From Technical Writer to Business Analyst

This reader shows us how you can showcase relevant experiences into a business analyst resume that lands you interviews and a job offer. She expected her career transition to take years but instead found a business analyst job after submitting just 10 targeted applications.

I’ve been working as a technical writer in the software industry since the mid ’90s, and I’ve loved my job from day one. In hindsight, I can clearly see I’ve always taken on the role as the user advocate. In the beginning, this was simply intuitive, but as the years piled up I did it more and more deliberately.

When I started my career, I came more or less straight from university with a somewhat eclectic degree in Literature and Anthropology. Jobs in this area were sparse as you can imagine, but luckily for me, the whole dot com thing happened and the IT business pulled in everyone they could get their hands on to join the fun. I’ve never looked back.

My initial years coincided with the first years of RUP and use cases, as well as Object-Oriented modeling and design. All this fit me like a glove, and I was writing use cases and drawing diagrams like a madwoman. Best job on the planet, or so I thought.

Fast-forward to two years ago when I first stumbled upon the words “Business Analyst”.

I’d become an increasingly “senior” tech writer, but there was a ceiling, something holding me back. I wasn’t invited to the meetings I knew I wanted to attend, and I wasn’t given the time to pursue all roads opened by my oh-so-many questions, so I was getting more and more frustrated. When I understood there existed a role where you were allowed – and even expected to – ask all those questions, run like crazy between the architects and the business, switching hats as you went, I became focused as never before.

I took a long, hard look at my CV and used 15 years of writing experience to make it showcase all the work I’d been doing on glossaries, modeling, requirements gathering, elicitation, and documentation. I listed all those workshops with SMEs, stakeholders, and users; I even managed to turn my non-technical degree into an advantage, and not an excuse.

And then I started reading: all things BA on the web, all the books recommended on those sites, and then the books recommended in the books. I joined online forums, I was trying to convince my boss we needed a function like this, and then I started to apply for jobs.

I was totally convinced it would take me years to get where I wanted to be, but I didn’t care. Now I knew where I wanted go. I had finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grow up and that alone was a success indeed.

I sent out 10 applications, three companies wanted to meet me, and I was offered one job: as a Business Systems Analyst at a major telecom company.

So now I’m equally terrified and super excited. Some days I feel like I’ve tricked them into hiring me, others I’m simply proud, wanting to shout it out from the roof tops, “Mama, look at me. I’m a BA!”

Thanks for letting me share my story. Bridging the Gap has been a huge help and inspiration to me, and perhaps my story will do the same for someone else.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story!

>>Read More Career Transition Stories

Want even more inspiration? We’ve documented dozens of business analysis career transition stories here on Brigding the Gap.

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