If you are interested in making the leap by transferring your skills to a new industry, read the rest of this post!
Although each career is different, there are still basic principles that apply whenever you transition to a new job, career or industry. These include:
Updating your resume so that it reflects where you are going to and not where you are coming from
Gaining more knowledge, skills and experience about the industry you are transitioning to
Identifying Transferable Professional Skills
First, take a look at the professional skills you bring to your current position, and you will discover that you already have some of the skills needed to make your career leap.
Some of these skills may include; listening skills, writing skills, PowerPoint presentation skills, prioritization skills, public speaking skills, time management skills, conflict resolution skills, etc.
The point is that if you don’t take a full inventory of your transferable skills, you’ll lack the confidence to make the leap in your career.
What if after taking an inventory of your current situation, you feel that you don’t a lot of transferable skills, what can you do?
Take the time to build up your skills because you can’t approach the job search situation like a beggar! Buildup your skills, knowledge or experience by: asking for new assignments; volunteering for cutting-edge projects; enrolling in training or coaching classes, etc.
With all this in mind, here is a question submitted by Jeff Raugh (Buffalo, New York) on how to transition from an Information Technology (IT) Architect Job to a Business Analyst Job
I want to get employed. I am reinventing myself as I transfer my skills as an Outsourcing IT Architect to that of a Business Analyst.
Under the covers I was performing many of the tasks of a BA.
I need to find an opportunity that isn’t too junior nor too vertical for my next career challenge.
Include everything that you have done as an IT Architect that reflects the skills you need to be a business analyst.
As an IT Architect you will have gained some of the skills that are needed for a Business Analyst job.
Bring these skills out into the open and discover which ones can be added to your new resume.
This may be more difficult than it sounds because it may require a great deal of investigative work!
Carefully think back to each job and identify every role or responsibility on your resume that parallels that of business analysts.
Put on your sleuth hat for a moment and break out your magnifying glass so that you can examine how your job as an IT Architect relates to that of a Business Analyst.
Discovering Similarities Between IT Architect and BA Roles
Acquiring a new, updated wardrobe doesn’t always mean discarding your entire closet full of clothes and starting fresh.
Sometimes it simply means adding a few accessories to build upon what you already have. This is similar to how you will update your resume to accentuate the Business Analyst skills you’ve already gained or exercised as an Information Technology Architect.
Some of the skills that relate to both the jobs of business analysts and information technology architects include::
Decision Making Skills
An IT Architect makes decisions often under a great deal of pressure.
Often these decisions are made with a clear head under pressure and with many unknown factors.
Problem Solving Skills
The ability to analyze all the information at hand and then execute a plan is essential to problem solving in most professional situations.
Executing well-thought out plans, experimenting, collecting and analyzing feedback, changing tactics or returning to the drawing board and starting out in a new direction, is part of the job of a business analyst or IT Architect.
Along with the necessary technical skills, the information technology architect displays leadership qualities.
The information technology architect can influence the outcome of an entire project using their leadership ability just like the business analyst who can prioritize requirements and lead business meetings!
Domain Knowledge Skills
Each business is peculiar in the way that it caters to customers in the industry.
The knowledge of business processes like the software development life cycle is an example of how the Business Analyst and IT Architect’s roles overlap.
Moreover, software developers depend on both the IT Architect and business analyst for direction on the features and capabilities of the software under construction. For this reason, IT Architects and business analysts spend a good amount of time collaborating on their projects.
Finally, strong domain knowledge is key or integral to some business analysis and information technology positions. For example, business analysis / information technology architect positions in healthcare, financial, mortgage, insurance, etc. may require the same type of business domain knowledge.
The IT Architect has the ability to see the big picture and to visualize the finished product just like a business analyst who works on the Vision, Scope and High-Level Business Cases.
Of all the skills that are utilized in both business analyst and information technology architect positions, business communication skills are amongst the most common.
Without good communication skills, decisions are difficult or impossible to implement especially in a team setting.
As leaders, the IT Architect and Business Analyst both need to be proficient in writing and speaking because most of their work is done in either a high visibility or enterprise team setting!
So, listening, communication and writing skills are some of the key communication skills shared by both business analysts and information technology architects.
One of the business analysts / information architects role is increasing the volume of healthy communication between management, stakeholders and team members.
This involves both understanding and communicating what needs to be done as well as motivating the team towards their organizational goals.
It also includes an understanding of internal or organizational politics.
The ability to quickly research, decipher consequences and risk or present multiple effective potential outcomes is part of the business analysts and IT Architects arsenal of skills!
Good documentation is a key part of the business analysts and IT Architects core skills.
Keeping in mind that a picture speaks a thousand works, both business analysts and IT Architects have to be comfortable with mapping business processes using diagrams, flowcharts and diagramming / modeling software like Microsoft Visio (MS Viso)!
Job Interviewing for Business Analyst Jobs
Once you have extracted out your business analyst-related experience and updated your resume, you will be more likely to receive calls for interviews.
The next skill you must master is how to interview for a job effectively.
Sometimes, the job is offered to someone not as qualified as you simply because he or she is better at taking interviews than you.
Practice for the interview by answering questions in a concise, comprehensive and authoritative manner which demonstrates that you have the confidence needed to perform on the job.
Make a list of likely interview questions and be prepared to answer them by rehearsing ahead of the interview.