People once worked for the same company for years on end, but it's no longer uncommon to change jobs by any means. While landing a new position at a different firm can be a good thing, entering a completely alien workplace can be very intimidating. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of success when you're hired as the business analyst of a firm you've never interacted with before.
Best of all, you might be able to make your first year much less painful by following these tips. You'll want to start by getting to know those around you.
Networking With your Coworkers
During your first few months at your new job, consider forming a peer support group that can help you navigate your role as a business analyst. This might also help anyone brought on in the future to get more acquainted with how their new workplace is run.
There's no way to analyze business performance if you don't know the ins and outs of the firm you're trying to consult with, after all. Look for professional groups to join if you're in a bigger city. There are now organizations dedicated to the business analysis field in most urban areas. Peers you network with at these meetings can help you see problems objectively and find the right solutions.
You may also want to consider earning a few additional credentials before you even set foot in your new workplace. Apply for a CBAP certification or take some continuing education courses as soon as possible. This can help to eliminate the culture shock that people often feel when they step into a highly academic workplace.
Ensure Everyone is Familiar With Your Responsibilities
It might surprise you to learn that not everyone is familiar with what business analysis involves. You may want to explain to other departments what BAs do and how you plan to help them solve their problems as you go through your first few meetings. While people in marketing and human resources might already be aware of the benefits of having a BA specialist on staff, those in the IT and legal departments might be a bit more skeptical.
Try to make your presentations as focused as possible on how your responsibilities relate to the work done in each department. For instance, you might want to show your company's legal eagles how BA staffers can help ensure compliance with various regulations. If you're speaking with coders, then you might want to demonstrate whatever the latest data mapping tool you've been working with is. Chances are that other departments are concerned with large global-level policies like the GDPR, and that provides a touchstone you can use to better communicate the importance of business analysis.
Keep An Eye Out For Overreach
As you're sharing more about your job with others, make sure you clearly define your responsibilities. Unfortunately, some people might use the presence of additional staff as an opportunity to reassign certain duties. There's no way you'll have the time to handle BA tasks as well as those from some other departments, so you'll need to set clear boundaries.
Perhaps the best way to do this is to explain the difference between what you do and what a business analytics professional does. Most wrongful delegation is due to confusion, so this should help without appearing disrespectful to anyone in your new organization.
Provide Something New at All Times
Staying alert can be a real challenge for many people. It's so easy to zone out when you're called into an early meeting that doesn't seem to directly involve you. Business analysts, however, have the opportunity to impact every single kind of decision that a company makes and can add value in multiple ways.
No other career gives you the opportunity to provide insight on choices made by people working in so many different fields.
Learn About Every Goal You're Expected to Meet
Job expectations were more than likely discussed during your interview, but that doesn't mean you have a complete picture of your manager's expectations. Most managers expect that business analysts will be able to increase productivity and reduce the amount of rework necessary to complete goals, but they aren't entirely sure how those goals will be achieved.
Don't be afraid to ask more about your company's policies and what's expected of you. While it might seem embarrassing, it's better to get this sort of thing out of the way now before it becomes a problem later on. Asking questions like this might even make you look more engaged with your work, which is especially important if you've only recently broken into the BA space.
Remember that stakeholders in some departments might have very different expectations from others. Solving problems across multiple disciplines is a sure way to make friends in a larger organization.
Always Give Your New Employer A Fair Chance
Few people get the opportunity to land their dream job, and you might find yourself being critical about your new workplace before you ever get a chance to move in. Push these kinds of negative thoughts out of your mind. A business analyst needs to be an objective and fair judge, which means you can't come into your new office with a load of preconceived notions.
Keep a clear mind and a positive attitude. Before you know it, you'll be sailing smoothly into your second year as a business analyst with your new firm.