How to build a high paying career as a business analyst earning up to £80,000 year in as little as 90 days
Are you a degree holder, feeling like you are not really fulfilling your potential in the marketplace?
You know that where you are is not a true reflection of your potential, and you sense that with some guidance, direction and a little help, you should be doing much more, earning a lot more than what you’re earning and making a big difference.
Questions like “what do I do?” where can I get help?” or maybe “What’s the fastest way for me to move up in the corporate marketplace?” run through your mind.
If that’s you, then I’mdelightedyou’re here because what I’m about to share with you in this article is a little known secret that is helping intelligent people like you who have a lot to offer but have been held back for one reason or another, experience accelerated progress. It’s not uncommon for someone earning as little as £19K/year to make £80k/year in as little as 90 days.
This skill 15 years ago wasn’t such a big deal in the marketplace, but today is hugely demanded, and supply is really low.
And if you remember from those Economics classes from back in school – When demand is high, and supply is low, then the price goes up.
That skill is Business Analysis.
And because many organizations need business Analysis, companies will pay big money to attract outstanding business analysts.
I have been privileged to build a successful career as a Business Analyst, but the truth is I never started out intending to be one. I came to the UK from Nigeria in 1996 because of the constant strikes in the universities that were going on at the time. I studied accounting and finance and went on to become an ACCA qualified accountant.
As I worked up the ladder in my accounting career, I noticed that there weren’tmany ethnic minority people like me who were doing the same job I do. I always felt I stuck out in the crowd. This bothered me because I knew there were many educated people like me, but when I did meet them, they were blue-collar workers working as cleaners and security guards.
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with these jobs if you want to do that. But when I spoke to these people I met, however, they were not doing the job they wanted to do. I realized that decisions were made at the strategic level, and for me to change the narrative, I had to work at that level.
I initially transitioned into the role of an SAP consultant, where I worked on strategic projects and eventually into Business Analysis. However, it was still the same scenario where I was the only ethnic minority on my projects. My fellow ethnic minority blue-collar workers were masters and PhD holders who had tried to get into the corporate world but had not managed to get that break.
This bothered me a lot, and I wanted to change the narrative. I started thinking of what I had to do to change the narrative. I am a woman of faith, so I prayed about it and what I heard was that my people perish from lack of knowledge.
Initially, I was confused by this, but then it dawned on me that even though these people were academically qualified, they didn’t have the skills, i.e., how to apply their knowledge to specific situations. Simply put, having the knowledge does not give you the skills.
That’s when I decided to start my company teaching people how to apply their knowledge to develop the skills to help companies and organizations solve their problems. My mission is to eradicate poverty (financially and mindset). I am very passionate about giving highly intelligent and hard-working professionals the skills and tools they need to become successful and highly paid Business Analysts.
The business analysis market is what we in the industry call an “immature” market. That means that, as of this writing, there are a lot of companies wanting to hire people for these positions but not a lot of people who know how to do the work.
One question people ask me is,“what are the skills needed to break into Business Analysis”. The truth is there are six core skills that you need, and that is what I am going to break down in this article.
What is it about the work business analysts do that make an organization focus more on skills rather than certification when they bring you in?
Why are they looking for skills when certification proves that you have the knowledge?
Organizations are really looking for people that can demonstrate they have the skills to do the work.
The Business Analysis career Boost Consultation with Vivienne
Skills Matter more than a Certification.
Certifications are good, but certification alone will not get you the job. Your ability to apply the skills and communicate your ability to recruiters is what matters most.
It’s entirely possible for someone to come in, sell themselves, and prove they can do the job based on their skills alone…
The Six Critical Skills
What are those six critical skills?
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
Most people have these skills and use them daily but take them for granted because they’ve been using them their entire life.
Of course, there is one other necessary skill. Without this skill, none of the other skills matter….
The Most Important Skill: Selling Yourself
Surprisingly, this is actually the most challenging skill to master. It’s also the reason most people who apply for a position as a business analyst don’t get the job.
It’s not enough to have the skills or the framework to do the job.
You must convince the recruiterthat you know what you are doing and can do the work required.
That process begins with your CV…
Your CV: The First Place Recruiters Meet You
There are people I’ve met who’ve paid CV writers £500 to write a CV for them, but it doesn’t impress. It doesn’t sell them.
It might be good enough for a job in other positions, but it’s not outstanding for this position. And in this industry, good isn’tgood enough.
The CV must be impressive, or the recruiter will not shortlist you to the next stage of their hiring process.
I’ve met those who copied other people’sCV’s or falsified what they had done. They got the job but couldn’t do the work and were fired.
If you’ve been applying for positions as a business analyst and weren’t able to get calls back, your CV probably doesn’t have on it what the recruiters need to see.
If your CV is fine, there is another area that may need work…
LinkedIn and Your Social Footprint
LinkedIn is becoming huge these days for recruiters. They check it after receiving the CV even before the candidate is interviewed to know them before calling for the interview.
Organizations are bypassing outside recruiters and going directly after people on LinkedIn. The number of people I know who have been contacted via LinkedIn and got the job has increased in just the last week.
If you’re not getting contacted for positions through LinkedIn, your profile definitely needs work.
If you’re getting calls for interviews, but you’re not getting the positions you want, there’s a reason for it…
The Real Reason Most Candidates Don’t Land the Job
The interviewer is expecting their questions to be answered in a particular format. Answering the questions isn’t enough. They must be answered the way the interviewer expects them to be answered.
People often think they’re answering the question, and they are talking about something they believe is the answer, but they’re not answering it in the correct format, and so they don’t get offered the job.
If you can sell yourself with confidence in the interview and prove you have the skills to do the work, you will land a good job as a business analyst.
What Business Analysts Do
Business analysts work on projects where they help businesses discover/identify their needs using a framework. We are the people who help businesses and organizations evaluate what they are currently doing that isn’t working and then recommend the steps to take to help them not only get things working but improve on what they were doing. Hence, it works better than it did when they started.
Some of the projects Business Analysts work on include:
- Digital Transformation
- Business Process Improvement
- Software Implementation
- Robotic Process Automation
- Organizational Change
- Strategic Planning
There’s a specific framework, a blueprint of tools and techniques that describe the steps to be taken, that is used to discover the needs of the business and create the plan of action that gets the job done.
The good thing about this framework is that it can be applied across any industry.
Having the skills without the framework is what causes most people to fail in their work…
Why Most People Fail As Business Analysts…
I’ve spoken to a lot of people who entered the business analysis industry without understanding the fundamental framework of the job. Sadly, these are usually the people who spent their time, attention, and money on passing exams to become certified.
They don’t understand what they’re getting into, they don’t know how to apply the skills they’veacquired to the demands of the industry, they get confused and overwhelmed by the work they’re being asked to do, and then they get fired because they can’t produce the results the company needs.
There’s a difference between having knowledge of what to do and knowing how to do it. Skills – knowing how to do it – will always trump pure knowledge as a business analyst.
A professional footballer gets paid a considerable amount more than the football manager. Why is that? The footballer possesses the skills to win the game. The manager has the knowledge of what it takes to win the game.
That’s how it works in this industry, too. The skilled workers get well paid to do their jobs, but those skills are developed through application and practice, not passing an exam.
Let Me Assure You: This Is Not Rocket Science
While the work is well-paid and requiressomeone who is hard-working, intelligent, and capable of critical thinking, it’s not rocket science.
Some people put on presentations or talk about the job as if it is super complicated,let me let you in on a secret: people who work as business analysts are normal like you and don’t have two heads.
They are just normal people who also happen to have a job that makes them over £80,000 per annum.
Of course, the pay isn’t the only benefit of being a business analyst…
The Benefits of Being a Business Analyst
A position as a business analyst isn’t for everyone, but for those who like:
- Job security
- Global travel
- Daily challenges
- Wide variety of projects
- Encounters with new technology
- Doing work that makes a difference
You’re going to find this position offers all of that and more, but to get there,you’re going to need to take the steps to ensure you succeed…
The Business Analysis career Boost Consultation with Vivienne
What It Takes To Succeed as a Business Analyst
If you can’t sell yourself, you can’t succeed as a business analyst. As I mentioned earlier, this is the most important and most difficult skill to master. More like if you don’t know yourself…
That’s because it starts with self-analysis. It’s been said, and in my experience is true, that the person we are most likely to know the least about is ourselves. That’s why the first step in succeeding as a business analyst is to…
1. Know Yourself & Your Value
Think about it: nobody can sell a product they don’t understand. Knowing the value that you bring to an organizationand being able to tell someone what you can offer that no one else can is essential to being able to sell yourself.
There are people who go to their graves, never knowing what they could have brought to the table and never tapping into their full potential. This includes peoplecurrently making over £50,000 a year.
Even some business analysts currently working as business analystshave no idea the value they bring to the table or how brilliant they are and don’trealize what is inside them that could easily be worth 10x what they are making now.
Self-analysis is a great place to begin, but until you’ve been given an objective evaluation of what you have to offer, you are missing things.
We all have blind spots or areas of ourselves that we simply don’t see clearly. Each blind spot is an area where we are potentially leaving money on the table because we aren’tcapitalizing on a strength or where we have weaknesses that we aren’t planning for and are leading us to failure.
You can’t sell a product you don’t understand.
That leads us to the second step…
2. Qualify Yourself
In this industry, nobody qualifies you. Certifications will not do it. They have their place, but only after working in the industry.
Qualifying yourself for the job is about knowing where your gaps are, where your weaknesses and strengths are, so you can capitalize on your strengths and make plans to accommodate for your weaknesses.
Any thorough analysis will include these areas. This is not a comparison to other people. It’s understanding the value that you can offer and being confident in yourself. That’s one of the job requirements: confidence in yourself and in your abilities.
Think about it: You are confident that you are capable of reading this article. Why? Because you’ve read thousands of similar documents in the past, and you know what to do if you encounter a word you don’trecognize. You are confident that you can solve any potential problems that may come up as you attempt to read it.
That confidence doesn’t come with a certification. It comes with having mastered the skills through practice. That practice begins with conducting analysis on yourself as part of a self-evaluation, understanding the transferable skills you bring to the table and how that all fits into the work you’ll be doing as a business analyst.
I’m not discarding getting certified. However, there are many certified business analysts struggling to get their first Business Analyst role and people without a certificate who are working as business analysts.
It can be quite frustrating if you have been made to think that qualification is the easiest route to get a BA job. Unfortunately, that isn’t how this industry works. This is where the difference between knowledge and skills become important. People who are focused on passing exams and becoming certified are knowledgeable but not skilled. Skills is the ability to apply the knowledge you have gained. In the BA industry, skills will always trump knowledge.
Once you’ve qualified yourself, it will be time to acquire the job by putting together your CV, creating or updating your LinkedIn profile, and then preparing yourself for the interview.
3. Acquire the Job
Most of the people applying for these positions are average. There is a small number who are good. The people who get the jobs are outstanding.
If you are brilliant at all three: the CV, the LinkedIn profile & social presence, then your interview and assessments will stand out.
An average person applying for 100 jobs may not get even one interview. If they are good and apply for 100 jobs, they might get 20 interviews but no job offer. If they are outstanding and apply for 100 jobs, they’ll likely get 100 interviews and as many job offers.
The difference between average and good is not huge. The same thing is true about the difference between good and outstanding, but the difference in results is massive.
So for every 100 people who go for a job, you might have 1 outstanding person, 5 who are good, 4 who are rubbish and the rest (90) who are average. So if you are applying for jobs and not getting shortlisted, it might mean your CV is average. If you are not being contacted on LinkedIn, it means your LinkedIn profile is probably average or just good.
What is it that makes you stand out from the other 5 CVS that a recruiter is looking at? These are the little things that can make the difference.
4. Be Prepared to Upskill
Being a business analyst isn’t the kind of work where you can afford to take the job and have no career plan or strategy. Most people I speak to have never even thought of creating a career strategy.
However, this is a progressive career in an industry where things change rapidly. You must be prepared to upskill and think about how to stand out in your new role to progress in your career constantly.
Having a 90-day plan to evaluate yourself and become an invaluable employee is how my client, Belinda, went from being a single mother between jobs to having a well-paid job and buying her own home just two years later…
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Case Study: From Single Mother Between Jobs to Being Well-Paid and Buying Her Own Home In Just Two Years…