Advice for landing your first BA job
For anyone trying to land their first professional role, Adrian Reed’s blog “Practical Tips for Getting Your First BA Role” originally published on adrianreed.co.uk provides a very useful set of ideas to help you get your foot in the door.
Adrian insightfully discusses the common challenge of how to land your first job without having experience. “I have spoken to a number of people recently who are keen to get into the business analysis profession. This can be tricky, as many roles specifically require a certain number of years of BA experience before a candidate can even be considered. This can lead to a ‘chicken and egg’ cycle… without experience, it’s tricky getting a first role. But without a role, it is tricky getting experience!”
In his blog, Adrian shares some thoughts on how to overcome this challenge:
- Titles don’t matter - you don’t have to land a role with the title business analyst to practice business analysis. Workers today wear many hats and are adaptive to shifting demands of the market and upgrading their skills continuously.
- Understand the goals and expectations for your role – Understand what the stakeholders actually need, work closely with stakeholders to understand their real needs and work closely with them to improve their business processes and systems. Using and developing an initial BA skillset outside of a BA role is often possible.
- Be comfortable with business analysis terms - a great way to improve your foundational knowledge is to become certified, explore IIBA’s ECBA™ and ECBA™+ entry level certification to give yourself an edge.
- Make professional connections and when you get hired get to know your colleagues. Form your own support network to help you succeed in your new role. Adrian recommends “seeking out local BA meet-ups, IIBA Chapter events and general BA conferences in your area, as well as networking online.” In his blog he suggests joining business analysis related LinkedIn groups and Twitter “(the #BAOT hashtag, which stands for ‘business analysis on twitter’ is a good place to start)”.
- Consider all your experience when drafting your resume. In his blog, Adrian suggests also looking at roles adjacent to business analysis. “For example, if you have no experience working within a ‘change’ or ‘project’ environment, you might seek a role to gain this specific type of experience as a stepping stone towards a BA role—and in doing so you could actively choose to seek BA experience and certification along the way.”
Adrian reminds us that “there isn’t just a single route into (or through) a BA role. Nor is there a single type of BA role. It is a broad discipline, with different roles needing to focus on different areas at different times.” Read his blog to learn more!