This question about the value of networking in one’s career was submitted by Reba from (Olympia, Washington). Here is Reba’s question:
I have a strong interest in entering the business analyst field as a career path, however, it is very difficult to access this field as a state government worker.
Many individuals have entered this field by knowing someone or networking.
They do not always know what their job duties are and do not deliver a good product to the customer, so to ensure I do not go down that path, I would like to make sure I receive training, exposure to the business analyst field to include hands on experience.
What are your recommendations for me to enter this field.
Here are the answers to Reba’s question:
What Are the Qualifications For Success as a Business Analyst?
Regardless of how you get a business analyst job or how connected or networked you are, what really matters is whether you can perform on the job or not!
If you can’t perform, your customers, clients or team members will complain about your work and you will be fired.
So, don’t worry about others who seem to be getting ahead right now without taking the time to learn and do their job well.>
… Focus on becoming the best business analyst you can be!
Become the Best Business Analyst You Can Be
First, learn all you can about business analysis using every possible means at your disposal.
What matters is not how you learn it, but that you know it!
So, don’t get hung-up on whether an MBA or a certification program is better … just learn business analysis.
Learn by using blogs, articles, training programs, textbooks, colleagues, on the job training, etc.
Then sharpen your skills using quizzes and hands-on assignments / projects, etc. Get as much real world experience as you can.
Market Your Business Analysis Skills
After you have become skilled at business analysis, focus your career on creating connections and contacts, networking and promoting your resume and your skills.
The first thing you need to do after your training is work on your resume.
Get your resume into tip-top shape, then make yourself visible in your industry using forums like LinkedIn and Twitter, by participating on blog comments / starting your own blog and by using your expertise and knowledge to help others.
When is Networking Valuable in Your Career?
Yes, networking is important. But it is more useful when you really have something to offer!
First things first. Improve your business analysis skills first. Once you are ready or have something valuable to say or offer, you can start networking.
The reality is that unlike so many other occupations, if you have good to great business analysis skills and you have some experience to provide, validate or support that, you can get a job using only your resume.
P.S. While networking is good for you, knowing how to get your resume into tip-top shape, finding business analyst jobs online, applying for jobs using recruiters and job portals is also valuable.
Yes, networking is important, but don’t get paralyzed into inaction and despair by your lack of a network. You can actually avoid or circumvent the whole networking circuit by applying for business analyst jobs directly.
Perhaps, I should go into this last point in detail in a new article, what do you think?
That is what you really need to do… focus on being the best business analyst you can be.
After that become a business analysis leader in your organization / industry / job using networking, social media and blogging opportunities!
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