Should I Accept a Position with an Internal Promotion Path to BA Within One Year?

A reader writes:

It’s tough to get a BA post with just 5 months experience.  I was working as Business Analyst in the Travel Domain. It was my first position as a BA. Before I had experience in Sales in different fields. The company did not have the right technology in place. They used to copy a few features of major websites and develop a similar technology, which worked fine for few times. But again, the same bugs showed up. Secondly, the director wanted me to sell the technology which I did not want to, as there were around 180 customers who were not satisfied with the company’s service. I had no option but to quit. Recently I got a call from [Company X] on a call center job. They said, after working for one year, I can shift to BA as they take only internal personnel. Please advise.

Michelle’s Answer:

Getting a Business Analyst position is difficult if you only have 5 months experience.  However, you do have experience – how did you get the first job?  They must have seen something in you and your resume that was important in hiring you.  I would ask the company with the call center – how will this position prepare me for a role in your company as a business analyst?  Perhaps it is a matter of understanding their thinking.

Is 5 months truly all of your experience?

I have found and certainly Laura has written about this – you have been a BA for longer than you thought.  When was the last time you volunteered in an organization and helped them change or build a process?  What about all the times you have planned a change in your career/home/life?  What process and tools did you use for that?

What BA experiences do you have?

Have you created a project plan?  Discussed it with stakeholders and made adjustments?  Have you determined the requirements that you must complete in order to be successful in your project?  Have you implemented the plan and negotiated with the stakeholders, including yourself?  What about your previous jobs – can you view them as a business analyst role?

Previous roles for me have been an account manager with a major financial institution.  I can rewrite that easily for the business analyst role.  I have also been a branch manager – translate that into PM with BA skills.  You might also check out this post on how sales experience can translate into business analysis and use it to help identify your transferable BA skills from your sales positions.

Essentially, what I’m asking you to do here is consider whether this offer you are receiving is the best possible one you think you could qualify yourself for. If you are uncertain, you might consider doing a deep dive to discover your transferable business analyst skills.

How do you make the decision?

You might also want to check out Laura’s post on “How to Decide to Accept a BA Job Offer.” It’s important to consider how this position fits into your long-term career plan.

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  1. Michelle Swoboda says

    Thanks Adriana and I agree with negotiating a shorter term but get it in writing!

  2. “I would ask the company with the call center – how will this position prepare me for a role in your company as a business analyst?”

    Michelle, I think you hit the nail on the head with this question. Any less-than-convincing answer should make the BA suspicious of the offer.

    If they do have a good explanation (e.g., “we find that all analysts who have dealt with real customers in our call centers tend to be much better at understanding the business and adding more value to our projects”), then it would make sense to consider the position. Still, even if the answer is on those lines, I would negotiate something like 6 months rather than a year, because I’m pretty sure this period would be more then enough to become very acquainted with all sorts of problems customers run into and how to increase their satisfaction with the products or services the company provides.

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