I was hired as a Business Analyst but have had to do more technical management and support.
This would be fine if I wanted to gain experience managing networks, interfaces, upgrades, etc.
But, I want to gain more BA experience.
How Not To Be A Technical Business Analyst
Don’t undervalue your current work experience because it can help you realize your dreams.
Every so often you will hear in the news how someone accidentally, or unknowingly, donated a valuable item to a thrift store because they didn’t see the value in it.
Maybe there was a large amount of money, or valuable jewels, hidden inside. Or, maybe the item was a bit tarnished, and they didn’t want to take the time to clean it up.
It’s the same with your current job position. Everyone has to start somewhere. Your current employment is the best place to start launching your dreams.
Don’t burn your bridges, so to speak. Instead, since you’ve already got a bridge built (in the form of a job with the title of business analyst), use it to help you walk across to the other side, where you can step into the actual role of business analyst, not just in name only.
Don’t despise days that appear to be a slow start, or less than what you thought they would be. There are business analyst jobs that require a strong technology background, so the experience you are gaining now will be valuable at some point if you begin to see the value it can bring you in getting there.
What you do with your current situation will reflect how future employers view you. Do the best you can with the job you have right now, while keeping your eye out for jobs where you will be doing more business analysis than technical management and support.
In the meantime, be ready for when these jobs become available. Update your resume’ to showcase your results and achievements, even while on a job that wasn’t what you thought it would be.
Make the most of every opportunity you are given by polishing your skills rather than tossing it all aside in search for something greater.
Put to work your business analyst knowledge for the benefit of your organization
The idea of not recognizing the worth, or value, of something also applies to how your current employer views you.
The reason a company would hire someone as a business analyst and then not use them in this capacity is because they don’t fully understand the benefit you can bring as a business analyst.
Perhaps, they don’t even completely understand the role. Change the way they see you in the position, by actually doing the work of a business analyst.
Begin to bring value as a business analyst to your organization. Make it your job to take on additional business analysis responsibilities in addition to your current duties.
Use the time you have now, while employed, with the title of business analyst, to get as much actual business analyst knowledge and skills you can.
Do this by enhancing what you already know with more self study, or through an online course – or, both. Then begin to look for opportunities to apply your new business analysis skills and knowledge at work, right where you are.
For instance, begin to concentrate on requirements and perfect your skills within your current organization.
Begin by writing some business requirements documents. Maybe you can create a test checklist for a software program.
You’re in a great position to begin polishing your Unified Modeling Language (UML) skills.
These skills are used by other business analysts to help document the requirements for projects to give your system engineers the right requirements documents they need.
But, there are other opportunities as well. Look for a problem, and solve it. Change the way your team does business, simply by helping them gather and document requirements correctly.
Look for opportunities that will put you closer to the end user of software you are creating. Set up a demonstration of the product, and ask for feedback about the product which you can analyze and use problem-solving skills to reach real workable solutions.
Schedule meetings where you can practice your role as a facilitator. Try to get away from using technical jargon, or speaking code, and begin to let others talk while you interpret and document what they are saying in clear, concise, authoritative language.
Talk to your managers and team members about the value of business analysis. Get them to see the benefit of using you in the role you were hired for, as business analyst, instead of as a technical manager/support analyst.
Practicing business analysis right there, in the job you already have, will help prepare you for a business analyst role elsewhere.
Or, it will open the eyes of your current employer to realize your importance in this capacity and begin to see the value you can bring to your current organization.