When organizational change (or any sort of external industry factor) looms, it can feel like our career paths are constricted. The reality is that when you know this one specific thing, you’ll see these changes as opportunities to grow and expand. A lot of the noise and spin will naturally start to quiet down.
What is that one thing? Watch the video (or read the transcript) to find out!
For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s the full text of the video:
I’m Laura Brandenburg from Bridging the Gap, and I see a lot of people get spun out about what’s happening in the profession, what’s happening in the industry, and what’s happening outside organizations in their careers.
Agile is coming, or this change is coming, or it’s a service delivery, or it’s this, or this, or this. There’s some new methodology, some new change, some new organizational initiative. These things happen every year in most organizations. There’s some new buzzword – digital transformation is a big one right now.
What does that mean for business analysts? There are way more opportunities to do business analysis. There’s no way to do digital transformation without business analysis. That’s exciting. That’s what it means. All of these changes, change needs business analysis, change means they need us now more than ever.
How do you let go of the noise and the spin out? What does my role look like as this change is happening? How do you deal with organizational change in a way that moves your career forward?
This is my thought on this. Your business analysis skills, the skills you build to do business analysis, solving the right problem, analyzing processes, improving processes, possibly even the software requirements, getting everyone on the same page about the software requirements, understanding how information flows for your business, and getting business and technology on the same page about decisions about software that eventually solve those business problems.
This is what you do. This is what you know how to do. This is your skill set. That skill set is valuable in multiple different roles. Not all of those roles have the job title of business analyst. A lot of them actually don’t. I would say the vast majority of people doing business analysis don’t have the business analyst job title.
I’ve never held the official job title of Business Analyst. In my career, I was a Systems Analyst, I was the Manager of Business Analysis, and then I was the Director of Enterprise Solutions. All of those roles, I was doing business analysis, but I never formally, officially, had the title.
This is true for a lot of people. This is true for many, many people. It’s going to continue to be true because the value of these skills is continuing to expand, and more and more roles need people who can communicate and analyze the way that business analysts do.
Focusing on your core skills, on what you do as a business analyst is only going to make more opportunities, make you more valuable, and open up an expanded set of opportunities for you.
How do you go from the spin of everything’s changing, to what does my role look like, to all of these opportunities? How do you triangulate what does that mean for you in your career?
It starts with a really important question: What is it that you want?
What do you want? What do you want to be doing? How do want your workday to flow? Do you want to be going to meetings with lots of stakeholders, or do you want to meet with just a few?
Do you want to be working on technology and understanding how everything’s put together, or do you want to elicit that information and understand just enough to be productive when it comes to writing software requirements and analyzing and communicating about the software requirements?
Do you want to be knee-deep in the business process and helping the business stakeholders make change? Do you want to be more on the technical side? What do you want? Do you want to be looking at a higher level across all the projects in the organization hearing out what is most important? Where is the business case? What projects have the most value in helping the organizations make decisions about what to invest in and what not to invest in? That’s enterprise level, strategic level business analysis and a lot of people are expanding into those careers.
What is it that you want? That’s where you start.
When you have that crystal clear vision of what you want to be doing, it might not be crystal clear, it might be a foggy idea now that you can start to direct yourself towards. But you have a concept of where you want to go. Then you can start organizing your opportunities in that direction.
Organizational changes happen. What does this mean for my role and what new skills could I add? Where can I add even more value? Where can I expand my role to move towards the things that I know I want to be doing? Where can I detract from my role so that I’m letting go of the things that are no longer all that interesting to me?
Organizational change is the opportunity to do that kind of shifting in your own career and make more opportunities happen.
I have a simple exercise to be thinking about. You want to do this now and not wait for organizational change to happen. You can do this now, today. What are the least favorite three things you have to do? They may be the biggest part of your workday, or it might just be something once a month you have to do and it’s just a big pain in the butt and you don’t want to do it.
What are those three things? What are the three things that you could be doing instead? Or, what are the three most favorite parts of your job today, and how can you release those things that you are no longer enjoying to create more space to enhance the things that you love the most and to do more of that work, and then, maybe, start doing that work at a higher level and expanding those capabilities?
This is how career momentum happens. This is how you set yourself up for future promotions and moving into more senior level roles and more strategic roles. As you start letting go of the things that you are getting beyond in your career and that you are no longer enjoying, and you make room to do more of the work you love where you’re going to show up with more energy and more passion, more excitement. You’re going to naturally evolve your skill set.
You can start it today. You don’t have to wait for organizational change to happen. If you start it today, you’ll be ready for organizational change to make this happen for you.
I’d love to hear what are the three things that you are jazzed up about, and what are the three things you’re going to let go of because they’re not enjoyable to you anymore.
Where do you want to be in your business analyst career? What do you want when you think about your career six months from now, a year from now, three years from now, five years from now? What do you want to be doing? What impact does that have for you?
This is where we start when we get centered in what we want and all that spin of what my organization is doing, and what’s happening over here with this industry trend. It starts to just fall into place in a much more centered way because we are starting from what we want. We see opportunities in those changes instead of threats.
That’s a huge mindset shift that I think we need to start making as individuals in business analysis careers so we can add more value to your organizations, and we can have that internal confidence and respect that we deserve as a business analyst.
Again, I’m Laura Brandenburg from Bridging the Gap. We help mid-career professionals start business analyst careers.
Leave a comment below. What do you want out of your business analyst career? What are you choosing to let go of, and what do you want to do more of?
Thanks for watching.