Work out your need, find the person (or two) and take on the responsibility to grow your career with a business analyst mentor, but make sure you get a good one.
Having somebody strong provide you with support by sharing their experience and wisdom is not a new concept, but having been fortunate to have strong mentors in every phase of their life — whether parents, teachers or lecturers — millennials have a firm belief that mentorship will flow right on into the workplace.
In fact millennials don’t consider the prospect of it not continuing at all. And feel deflated when this is the case.
Navigating this thing called business analyst career is tough.
Gallup recently reported that to a large extent millennials are disengaged at work. Yes, that means you or a millennial you know is likely counting down the minutes ’til five pm. To avoid becoming a negative statistic
… find yourself a business analyst mentor to provide you with objective guidance, encouraging words and ongoing support, …
whether you’re starting out in a new job, looking for current opportunities to leverage or readying yourself for your next big move.
But, finding a mentor is easier said than done.
And you need to think it through carefully – as there are good mentors and there are not-so-good mentors.
Here’s what you can do to grow your career with a business analyst mentor (and make sure that you’re getting one of the good ones).
Work out your need
What is it that you are seeking from a mentor?
You must first get to grips with what it is that you are looking for from a business analyst mentor.
- Are you looking for a person who knows the ins-and-outs of the business analysis profession?
- Do you want someone who can guide you on the finesse of interpersonal relationships?
- Are you seeking objective insight of your competencies and help developing an action plan?
- Do you need some helpful advice to help build your business analyst brand and network visibility ?
Whatever it may be, you need to find that someone who can help. So, take a moment to jot down exactly what it is that you require. And once you’ve got this clear understanding of your needs, it will provide you with the direction you need to find the right mentor to support you.
Find the person (or two)
How do you find somebody to help mentor you?
Finding that mentor can seem like a hurdle, but there are various ways to approach this.
- Think about individuals within your team or workplace who possess what it is that you aspire to
- Consider those people who have positively impacted you during different stages of your career
- Talk to peers and ask for possible recommendations on individuals who have mentored them
- And when in doubt, a good old internet recce may just surface the business analyst mentor you need
Don’t discount having multiple mentors to help with specific individual needs. Multiple mentors are necessary to get guidance on a spectrum of goals. Once you’ve compiled your list of possibilities, connect with them to gauge whether the relationship is a good fit.
Take on the responsibility
Are you committed to being an active mentee?
It is your responsibility as the mentee to let the mentor know what it is that you need.
- Let the mentor know their ‘been there, done that’ experience that you want to tap into
- To tap into that wisdom, be sure to set clear expectations and goals for the relationship
- Define the specific key indicators that measure progress so that you can gauge how it’s going
- Take detailed and precise notes of the key take-aways so that you can retrospect after each session
Don’t forget the practicalities either, so agree on the various aspects such as how often you’d like to meet, whether in-person, telephonic or online, and over what duration you’d like mentoring. And take ownership of the relationship to ensure its success.
Mentoring is a dynamic relationship that requires focused time and commitment for it to develop, requiring you to take the lead and own your career. It may have its challenges at times, but it has the lasting power to grow your business analyst savvy, and can ensure that expertise is passed on from one generation to the next.
We live in an age where mentors are far more accessible than they were for any generation previously. Make sure that you’re making the most of a business analyst mentor to grow your career. And make sure you’re getting one of the good ones.