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New Post 2/4/2009 5:52 AM
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User is offline Luka
17 posts
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Part time job for a BA 

Hi all,

my question is simple: what second job (part time) should a BA choose if he/she wants to increase the skills mandatory for the BA profession?

I would say selling (not in these particular times, in the financial crisis i mean) because of the soft skills involved.

Let's see, what's your opinion?

 
New Post 2/5/2009 4:41 AM
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User is offline anonymous
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Re: Part time job for a BA 
Modified By anonymous  on 2/5/2009 6:48:44 AM)

Hello Luka,

Let me (hopefully) kick off the series of responses for you...

For me (if I actually owned any spare time) it would need to be a (fun) job that nurtured my ability to think conceptually.  I am not sure exactly what that job would be (if you google 'conceptual thinking jobs' a lot of BA opportunities rear their heads!), but possibly a detective or similar.  Thinking about detectives, that's what BA's do... investigate, interview, motives, feasibility, join the dots, problem solving etc.  Fortunately no murder yet, but sometimes I come close :).

Anyway that's my take - and agree about the soft skills... hugely important.

Thanks for the question, you woke me up!

Joe 

 

 
New Post 2/10/2009 2:02 AM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster


Re: Part time job for a BA 

Luka and Joebert,

I think a good BA need to be a conceptual thinker. You need to ask yourself, WHAT is it the user is trying to do or plan to do? When you interview people especially SMEs they'll tell you HOW they do things. What you need to know is WHAT they do, not HOW they do it.

A BA is a problem solver. Its good to ask yourself  "what is the problem here?". Now most "fairy BAs" would ask what is the ISSUE here? Issues we talk about; problems we solve!

You also need to be a good listener! Talk less and listen. You dont need a special job to  listen. If you have time, watch Larry King and Michael Parkinson (I think he is retired now) and note how they listen.

Finally read books like "People Skills" by Bolton!

So in summary: read and apply 1) problem definition skills, 2) listening skills etc.

As an example of the former. We've all heard about the company that wanted to put an additional  lift shaft on the outside of a high-rise building because the present lifts could not cope with the morning rush. People hated waiting for the lift. One group of engineers spent a lot of time with modified blue prints and queing theory; they quoted millions for the additional exterior lift shaft. The second group interviewed the waiting crowd and found that they were just bored. So they installed mirrors in the lift foyer so that the waiting crowd could look at themselves, adjust their ties, amuse themselves etc. The mirrors were only a few thousand bucks and all the complaints stopped! The second group defined the problem thus,  the people did not mind waiting for the lifts they were just bored! So they solved the boredom problem!

warm regards,

K

 
New Post 2/10/2009 1:00 PM
Online now... Adrian M.
726 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: Part time job for a BA 

 Luka wrote
 

my question is simple: what second job (part time) should a BA choose if he/she wants to increase the skills mandatory for the BA profession?

Hi Luka,

I'm not sure what you currently do in your full-time job but here are some thoughts for your second/part-time job:

  • Technical sales of software or systems which can be customized.  The sales process for these types of products also include identifying the detailed features and customizations that the customer may want.
  • Consulting/contracting - if you are a programmer/analyst then you could try to do "remote" work as a consultant for x hours per week where you only go into the client's office once a week to report status and to get clarification requirements and next steps.
  • Specific Industry - BAs with specific vertical industry/domain skills tend to be more valuable than business analyst with no industry specific experience.  So - if there is a particular industry/field which interests you consider taking a part time job in that industry so that you learn the business.  For example: if you choose financial services the consider being a part-time teller at a bank, if you want to do insurance then maybe you could be an assistant for an insurance broker, if real-estate is what you're interested in then take your realtor license and go through the process of selling.
  • If you are not looking for extra money then consider volunteering your time as a BA for non-profit corporation which has offices in your area.  You won't only do a good deed but you'll be able to put BA experience on your resume.

I'm sure there are other options out there...

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 2/16/2009 11:58 AM
User is offline Luka
17 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: Part time job for a BA 

 adrian wrote

Hi Luka,

I'm not sure what you currently do in your full-time job but here are some thoughts for your second/part-time job:

    * Technical sales of software or systems which can be customized.  The sales process for these types of products also include identifying the detailed features and customizations that the customer may want. 


 I am working as a full BA for a consulting company. We have clients from all areas like retail, logistics, energy, public utilities, etc.

The technical sales of software/systems is kind of the same with my first proposal and I believe you put a dot on it because as a BA you must have a passion for IT systems. As a result, I guess that any BA around will agree this job to fit for a part time. The question that still pop up is when to actually sale when your working schedule is  9am-6pm.

 

 adrian wrote

    * If you are not looking for extra money then consider volunteering your time as a BA for non-profit corporation which has offices in your area.  You won't only do a good deed but you'll be able to put BA experience on your resume.



I agree with the volunteering idea and I would be glad to find a non-profit corporation which is needing the services of a BA. I will look closer...


Still thinking at this thread, I discovered 2 more part time jobs for a BA.

First is business journalist. It's a good opportunity to analyse and be informed with all the economic changes that take place in business or in a particular field of interest. With the advent of web 2.0, writing articles was never easier.
Second is freelancing as a BA. For this, I would like to hear some opinions from people who already work in that fashion. Would be great to hear some references from them.

Thank you kmajoos for your little story, I really enjoy it!

In conclusion, let's add some answers and even better, some questions to this thread. Thank you!

 
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