Forge your unique path of varying experiences by harnessing business analyst career agility, and enjoy the endless possibilities of the corporate jungle gym.
In days gone by, careers were calculated in the safety of working at the same company for decades where the 20 year long service plaque was the prized goal. One could walk through the door, with a step-by-step formula and climb up to the C-suite.
Look to 2016, and a Gallup report revealed that 21% of millennials have moved jobs within the past year.
Why are we seeing this shift?
In Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’, she explores the idea of the limiting corporate ladder and the endless possibility of the jungle gym.
Sandberg paints the picture that ladders are limiting, only allowing you to move up, down, on or off. The jungle gym model benefits many, with opportunities to forge a unique path of varying experiences whether it be lateral moves, upward jumps or finding your footing on the tricky nets.
The idea of the proverbial corporate jungle gym resonates with millennials.
Millennials are explorers, making their own way on the jungle gym and with each twisty-turn providing a new perspective.
Success is no longer simply measured by upward steps on the corporate ladder, but includes the series of fulfilling experiences gained along the way.
Couple this strong yearning for a meaningful career, with this rapidly evolving world — digital landscape, virtual reality, cloud computing, machine learning — and you’ll realise that it is more critical than ever to stay relevant in the business analysis profession.
It’s no wonder
… ambitious millennials are forging purposeful paths that line-up with their aspirations and are not shying away from making the decisions to tread them.
The opportunities you navigate will determine your path, and how successfully you tread them will depend on how well you have prepared yourself for each step of the way.
What choices are you making to guide your business analyst career?
Here’s how you can make sure you take solid steps:
Think big picture
Where do you envision yourself in 3, 5 and 10 years’ time?
The plan does not have to be set in stone, but serves to guide the career opportunities that you choose to pursue or not. It’s important to think of career development in big pictures.
The opportunities that bring you closer to that picture may not be the traditional on-the-job opportunities, but may manifest in opportunities that you had not imagined could be a possibility.
Take the time to craft and visualise your big picture. Without a big picture anchoring your career development decisions, you may find yourself drifting further away from your vision.
Make strategic moves
What career moves do you need to elevate your profile?
Career moves whether upward, downward or lateral provide the occasion to broaden your knowledge base and skill set. Regularly take stock of the skills that you have today and identify the skills that you need to develop for tomorrow.
Become well versed in the business analyst trends and skills that are needed to grow your career and look for the opportunities that enable you to gain these skills.
Grow wisely and solidify the foundation for better jobs. Be open to the opportunities that present themselves; they are all part of your career growth and may be key to your next successful move.
Build firm relationships
Who have you connected with lately?
A healthy network of relationships is a great asset when navigating the career jungle gym. The ability to tap into a network of trusted advisors and peers is helpful when faced with opportunities on the horizon.
An available network is often where new opportunities are leveraged, risky options avoided and ambitious leaps supported.
Grow a network who can support you when reaching for the next rung on the monkey bars or making your next big jump. Manage it well, and a safety-net will be there to catch you, should you fall.
Find quality time
Are you maximising your potential?
It can be difficult to take on more whilst juggling the busyness of work and personal responsibilities. But, grabbing worthwhile assignments, taking on more responsibility or
… getting involved in the community will help you to acquire skills you need, expose you to new aspects of the role and achieve personal growth.
Big careers are not based on luck, they are consciously developed. Assess how your hours are spent, and dipstick whether these activities and endeavours are enabling your vision to be realised.
Career development does not mean linear progression, and is not determined by loyalty exhibited to one company. There is no one-size-fits all magical formula which ensures our millennial business analyst success.
Be certain of the opportunities that you choose to go after, and, likewise, don’t choose opportunities that limit your growth or risk career stagnation. Seek experiences that challenge and stretch your skills to enable you to spring to your next step!
How will you make the jungle gym work for your millennial business analyst career?