Are you exploring a career in business analysis? Do you wonder if the career is a good fit for your interests and experience? Would you like to know if pursuing a career as a business analyst is worth it to you?
You Want To Unleash Your Passion For
#1. Problem Solving. If you are like me, you get very frustrated when being dragged through a poorly thought-out process. (Yes, as irrational as I know it is, I’ve found myself talking irritably to automated phone prompts that leave me at a meaningless dead end.)
#2. Making the World a Better Place. If you can solve even just a few problems and help a few people understand each other better, you’ll have done your good work for the day.
#3. Seeing Through Great Ideas. You might not be the one with the best idea, but you know a great idea when you see one. And you are motivated to see through that idea when everyone else’s attention has moved on to the next great thing.
#4. Helping People Communicate. You always seem to sense when people are talking at each other but not communicating with each other. And your at your happiest when jumping into the discussion to clarify things.
#5. A bit of a know-it-all. You just seem to get it, but you don’t let it go to your head.
#6. A bit like Columbo. You always have just “one more question.” And yes, it often seems like a dumb one. (It’s not.)
#7. A bit of a preservationist. The idea of reading through meeting notes from 6 months ago might not take you into the upper orbs, but it does get you a wee bit excited, especially when you find the precise bullet point that reminds everyone why you threw that idea out last time, saving an hour of repetitive discussion.
#8. A bit like a “people whisperer.” You understand what others are saying when most of the others seem to be a bit dumbfounded. (You can just keep the secret that it’s all in asking the dumb questions to yourself.)
#9. A bit like a 2-year-old. Always asking why, why, why. (Although good BAs ask why with finesse, something we teach you how to do in our Essential Elicitation Skills course.)
#10. A bit difficult or obstinate, although you might not admit it. You are always looking for the best and staying true to the best.
(And if you are checking more off than you are eliminating at this point, you are probably want to get in on our free step-by-step BA career planning course for getting started as a business analyst.)
#11. To build on your deep business experience, whether as a subject matter expert, technical writer, project manager, sales person or recruiter, just to name a few possibilities. All of this experience you have adds up to something and has prepared you to be a great business analyst.
#12. To build on your technical expertise, whether as a programmer, software architect, or quality assurance engineer.
#13. To do something big and make an impact, but you don’t want to be a manager. Or, like me, you’ve been a manager and decided it wasn’t the best fit for you.
#14. To drink from a fire hose. The idea of learning a lot of new stuff in a relatively short period of time is exciting.
#15. The money. Given that the average salary of a business analyst in the U.S. is over 80K/year, many professionals are attracted by the prospect of a nice pay increase once they solidify their BA career.
You’d Rather Not
#16. Be in the conflict. Sure, you could take a side but you would much rather step aside and help conflicting stakeholders weigh the pros and cons and reach an amicable conclusion instead.
#17. Waste resources. Something inside cringes from the inside out when you see an army of your companies staffing resources working on the wrong thing.
#18. Mess things up.
#19. Be outsourced. Because BAs need to be close to the business, their roles tend to be safer from outsourcing and off-shoring initiatives. That’s why we see a lot of developers and quality assurance professionals looking into business analysis careers.
#20. Do whatever it is you are doing now, which is not business analysis.
#21. Manage the implementation of the project. You like finding the solution to the business problem but are content to leave the implementation details to someone else.
#22. Be on call. While many IT roles require some degree of weekend or evening work, a typical business analyst role allows you to turn off your cell phone and keep a fairly standard workday.
You Like To
#23. Write on the white board. We BAs get up and draw on the white board…a lot!
#24. Facilitate meetings. Especially working, productive meetings where everyone leaves feeling like their time was well spent.
#25. Spend a fair amount of time working independently, maybe as much as two thirds of your day. (As I mention in How to Start a Business Analyst Career, business analysts tend to spend about 2/3 of their time working independently and 1/3 of their time in meetings and interacting with stakeholders.)
#26. But you also like to work with people. If you had to spend the other third of your day all alone working on some technical problem or doing repetitive work, you might just pack up your things and quit.
#27. Change things. And make sure that when you make a change, there are no unexpected negative impacts.
#28. Learn how things work. You are naturally curious and like to figure things out.
#29. Continuously improve. No matter how good things look today, you know you and your organization can do better. (This is called business process improvement.)
You Are Willing To
#30. Learn to present big ideas to executives, since that’s where the future of business analysis is headed.
#31. Help drive change in organizations, whether that means sitting down with the customer service rep to understand their process or working with the VP to reorganize their department.
#32. See the big picture. You don’t get lost in the forest. You pick your head up often to see where you are at and guide your team through it.
#33. See the details. But you know that some trees are important, or important to some people. So you don’t lose track of important details either.
You Like People And
#34. You like the idea of working with lots of different people, at all levels of the organization.
#35. You want to help others by making their work more enjoyable and productive.
#36. You want to help others solve problems.
#37. People tend to come to you with their problems, because they know you’ll find a way to help.
#38. You have deep respect for what every person brings to a project.
You Care About Your Future
#39. You know competencies matter. Even if the BA profession shriveled up and died tomorrow, (it’s not) the competencies you’ll build as a business analyst will make you more valuable to our increasingly inter-connected and fast-changing organizations.
#40. You want to build timeless skills. You might want to take some time off in a few years (to raise children, take care of parents, take a long sabbatical) and you want to be able to jump back into a profession with a relatively timeless skill set.
#41. Job Security. You are looking for some job security and see the evidence everywhere that business analysis is a growing profession. (You are smart, it is.)
#42. You are searching for a new job and have realized that most of what you’ve done in the past sounds a lot like what keeps showing up in business analyst role descriptions. It’s time to jump on the bus! (And you probably want to read more about the business analyst job search process too.)
>>Are You Ready to Hit “Go”?
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