursue a Business Analysis career working for the same organization for a long time. There is nothing wrong with this and in fact a lot of Business Analysts loves this as an option for their Business Analysis careers. It is however not all right to sit back and not do anything about your own Business Analysis professional development, your industry expertise and your Business Analysis resume during the time you are with the same organization in the same type of Business Analysis role.
You must remain in control of your Business Analysis career by continuously applying all three the strategies outlined in this article to remain an attractive and independent employee for your own organization as well as every other organization out there who may want to employ a very good and highly competent Business Analyst in future.