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New Post 3/10/2009 6:39 PM
User is offline Jenny Nunemacher
3 posts
No Ranking

Formalizing and refining skills for a job search 

I have essentially been a BA (more of a generalist BA than BSA or BPA) for 11 years.  I rather fell into this work by doing the BA job in whatever position I was formally in.  About midway through this career I was able to put a name to the job I was doing.  My positions have tended to be in small, informal environments where we haven't used formal methodologies and sometimes scant documentation.  So what this means is that as I am now job searching, I am often put in a position of lacking confidence in my skills as a BA.  I know I have a lot to learn but I am also a really good analyst with the skills and aptitudes I do have.

I really want a job where I can help people identify their business system problems, work to build understanding and consensus between and among the stakeholder groups, and to be the go-to-person when new requirements and problems come up.  But I don't want a big, bloated, chaotic, unrealistic disaster of a project.  I like small businesses and projects, but small hasn't offered me formalized training, "named" methodologies, or mentors.

Does anyone have any advice for how to target a job search to find these small niches that need and want a BA?  And in the meantime, what advice would you offer to quickly beef up my skills in a meaningful way?  (If I didn't have to work, I think I'd be a professional student.  I like the structure of a training program, which I can then use as a framework for future project work.)

New Post 5/26/2009 11:05 AM
User is offline fizz
16 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Formalizing and refining skills for a job search 

 I feel for you. I've been a generalist BA most of my career too (nearly 7 years now) and I think this has done me more harm than good. It seems these days, with BA being the "in" thing in our industry, every other role advertised is a BA one - except they aren't. When someone says they want a Oracle BA or a Siebel CRM, what they really want are Oracle Techno-Functional Consultants or Siebel Consultants. BA's can work with them in these organizations (unless they are very small) and need not be proficient in tools or technologies, but this is unfortunately not what hurried companies are looking for.

My advice, choose a technology (like Oracle, SAP etc) if you come into contact with it or better yet, remain a generalist but within an Industry - so banking BA or Supply Chain BA etc. While for some this would mean narrowing your chances a bit, it opens avenues for more fulfilling and meaningful work and better growth within these streams. 
New Post 5/27/2009 12:53 AM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: Formalizing and refining skills for a job search 


Small is good!
I’d suggest that you pay for a formal 1-week industry recognised BA course. What this will do is give you confidence that what you know is what industry expects. It will also give you a gauge to assess how much you know and what gaps you might have. Armed with this knowledge you can then change your CV/Resume and target particular markets. Which markets? Since you’ve worked for a few small companies, think about the business processes that you were engaged in then target particular function/process areas: Order-to-cash, Procure-to-Pay etc. Also think about SIC codes for your small business (eg. and target similar companies.
I believe that every good BA should at least work on one “big, bloated, chaotic, unrealistic disaster of a project” in their career. It definitely gives perspective and an appreciation for project managers, SMEs and all the resources who are literally “under the gun” in these kinds of projects.
All the best mate!
Warm regards,
New Post 7/4/2009 10:28 AM
User is offline Tom Miller, CSPO
45 posts
8th Level Poster

Re: Formalizing and refining skills for a job search 
Modified By Tom Miller, CSPO  on 7/4/2009 11:29:50 AM)

Formal course work preping you for the CBAP might be just the thing.  One that I like the idea of, and the shortness of the course is:  The price is very reasonable if your a member of the IIBA.  This one combines a live instructor and student interaction with a fairly short schedule.  The other choices are online without other student interaction courses and in person courses.  You can research most of these at  Take a look at:, and the villovina university course just to mention a few.




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