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Business Analysis – A new career with every project
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When I was a freshman in high school, my geometry teacher told us that we would average seven careers in our lifetime. In fact, she had just returned to teaching after a multi-year sabbatical while exploring veterinary medicine. At the time, that seemed incomprehensible to me. I was just trying to get to college to get to my first career. Now, when I look back on my life thus far, I technically count three different career moves – all very closely linked and natural transitions. However, after a recent exchange with Alex Belin, I have decided that this count is far too low.
I first met Alex about two years ago at an IIBA Chapter Leadership Conference, hosted during BBC.* When I first met him, I was in awe of what he had accomplished with the IIBA Russia Chapter. After three attempts, the Chapter finally succeeded in establishing itself. It had created a National Standard of Business Analysis for Russia – gaining formal recognition for Business Analysis as a profession in Russia. And, most recently, they had just completed a grass roots effort to translate the BABOK® Guide. So, naturally, when Alex (President of the IIBA Russia Chapter) was named the 2020 Volunteer of the Year for the Europe, Middle East & Africa Region, I was thrilled.
In my most recent discussion with Alex, he shared that he came to Business Analysis as a second career. He started his professional life as a SPACE ENGINEER! And, after 15 years, he became a Business Analyst. Now, for some, this may seem like an awkward transition, maybe even considered a step back for some; but Alex has a wonderful perspective – he migrated from a career of being told what to do into a career where he was the one driving the solution design, communication, stakeholder management, etc.
Working in different positions and changing profession-by-profession, I was looking for the job that I want to dedicate my life; and many years ago, I recognized that Business Analysis is the job that I want to not just spend my life performing but that I want to develop, improve and popularize as the profession.”
It was near the end of the discussion, that he took me back to my high school geometry teacher and career count. He said: “Each new project is like a new short, but very condensed and intensive professional life. Business Analysis gives me an opportunity to live though all these lives. That is why I love Business Analysis!” I naively had never thought of each project being almost a new career. With each new project, a business analyst almost gets to wipe the board clean and hit reset. We keep the same tools and techniques, and we move on to a blank new canvas – new business needs, new stakeholders, new solutions, new challenges, etc. In this case, my career count is well into the double-digits!
Now, I know that that is not true for all business analysts. Many look at business analysis as a jumping off point to other careers: project management, product ownership, etc. For those of you who had been business analysts for years, though, does Alex’s perspective speak to you as well? Have you been fulfilled as a BA because the diversity and flexibility the career grants you are almost like a new career each time?
As always, thank you, Alex, for sharing your time and thoughts with me. If you want to learn more about the IIBA Russia Chapter, visit its website: https://russia.iiba.org/.
*BBC is the Building Business Capability conference. This year’s conference is October 25th – 29th. This multi-day, international event is a wonderful experience for both new and seasoned business analysts. Registration is still open – please come join us!
Be Bold features members, volunteers, and Chapters who are taking bold action. If you have a story to tell or a recommendation for future inclusion, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author:
Koryn Anderson enjoyed a couple of careers before finding her ultimate one. She has been a business analyst for more than 10 years and is currently a Lead Business Analyst at Baird. She is passionate about the BA discipline, has her CBAP® certification, is Past President of the Southeast Wisconsin Chapter, and is the current Communications Director for the Global Chapter Council.