One of the most commonly asked questions from aspiring business analysts is how to apply for BA jobs without any work experience. In the field of business analysis, experience of any form, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, counts and should be emphasized. This is because the experience needed for Business Analysis is not necessarily restricted to a particular field and in most cases, cuts across diverse fields. The popular soft skills you have picked up (e.g. communication, emotional intelligence, etc) are also transferable to business analysis and if you have enough of it and some domain knowledge under your belt, you might be able to skip entry-level business analyst positions. Another common query, however, is how to gain experience without having worked as a BA. This article addresses both questions.
Learn From Other Business Analysts
Networking is key to enhancing your chances of employment. Remember, Senior BAs were not always senior. They started from somewhere. Speak to other business analysts, peers and mentors about how they reached where they are today. You will get information about the kinds of experiences and advice that may come in handy. Discuss with them about what their job entails, what challenges they face and how they are able to cope with those challenges (See Do You Face Any of These Challenges As A Business Analyst?). Another important subject of discussion is the resources (Websites, knowledge bases, etc.) that help them improve their practice and become better at their jobs.
Join business analysis communities, forums and platforms that discuss job opportunities, resources and tips that will give you an edge should an opportunity come your way. See a list of Top Business Analyst Websites and Blogs to Follow.
Do Some Research
Translating users’ needs into business requirements, which is the primary task of a business analyst, is a complicated skill to master but aspiring BAs can learn a great deal by scanning through samples of project documents. Some helpful categories of documents that will help you include Business Cases, Functional Requirements Documents and Technical Specification Documents, to mention a few.
Getting familiar with key business analysis deliverables and how they are developed can put you ahead in terms of your awareness and experience.
Seek Out Training Opportunities
Business Analysis training can help in setting a good foundation for launching your business analysis career. Before planning to go on a BA training course, make sure you do proper research, taking the relevant factors into consideration. Choosing a reputable organization will improve your understanding and practice of business analysis, which in turn, will improve your employability. See a list of 10 Things to Consider Before Selecting a Business Analyst Training Provider.
Some training courses are certification-based, so explore the possibility of obtaining a certification to build on what you have learnt. See Which BA Certification Is Right For You?
Master Soft Skills
Business analysis requires a range of soft skills like relationship building, resilience, emotional intelligence, and communication, to mention a few. Take the time to build these soft skills in preparation for your business analysis job. Luckily, these skills are not limited to the business analysis profession and can be picked up and developed even in your current position. Visit the career section for information on BA soft skills.
Participate in Business Analysis Tasks
You do not need to be officially titled, “Business analyst”, to gain BA experience. Apply BA tools and techniques whenever you have the opportunity at your workplace. Consider volunteering for BA tasks or working with BAs on any project you work on, as a way of getting some practical experience under your belt.
Don’t let a lack of experience discourage you from getting started. Taking little steps in the right direction one day at a time, can land you the BA job of your dreams.
Picture Attribution:“Cartoon Businessman With Tunnel Light” by iosphere/Freedigitalphotos.net