From IT Application Development to Business Analyst, After a 2 Year Break (Sarika)

Today we meet Sarika, who transitioned into business analysis after starting her career as an IT Application Developer and taking a career break of 2 years to raise her child. What I like most about Sarika’s story is that she was able to dig deep into her transferable business analysis skills and confidently bring them to light in her resume and in the interview process.

And although she didn’t mention it directly in her interview, I want you to know that this approach landed her two job offers within a month or two of starting her job search. The transferable skills process does take a little time, but it can also pay enormous dividends.

Laura: Why did you decide to pursue a business analysis career?

Sarika: My interest in business analysis began with the first project I did during my undergraduate studies. My focus for the project was on writing best software programs without understanding business rules and validations. It proved to be a nightmare on the day of the demo to the department head, who was also the project sponsor. This project initiated me on business analysis path.

As I progressed in my career, I began enjoying understanding the big picture for executing a project in terms of its business ROI. Specifically, I found my calling in gathering requirements, analysing process improvements, and training team members to understand the business significance of a project.

Laura: What was your job search process like? What challenges did you face along the way and how did you overcome them?

Sarika: I had taken a career break of almost two years to look after my child. Once I decided to resume work, I researched the commonly asked BA questions and found myself stumped on a few questions like, “How many years of BA experience do you have?” and, “Which areas of business analysis have you performed so far?”

So I started surfing again on how to transition to BA role from IT. Bingo! I found your site and thereby answers to my predicament.

I updated my resume taking cues from BA Job Search Pack and uploaded it on popular Job Search sites. Also, I reached out to ex-employers and close friends to refer my resume. It was almost 10 days before I got any responses. This was affecting my morale gradually. But thanks to my close friends’ referrals in their network, I received two interview calls in 2-3 days.

I prepared for the interviews by being thorough in the business analysis knowledge areas projected in my resume. The tip of  relating experiences to questions posed by the interviewer really worked for me. I was able to relate my transferable business analysis experiences in IT Application Development & Maintenance during the interviews, which helped me to be confident during the entire process.

Laura: How did you end up in your first BA position? 

Sarika: I faced 3-4 rounds of interview for each job application. The first two rounds of interviews focused on understanding my technical know-how in terms of processes and artifacts. Also, I was presented with a business scenario and asked to perform requirements elicitation by listing functional and non-functional requirements.

Laura: What do you consider as the keys to your success?

Sarika: I am aware of my  strengths in business analysis knowledge areas. So when I studied the job description for the openings, I was able to map these strengths to the requirements of the recruiter.

For example, I have experience in writing user stories in agile methodology, which was one of the requirement in a job description. With this mapping in my mind, I was able to lead interview questions around my strong skill areas.

Laura: What recommendations would you make to others looking to follow a path like yours?

Sarika: My recommendation is to be one hundred percent aware of the business analyst skills under your belt even though you may not have held the job title. This gives confidence to handle job interviews and also determine the nature of the business analyst journey you would like to embark on.

Congratulations, Sarika! And thank you so much for sharing your story!

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