5 Steps to a New Business Analyst Career

Part 12 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
business analyst in 5 steps
business analyst in 5 steps

5 Steps to a New Business Analyst Career

I talk to a number of business analysts interested in changing careers to new domains.

They come from diverse backgrounds (insurance, sales, financial, etc.) and they all share a common goal … that of switching careers to new domains.

So, when one of these business analysts asked; if I would like to throw more light on changing BA careers / domains at job interviews, I was glad to say yes 🙂

How To Switch Business Analyst Domains

Some degree of sales or marketing skills is needed to get a job. And your understanding of the sales process determines how successful your career switch will be.

Here is what you need to know about switching business analyst careers:

  1. Put Yourself In Employers Shoes:

    Don’t make the classic mistake of approaching the business analyst job interview from the standpoint of what you can get out of it!

    Rather, put yourself in the employer’s shoes and talk to their interests and needs … that is basic human nature and selling 101.

    This matters because job interviewers will not care about you or get interested in you, if you don’t care about or show a genuine interest in them (read Dale Carnegie’s classic – “How To Win Friends and Influence People”).

  2. Emphasize Cross Functional Skills:

    Accept that employers will be skeptical of your resume, skill-sets and suitability for the job, when switching careers or domains.

    Now, resolve the employer’s doubts by showing how your skill-sets are a better match to their needs.

    Do this by emphasizing cross-functional skills like your communication and presentation skills. Then, go further and explain how your business analysis skills (like those taught at the business analyst boot camp) will be useful to the employer inspite of your previous domain or background.

  3. Tailor your Resume to the Job:

    Yes, tailoring your resume to the job helps, when you have some relevant background information that will be lost in your traditional resume.

    Several years ago, I transitioned from a chemical engineering job to an information technology (IT) consulting career.

    I only had a few months of relevant IT experience but several more years of irrelevant chemical engineering training and experience.

    Following the advice of a recruiter, I re-wrote my resume to focus, expand and highlight my strong>limited information technology background while reducing my chemical engineering background to a foot note … which worked like a charm!

    The lesson hear is to “reduce the employer’s doubt and anxiety by rewriting sections of your resume that doesn’t directly relate to the job you’re interviewing for“.

  4. Leave your Pride at the Door:

    Don’t let any negative behavior or comments cause you to lose your cool at the job interview.

    Instead, carry yourself as a true professional regardless of what you see or hear at the interview.

    I was fortunate to be interviewed for a Procter & Gamble Management Trainee program out-of-college.

    However, before I was hired, I had to maintain my composure under some negative, psycho-analysis by an interviewer whose main goal was to see if I would lose my cool under the pressure of the interview.

    So, do whatever it takes to get the job interview … that is your sole mission and objective.

  5. Study your Prospective Employer’s Industry:

    I have been to a few job interviews where I used my knowledge of the company’s market place to advantage.

    This is not something that you can do, if you’re looking for an easy job. But it is definitely something that you can do, if you’re really interested in the company.

    Research the prospective employer’s competitors, industry, technology, business processes and come prepared with suggestions, ideas or information that would genuinely help the prospective employer.

So., now I have given it to you … skills, techniques or steps for changing your business analyst career or domain. What are you going to do with it?

If you would like to leave discuss more about your experience at job interviews, just go ahead and leave a comment below.




One Response to "5 Steps to a New Business Analyst Career"

  1. Srikanth P   February 16, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Hi Kingsley,

    Thanks for the update.

    Regards,
    Sri

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