2 Readers Network Their Way into Business Analyst Positions

Both of these career transition stories highlight the value of a professional network in landing your first position. So often I hear see people underestimate the potential value of professional networking or put it off until they have no other options to achieve their goals. (Building a professional network takes time, it’s among the first activities to start not the last.)

These two women show us how a network can be used to a big advantage!

Lydia Pierce was an Office Manager before she started her career as a business analyst. She found her first opportunity by asking her friend if there was a job available at his company. He offered her a business analyst position. Talk about the power of a professional network!

Lydia attributes timing and her natural ability to problem solve and research as keys to her success.

Find Lydia Piece on LinkedIn.

Caprice White was an Executive Assistant and Technical Writer and assisted BAs at the financial institution where she worked before becoming a BA herself! In her previous role, she conducted focus groups, requirements gathering, and worked with SharePoint.

She realized that she was doing work relevant to a BA and got her manager to agree to put her through the McMaster Courses where acquired a BA diploma. She found it difficult to break into a BA role, but by networking she landed a position as an Auxillary (Contract) Analyst for the BC Provincial Government.

Find Caprice White on LinkedIn.

Join me in congratulating Lydia and Caprice!

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Comments

  1. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I have shared my intentions with my previous manager. However, I recently began reporting to a newer manager who I don’t have the same type of relationship with. I have confidentially looked at potential opportunities within the organization and there was one potential BA position but now they are not going to fill it. Unfortunately, the role I am in does not have much room to develop further. I have tried to get as much out of it as I can that would help me with my BA career.

    As for the risk, I guess I just don’t want it to be too obvious that I want to do something else since I am not in a BA role now. Many people in my company are on Linkedin. For example, I belong to several BA and PM groups on Linkedin but I have set them so that they are not visible on my profile. Also I modified my Linkedin resume summary so that it does not say anything specifically about business analysis. I feel like I am not using my profile to it’s fullest potential but not sure what else to do. Maybe you are right and it is not as threatening as I think. Maybe no one would even notice.

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    • Lisa, It’s definitely a valid concern. I suppose one way to think about is to consider what your current manager would do if they did find out. Every risk you discover has two attributes – both a probability of it happening and the impact if it does. I’d say your right, the probability of your manager finding out and putting 2 and 2 together is relatively low.

      But what’s the impact if it does? Would you lose your job? Be passed over for promotion opportunities? Or perhaps there is an upside that you’d discover more opportunities to move into a BA type role. I can’t answer that for you, but I bet if you map it all out your decision will be easier.

  2. Hi Laura,

    I have been reading your book and as you suggest I am using Linkedin as one of my networking methods. The challenge I am having is with my profile. I am currently employed and am looking for BA opportunities outside of my company. I am not currently in a BA role. I am trying to become educated in the areas I identified I was lacking, and as I learn new things I want to update my profile but I feel like adding BA specific skills might draw attention to the fact that I am looking (i.e. understanding of technologies, or use cases). How can I effectively leverage my Linkedin profile in this case?

    • Lisa, Great question! Unfortunately, I don’t have a great answer for you. Have you shared your career intentions with your manager – i.e. the fact you are looking to move towards business analysis, not the fact that you are looking for a BA job.

      Also, it might help to fully clarify the risk of updating your profile. What could happen in your current employment situation and what impact would that have? (Not saying you should ignore the risk, but sometimes once you put it down on paper it doesn’t seem as big or as threatening or you find alternate ways of achieving your goals.)

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