There’s a strong demand for business analysts out there, which means you could find yourself in the sweet spot of having a number of opportunities to pick from. If you do, don’t jump too fast. Take the time to consider these points as you evaluate your offers. Remember, it’s as important for you to be comfortable with your employer as they are with you. So when you’re searching for your next job, take a look at:
- The company’s recruiting process, what you see as your potential role and what recruiters look for in résumés. Every employer is different because business analyst roles vary from company to company. Standards are still evolving.
- The on-boarding/orientation process — expectation setting of BAs on day one. Make sure the company sets you up for success, not failure. Many organizations intentionally or unintentionally allow candidates to fail during their ramp up/on-boarding processes.
- The compensation process — what BAs are paid for their job role and level. What does Human Resources use to determine pay ranges for the job description based on market data for the job’s responsibilities? Do they pay above, at or below market with incentives?
- How others in the organization view the BA role. Is it a highly visible position? Will it be easy to talk to higher ups, or is it an anonymous, Dilbert type of role? Again, each company uses business analysts differently and for different purposes.
- Criteria for performance and promotions — what you need to demonstrate to get promoted or receive performance-based compensation.
- What development plan options and training are mapped to the role to make sure you can grow and advance to bigger and better positions?
Once you understand the role the organization desires for BAs, the next step is to focus on career and competency development.
Some career ladder considerations:
- What are the entry points — internal and external — on the BA ladder for your organization? This is critical. Is there an Analyst I, II, III? Do they require very specific expertise that only the company can offer? This all goes to how limited, or broad, roles can be.
- What career options are there if the role turns out not to be a good fit? Are there skills you can obtain or learn to cross-train into another position?
- What options do you have once you’ve mastered the most senior role available? It’s critical for a company to provide options above and beyond the top BA role.
Thinking through all of these points, you can ensure that as a BA, you can find the right fit for yourself and the company.