Getting a job and knowing when to move on

One thing I’ve noticed is that when it comes to landing a new job is that the organisation you work for will welcome you aboard the ship (so to speak). However, it’s up to you to realise when to get off. Unfortunately, you won’t receive help in that part. You’ve got to get onto your next ship on your own.

It’s been a bit tricky for me. I constantly receive contrasting advice. Recruiters tell me that I don’t have enough time built up in my current job to move on. Mentors tell me to move onto something bigger and not settle at a non-ideal place for too long.

In the end, you are in the best position to assess what to do. If you are no longer learning new skills, if there are no more challenges, if there is no space to explore your leadership qualities, if you cannot go on the training courses that you need…then perhaps you’ve given your part and done all you can in that position.

My view is that if it’s no longer fun, no longer exciting, then it would make sense to start looking elsewhere to find new challenges.

For me, the realisation came the moment I decided that I am ready to go out there and risk it. Risk failing, risk not getting the job, risk making mistakes. If you no longer feel scared about putting your reputation on the line then it’s time to pursue the career you really want.

New year, same blog purpose

So after a break, I thought I’d get back into Blogging. This time I’m writing from my iPad. It’s not the fastest way to type but I can’t be bothered booting up my desktop just to write this. In all honesty, this is one task that my blackberry bold can handle better than an iPad (or any touchscreen device for that matter).

I’ve read some blogging tips over the break and once again it seems that personal blogging is doomed. Apparently one must blog about a specific niche topic and offer readers material that’s important to them. One can’t use a blog like a journal anymore. While it’s not necessary for non-professional bloggers to follow a rule book, sticking to one theme makes sense.

This year I plan to write more about my professional interests and development. It might not attract as many readers but at least it creates a log of my career at different stages.

As for New Year resolutions, I’d be content with moving into a business analysis role by the end of the year. I’m going to invest in my knowledge and skills and I look forward to reporting on my progress soon.

Finished University? Get accredited!

Finished university? Congratulations! You are now almost employable (if your grades can speak for themselves). You can expect months of job searching while you keep your part-time retail job. On the bright side, you’ve been at that retail job for so long you may even qualify to become an underpaid supervisor.

All cynicism aside… Ok you’ve finished uni and have gained employment in an office job in your career path or at least something interesting. What do you do next?

Whether you are in your desired role or not, the process of developing yourself has not finished, in fact you are probably less than half-way there despite your recent three years at university. Continue reading

Whether to study a post grad

After completing a Bachelor’s degree, some students go straight into post-graduate studies, other students declare “school is out” and others enter the workforce to before making the decision.

In my last year of studies, I was so desperate to have a post-student life that I didn’t contemplate going back, not until I had spent a few years in the workforce.

After working in the public service for 15 months, I’m still unsure of when to pursue further formal education. I have been told that it’s best to work for a few years as a career path will become clearer once I have some industry experience. This makes sense as then I’ll be able to decide whether I’d like to specialise in one area or study a new stream altogether. It also allows me to explore what options are available to study while I work.

At this point in time, I’m not sure what area of studies I’d like to pursue. One interest is to learn more about accounting and ensure I have financial knowledge to complement what I’ve already learned. It’s known that once you get to the managerial level of ICT, budgets and cost come in to play much more. Being financially literate is an advantage when justifying expenditure and conveying ideas. The only issue with studying accounting is that I may be planning too far ahead.

So the other study streams I think are plausible would be to pursue project management or business analysis courses. While both are expensive, they would be a step in the right direction. Prine2 or PMP courses would be great to have under my belt. Similarly, specific courses relating to business requirements and business analysis would put me in good stead also.

I’ve seen people complete their Bachelor’s and post grad diplomas all at once before entering the workforce as a graduate. While this would be desirable, I didn’t have any fuel left in me to continue studying at the end of my degree.

I hope to check back in a year’s time to see how I feel about it then. Maybe I’ll have some courses under my belt by then. Here’s hoping.

Business Analysis – my introduction

For the past few years I’ve been working towards my career aspiration of becoming a business analysis.

The purpose of this blog was to document the concepts I was learning towards the end of my University degree.

Obviously this hasn’t happened but it’s never too late to get things started. As I have other internet profiles of a more social nature, I’d like to turn this blog into a repository of the topics that are of a more professional nature.

Without further ado, I’d like to kick off a series of BA related posts by starting with my enthusiasm for the job title.

So at University, I was first introduced to the position of Business Analyst. “You’ll tell the IT programmers what to do”. This is what some of the lecturers would tell us. There was a gap between the business and IT areas of an organisation. This barrier was perhaps a communication issue or even a cultural issue.

We were told we’d be the problem solvers in the organisation. Understanding the business needs while also being familiar with the technology and its limitations. It was a good fit for me at the time. I was very interested in IT yet I struggled with programming and preferred learning about business. That’s when it all made sense. I didn’t need to be a programmer to work in the ICT field. I could also study business related units whilst having a specific target industry.

So here I am. Graduated from the Bachelor of Business Informatics. Along the way I’ve acquired an interest for Disaster Recovery Planning, information systems, IT project management and Information Security. I’ve also realised there are areas that I didn’t develop so well such as accounting and cost benefit analysis. I have a few skills, a few interests, the desire to learn more still.

Despite my education, I feel that there is a lot for me to figure out. The career path of Business Analyst isn’t clearly defined. While we have thousands of BAs in Australia, the position hasn’t been around long enough to really understand what the specific streams are and what qualifies you to enter this field.

As I attempt to become a business analyst, I look forward to sharing what I learn along the way.