In a webinar from the International Institute of Business Analysis, Laurie Ryan gave some great advice on being a contractor Business Analyst, and shared some effective ways of succeeding from job to job. If you’re a contractor now, or are thinking of becoming one, here are some of Laurie’s nice, handy pieces of advice to keep in mind.
- Ask hiring managers as many questions as you want. They should be able to give you any information you need. If you forget to ask something in the interview, you can always go back to them later with follow-up questions. If they don’t give you the information you seek, don’t bother and move on to the next opportunity.
- Make sure you understand the job description. Know what’s being asked of you, and make sure you can deliver. It never hurts to ask for clarification. There are all kinds of job descriptions out there for business analysts, and they all vary by company. Since there’s no standardization (yet), it’s essential that you understand clearly what you might be getting yourself into.
- Treat yourself kindly. You have just as much right to sick days, time off and vacation as anyone else does.
- Be honest about your skills and experience. You might be able to learn about something you know little about and be effective at the same time. Most contractors are hired with the understanding they’ll hit the ground running. However, there may be some ramp up time needed for more junior level contractors, so be honest and assess what you can and can’t handle before going to the interview. Know where you’ll fit best to succeed.
- Finally: Find recruiters you can work with. Many may not understand what a BA is or does, and some may not be able to get you what you want. A good recruiter can do a lot of your negotiating for you, so stay on good terms with yours. Find one who’s willing to work with you, who’s interested in your skill sets, and who’s willing to market you actively to several employers.