Category: Career Tips

Business Analyst Success Tips: 12 Qualities to Develop

Various qualities distinguish business analysts even amongst themselves. To be a successful business analyst, you need to pay attention towards developing certain qualities and skills, and they include:

1. Knowledge: Business analysts need to have vast knowledge to be able to carry out certain projects. If required knowledge is lacking, it will hinder their ability to perform any high level project satisfactorily. To be successful as a business analyst needs a broader and deeper skillset.

2. Specialist knowledge: As a business analyst, you need to have specialist knowledge and experience in an area. While an analyst may not be required to know all there is to know about solving a problem, his/her efforts can complement the knowledge of others towards finding the solution to a problem.

3. Experience on various projects: To be successful as a business analyst, you need to acquire experience working on different or multiple project types. With such experience you will have developed various skills and techniques, which will enable you to be effective on various projects that you may be involved with later in your career. When involved in different projects in the same company, it gives you experience in strategic thinking, knowledge of certain overlapping functions, and interdisciplinary dependencies, offering the opportunity to begin to create solutions to problems affecting the whole organization, rather than a section or the area you are involved in.

4. Effective planning: Having an intelligent work plan is also a characteristic of successful business analysts. This helps answer the question about how long a project will last. You need to think about the people you will be working with, identify the stake holders, and understand them and the important characteristics that will work for them. You also need to think through the size of the project, risks involved, the guidelines that need to be paid attention to and followed, the methodologies being used, and the importance of the project. This gives you an idea of the tasks involved in the project, as well as the time needed to get it done with.

5. The big picture view: You need to understand where a project fits into the organizational goals. Having the big picture in view is an important trait of successful business analysts. It helps understand how certain projects of the organization relate to each other and the impact of those projects on other areas of the organization.

6. Proffering solution: As a business analyst, you need to begin to see yourself as a solution giver to organizations. You need to understand what is most important about any upcoming project, and be able to mediate in business affairs when there is a conflicting situation. You need to understand the pains of staff in any project and their value systems.

7. Understanding each project: To be a successful business analyst, you need to make extra efforts to know about new projects you are involved in. When working on a new project, you should take the time to find out and read up all you can about the project. A number of ways can help you gain new knowledge; Google the subject matter and go through the information, and ask members of your network. It is not mandatory that you must have all the knowledge, asking those you socialize with officially about the project can help gain some knowledge about it. Continue to increase your network. Experience can also help in understanding or gaining new knowledge. Even if you may not have been involved in the project before, observation or putting a few things together may create an idea about what the project is all about.

8. Negotiation skill: The business analyst needs to be a good negotiator; since he/she is working directly with the project customer, he/she should be able to make important decisions and negotiate certain requirements.

9. Confidence: The business analyst must be confident in taking decisions. The complexity of working with a number of different component members to achieve a project may require quick and accurate decision making skills, especially when the entire team may not be required to make important decisions all the time.

10. Technical skills: A business analyst who brings technical skills to the table when handling a project usually receives a favorable rating. This is because he/she shortens the amount of time required to plan, and helps ensure that important requirements are captured.

11. Thinking: A successful business analyst thinks on the go. This is because for a project to successfully remain on track, he/she has to continue to understand the implication of every phase, and how it affects the project, especially when issues and challenges that need critical decision arise.

12. People skills: As a business analyst, you need to be engaging to be successful. You need to have the ability to make people commit their time and effort towards achieving a project. Analysts often learn to convince, beg, or cajole stakeholders to make available all that is needed to complete a task.


Having a successful career as a business analyst may not be easy, however, developing certain qualities and skills as presented in this post will definitely help you achieve the goal.

5 Steps to Successful Employment Offer Negotiations In The Construction, Engineering Industries

Many job candidates in the construction industry fail to negotiate when they receive an employment offer. Failure to engage in employment offer negotiations typically stems from an applicant’s lack of negotiation skills, fear of rejection, or worry that attempts to negotiate will anger a hiring manager. Construction and engineering professionals should arrive at the negotiating table armed with current salary data and a summary of their special skills. Below are five tips designed to help professionals in the construction and engineering industries successfully engage in employment offer negotiations.

1) Do your research. Arrive at the negotiating table armed with the latest statistics and salary trends in the construction or engineering industries. Make sure that the data you reference possesses the following attributes:

  • Citing data from the past twelve months will help your case.
  • Statistics and salary data that you cite should correspond to the position you seek and your qualifications.
  • Cite data from credible sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2) Have your brag book on hand. Do not be afraid to remind employers of your accomplishments, awards, and notable projects you managed. You should also reference any contributions you have made to your local community. Summarize your professional achievements and activities in an organized format that will delight employers and enhance your odds of securing your dream offer.3) Highlight your special skills and certifications. When you negotiate for additional compensation or job-related perks, you need to be ready to justify your value as an employee. Examples of relevant certifications or special skills that would help your negotiation efforts include the following:

  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
  • Certified Professional Construction Certification (CPCC)
  • Construction Engineering Certification

4) Be prepared to compromise. Ideally, you will succeed with your negotiations. However, there is a chance that an employer will reject your request or present a counteroffer. Remember to respond gracefully regardless of the news that you receive.5) Follow up. It is unlikely that you will receive a confirmed offer immediately after you finish negotiating with a potential employer. In most cases, hiring managers will require time to finalize a decision and prepare an updated offer. In the interim, follow up with the employer to express your appreciation for considering your request.

Do not enter employment offer negotiations without a strategic plan. By following the tips above, you can increase your odds of success at the negotiating table and receiving the employment offer that you deserve.

6 Tips For A Successful Internship

If you want to get success with your internship, you may want to consider a few important things. You may not notice it but your supervisor will pay close attention to you and judge your performance on a regular basis. Given below are 7 tips to help you do your internship successfully.

1.) Be Punctual

This is one of the most important characteristics no matter where you want to do your internship. Your internship is an opportunity for you to prove that you are valuable. So, we suggest that you be punctual. Aside from this, you may want to arrive early and leave a few minutes late.

2.) Dress Smart

Your dress should be tidy, sharp, smart and professional. Just make sure you dress smart. Your dress should show your professionalism. So, it’s not a good idea to put on sandals or shorts when you leave for your office.

3.) Be Active

You may want to take the initiative. In other words, you may not want to be afraid of asking questions. As a matter of fact, you may want to find out as much as you can regarding the organization you are going to work for. Moreover, if you have already finished the job assigned to you, you may want to reach your colleagues in order to get help and tips. What you need to do is prove yourself a valuable asset for the organization.

4.) Network

Networking is the base if you want to do your internship successfully. What you need to do is develop a personal but professional relationship with others in the company. The homogenous society of the country where you want to do your internship may put more emphasis on trust and inclusiveness. So, you may want to develop lasting working relationships.

5.) Respect

It’s really important to give others the respect that they deserve. It’s not a good idea to criticize someone openly over there. Aside from this, you can’t make fun of others either. However, you can express your criticism behind a closed door.

People do like good sense of humor. Moreover, your coworkers may not appreciate or understand the dry humor or sarcasm. What you need to do is be polite and friendly when talking to your colleagues.

6.) Be part of a team

You should also express your willingness to assist others. Most people enjoy working with foreigners. You can consider it as your responsibility to start a conversation. In other words, you may not want to wait for the other person to start a conversation. You can start it. In fact, you can approach someone and ask for his or her age, religion, income or weight to start a conversation.

5 Killer Business Plan Tips

A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.

Starting up a successful business is something everyone wants. But the problem is do they know how?


Before you go out trying to convince your audience (customers) that your business offers the best-make sure it truly offers the best. I recommend writing a detailed outline that shortens your business “story”. Find out those who are also in the same business with you, find out their area of expertise and their feebleness. By testing your ideas against those that are already in motion, you can easily find out where your plan will excel and where you are falling short. This way, you can improve your business before you start and once you start, you will be ahead of the race.


One key spice to writing a topic tier business plan is arranging the plan for a specific target area(key audience) and telling them what they need to know. I advice that you break down the plan according to the area you wish to attract. Are you trying to get a new business partner, attract new customers or applying for a loan no matter what make sure you include a detailed cost and Return on Investment projection that can be measures and are realistic. Especially in the case of lenders, they will want to know if you have considered being practical in your plan and you are not relying on wishful thinking and unlikely gain in the market.


Another word to use if I am to say is “Go Straight to The point”. First of all, it is important that you summarize your ideas for yourself- this shows that you have a solid view of your plan and you are taking critical steps to ensure that you succeed. Plus, lender and potential partners also have no interest in flowery phrases or winding word patterns. If you can get them to key into your idea in a few words, they will quickly move to the next proposal. And don’t forget the business plan’s executive summary, which lends your plan legitimately because it depicts how qualified you are to your team.


Often project managers and lenders like surprising events. It shows creativity and Sometimes, project managers and lenders like surprises. It shows creativity and great ideas. However, as it is important that your business plan is different from the other, its writing structure should not be different. Every industry have some set of rules and if you try to keep these rules, you will be left behind and called a rookie in the business.Your target audience will be expecting nothing different from the previous ones, they don’t want you to feel like they have to go through series of pages to get to the certain topic-they expect to get what they want from the get-go formula.


At this point you should have done enough research to cover your bases. You have considered the financial risk and the return projection, you have identified your target audience and you know exactly what you want to achieve and how you want to do it. You even read the business plans of other in the same industry as you, just to make sure that there are no surprises. I recommend that you get advice from third party sources (Experts in the same industry). Experts have been in your place hundreds of times and they have encountered every surprise there is- including the one coming your way. They can give you solid advice on what to remove, rework, reinforce or suspend. The best part of it is that they can ask the type of question that your target have in mind and get you thinking about how to answer them and soothe potential fears before they even come up, then you will be one step ahead in both research and response, giving your plan the potential to move ahead fast from presentation to execution.

8 Tips To Choose Your Career Carefully

One thing that can change your life is your career choice. You need to spend a considerable amount of time to choose the best career for you. Given below are 10 tips from experts that can help you choose the right career path.

1. Evaluate Your Work Style

Your career should suit your work style. Are you a sort of self-starter? Do you believe in achieving your goals on your own? Do you prefer a structured work atmosphere in order to do your best? So, what you need to do is evaluate your style of work before deciding on a career path.

2. Know Your Talents

If you have a hobby or talent, we suggest that you turn it into your career. For instance, you can work with wood, try different hair styles or play an instrument. As a matter of fact, if you do something you love, you can have a rewarding career.

3. Decide on Your Financial Goals

Your goal should be to go for a career that can earn you enough to meet your financial needs. For instance, if you want to buy an apartment in every continent, you can’t achieve this goal working as a clerk.

4. Go Back to School

Before paying or borrowing money for your graduate school or college, we suggest that the expense is worth the career choice you made. According to the NCES, the cost of college education increased to 35% from 25% in 10 years.

5. Make an Assessment of your Social Needs

Your career should be a social fit as you will spend around 30% of your life with your colleagues. If you are kind of introvert, you may want to opt for a career where you don’t need to work with other people.

On the other hand, if you are a social guy, you may want to choose a career where you will meet new people on a daily basis, such as a career in salesmanship.

6. Try Self-assessment Tools

You may want to make a short list of career paths. We suggest that you make use of do-it-yourself resources. For instance, you can try online quizzes in order to make an assessment of your aptitude for different types of work. Apart from this, you can check out books and workbooks in order to get guidance.

7. Hire a good Career Coach

Aside from using the DIY tools, you can hire the services of a career coach. The professional can help you get a good idea of your aptitude for different professions. Moreover, the coach may give you the advice you need in order to make a better choice.

8. Be patient

Deciding on a career path is a process. You should not consider it an event. In other words, a basic level job in your field may not be the position you desire but it can be the first step of the ladder of your success. Developing a career takes time, but setting goals and then keep moving based on a plan can help you achieve your goals down the road.

So, if you follow these tips, you will be able to choose the right career.

How to Show You’re a Top Performer

Becoming the go-to employee for a department and/or company is tough. There are many benefits for workers who are considered the best by their managers. The easy answer to becoming a top performer is to get your work done on time, with little guidance, and without throwing a fit. However, there is more to it, so I will provide more depth.

Make Sure to be Receptive to Work

I’ve been to many meetings where leaders and managers are looking for volunteers to participate on mission-critical projects. Surprisingly, there are often few takers. In most cases, the work is assigned because no one is willing to step up to the plate.

A good approach is to be proactive. I recommend that you stay connected with your manager. You can take this angle: “Hi, Nicole… I heard that the leaders are looking for people to participate on the compliance project. I wanted to let you know that I will make the time to be on the team. I understand that I must keep up my regular work, and that will not be a problem.”

Managers appreciate it when people volunteer for work, especially projects that are of high-value to the organization. Let’s assume that you’re not selected for the project because you lack the unique experience and skills required. You can rest assured that your manager will be pleased with your commitment to do what it takes to help the company do well.

Stay Away from the Petty Stuff

The most successful people in any organization operate at a level that is free from pettiness. They are focused on the work that must get done. When someone falls shorts of expectations, they avoid blaming the person. Instead, they go to the individual and ask how they can help with future work.

It’s smart to take a problem-solving approach. When most people are complaining about why they’re not advancing, we can take a proactive approach to finding the answers. I want to remind you that one’s compensation is based on the level of problems they solve. The easier it is to find a solution, the less one will make. However, the people who solve the big problems earn the highest possible pay.

The Game Plan

Before you decide to become a top performer, you must know that it will increase the level of work that you perform. Also, at some point, you will be assigned highly-visible work, which means that you will interact with high-level people. The benefits of doing this type of work is obvious, but be aware that there is little room for error.

To get the ball rolling, look for opportunities to volunteer on projects. Your manager will know if you can handle the work. If the manager has doubts that you are ready for the work, but you feel that you are, make your case. There’s a big need for individuals who are willing to accept challenges. As you get busier with work that is valuable to the organization, you will realize that you no longer have time for the petty stuff that plagues many organizations. This is when you know that you’re heading in the right direction.

10 Tips to Successfully Change Careers

Are you ready for a career change? It can never be too late to try a new career on for size. But, changing jobs can be a significant challenge, depending on your career of choice.

However, if you’re committed, there’s no reason you can’t find a new line of work that fulfills you and pays the bills.

Think hard before you leap. You may need to prep a bit.

Try these activities to successfully make a career change and do the work you were meant to do:

1. Make a list of what you don’t like about your current position. If you’re considering a change, there must be something that’s rubbing you the wrong way. It might be your company, the people, or your position. Maybe you just weren’t cut out to be an accountant. Consider the things you don’t want to see in your next career.

2. Make a list of what you do like about your current position. It can’t all be bad! What are things about your present company and place that you enjoy? What would you like to see in your next position?

3. Consider your values. Perhaps your most important benefit is helping people, but you spend your days driving a beer delivery truck. A position assisting others to directly might be more to your liking. List your values and consider careers that dovetail with them.

4. Brainstorm a list of career possibilities that take into account your likes, dislikes, and values. Now that you’ve given some thought to what you like don’t like, and your costs, think of careers that can satisfy all of those requirements.

5. What else do you need? If you’re planning a significant change, you’ll probably need to learn a few new skills. You might even need to go back to school. Consider what you need to add to your resume and make a plan to make it happen.

6. Set a goal. Know what you want and put your vision to paper. Read your goal each day. Develop a reasonable plan to reach your goal shortly. Create a goal that inspires you.

7. Network. Applying for an existing opening that is known to the public is like trying to win the lottery. Your best bet is to leverage the people you know. Try to get the inside scoop on your dream job. Let everyone know you’re looking to make a change. Be careful not to burn any bridges at your current position until you’re ready to move on.

8. Contact headhunters. A reputable headhunter only gets paid when they find you a job but paid by the employer. You’re also likely to get a lot of good advice. After all, they know what companies are looking for right now.

9. Be willing to take a step back. You might have to step down a level or a pay cut to change careers. Sometimes, it’s necessary to make a small step back to take a more significant stride forward eventually.

10. Be patient. Finding a new position is usually challenging. Finding a new spot in a new field is considerably more difficult. You must be patient and persistent. Expect that it will take some time, but keep working hard toward realizing your dream.

Few things will change your life more than a change of career. It’s worth the effort to find a job that you love. After all, you spend 40-plus hours each week doing it. Take the time to make a wise decision and then put a plan in place. It might be the beginning of a new adventure.

5 Things You Should Do After the Interview

A successful job interview is definitely important for any candidate. However it is not the end as the candidate should realize that the markets are highly competitive. It is a fact that most of the hiring managers would never consider a candidate who avoids follow-up. To make the best impression following are some of the rules or tips. These tips are devise as a result of evaluations as well as surveys conducted:

Follow-up process

Candidates are shy and this can prove fatal. The best way to make an astounding impression is to ask the hiring managers or the interviewers some questions that are of utmost importance. Questioning makes the managers clear about the interest of the candidate. It also fully communicates the spirit and anxiousness. Some of the questions are as follows:

· How long will the decision-making take?

· The point of contact and complete follow-up process involved.

A simple thank you note

About 15% of hiring managers expect this once the interview is over. It means that any candidate depicting this courtesy will definitely be considered. A simple reply on top of the interview call will suffice. Send this thank you note within 24 hours of the job interview but it is ideal to do this within 2-3 hours. Even if the candidate is not hired this action will surely help the hiring managers remembering him or her. Such candidates are rare so companies call them for future job openings.

Search, search and search

Most of the candidates quit job search after an astounding interview. The fact of the matter is that a candidate should never quit the job search. If the job offer is not made nothing is sure. In case of an excellent job interview the candidate should search the websites of the competitors of the company to see if they are hiring. Job search is a phenomenon that should never end.

Proper LinkedIn use

Tailored LinkedIn use is another way to get in touch. It will make sure that a candidate’s interest in the job is gauge by the interviewer. A personalized message not more than 300 characters will suffice. It will not only create a personalized feel, but will also connect the candidate to the organization.

Gauge overall performance

It is again one of the most important things to do. Each and every bit of information conveyed to the interviewers is analyze so that the overall performance comes to light. In case of too many weak points, the job search should continue.

Interview Success: Just Get Me in the Door

A large part of my coaching practice involves interview preparation with my clients. There are usually two groups of candidates with which I coach. The first group are often nervous or fearful of interviews, and this anxiousness can come across as low self-esteem or self-confidence. We work to increase the confidence through preparation. The job seeker must be able to confidently and believably prove their value and capabilities to the interviewing company.

The second group are those that have extensive work experience. They have interviewed and have been interviewed many times. They are usually being sought by other companies as senior professionals and executives, and have an impressive reputation because they are good at what they do. They truly understand preparation is key and use our coaching time together to make sure they have accurately prepared and are at the top of their game for the particular position they are interviewing for.

A third group, which I don’t work with on interview preparation as much, are those that just need to get their foot in the door. They assure me that they can always “nail the interview” once they get in the door. We work on resume and LinkedIn profile development, or other types of coaching but they are very confident in their interviewing abilities. I sometimes ask a few questions to make sure they are indeed ready for their interview. A few things come to mind for this third group to consider:

ARE YOU RIGHT FOR THE JOB? Of course you want to impress the interviewers. And if you don’t toot your own horn who will? But it is important to take a realistic approach to your bravado. Make sure you have what it takes to successfully manage the job and that your skills and experience fit what they are looking for. Hiring and even interviewing is timely and expensive for companies and you, make sure you sell them what you have, not just what they are looking for.

IS THE JOB RIGHT FOR YOU? It is exciting when a company calls you in and shows interest in you for a position. Be careful not to sell yourself just to land the job. Do your due diligence prior to the interview and ask questions to make sure you know what the position will ask of you. Determine if it really offers what you’re looking for now, and if it fits with your short- and long-term goals.

HAVE YOU PREPARED FOR THE INTERVIEW? Don’t overestimate your personality. While first impressions and “fit” play a key role in getting hired, preparation can make or break the job offer. Even having the right qualifications isn’t sometimes enough to land your next job. Take the time to understand the company, industry and position you are interviewing for. Learn what is going on in their world and how you can help and add value. And ask yourself again, if it aligns with your career goals.

In the past week I’ve heard back from 3 different clients who are in the interview process. We discussed the overall interview and reviewed the questions that were asked. All three clients said they were asked what they knew about the interviewing company and how they could add value to the company. Other questions were also asked that pulled in both the industry / company understanding, and the skill set and experience of the client. Remember to do your homework on the company, because they will be expecting you to.

Be confident and prepared for the best results!

6 Interview Tips To Help You Get the Job

Are you trying to get ready for a job interview? If so, you should know some basic tips to get ready in an effective manner. This will help you alleviate a bit of the stress. You will be more likely to succeed if you are well prepared. Below are 6 tips that you may want to consider.

1. Practice

First of all, you should do your research to know the answers of common interview questions. Aside from this, you should look for solid examples that you can use in order to describe your skills.

An easy way to do this is to put together a list of the requirements of the job and then match the requirements to your experience. Besides, don’t forget to make a list of important questions that you should ask the employer.

2. Read up on the Company

The employer will most likely ask you about what you know about the company. Therefore, you should do your homework and read up on the employer as well as the industry. When giving answers to important questions, make sure you relate the information you have about the employer and the company. Make sure you know the name of the interviewer as well. If you build your rapport with the interview, you will be more likely to get hired.

3. Get Ready

It’s not a good idea to choose an outfit at the time of leaving for the interview. What you need to do is get all the required stuff ready a day or two before the big day. Just make sure that the outfit you are going to put on is neat and clean. Aside from this, the outfit should be the right choice for the company you are going to work for. Also, it’s a good idea to prepare some extra copies of the important documents, such as your resume. For note taking, you should keep a pen and paper.

4. Be On Time

Don’t be late for the interview. Ideally, you should be outside the interview room a few minutes earlier. Make sure you reach the destination at least half an hour earlier. Actually, what you need to do is give yourself a while to check your outfit, calm your nerves and visit the washroom.

5. Stay Calm

This is very important. During the interview, make sure you are calm. Keep in mind that the interviewer will notice your body language while you are answering questions. With proper preparation, you can build your confidence. It’s also a good idea to look into the eyes of the interview while you are asking/answering questions. Before answering, make sure that you listen to the question.

6. Follow Up

It’s a good idea to follow-up with a brief “Thank-you” note to reiterate your interest in the job. Aside from this, you can add some details as well. Ideally, you may want to send the “Thank-you” note within a few hours of the interview.

So, these 6 tips can help you land your first job.