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Finances & Money

Creating New Opportunities Out of Old Ones

This past Monday, I interviewed for a job I found through my professional network and found out the results the next day. Unfortunately for me, they selected a candidate with 5 more years of experience, but admitted that I was a very close second and definitely want me for a similar future position.

I had more of the technical knowledge, but they needed more of the business analysis experience (e.g. requirements analysis, use cases, etc.), which happens to be what I’m getting my masters degree in right now. However, not all was a loss because I thought up a new opportunity where I can capitalize on this interviewing experience.

Clever Dude, the Phoenix

Ok, so I’m stretching it a bit to compare myself to a phoenix rising from the ashes, but where I could just get down on myself for not getting the job since I’m a pessimist, instead I’m going to look at the bright side of the experience.

As I mentioned in the first article about the job, this was the most work I’ve done for a job interview in my life. Not only did I do the normal phone and site interviews, but I also had to cram 400+ pages of a book into my head in about 2 hours. I also bought a second book which got me even more familiar with the skills I needed for the job.

Along with the reading, I also had a 1-hour conversation with the author of the book in order to coach me on my deficiencies and strengths. The author is highly respected in the field and, I’m sure, a millionaire who doesn’t need to work another day in his life thanks to his book sales (but he does). However, he took the time out of his busy day to coach me. Wow.

New Idea, New Opportunity

As I said, even though I didn’t get the job, I gained some very valuable knowledge and experience in my current field. It’s complimentary to my ongoing education as well as my regular day job. And since I work on a team of 6 business analysts, including my boss, I came up with a creative way to both help my fellow coworkers and also to make a good impression on my employer…

IDEA: Hold weekly 1-hour educational sessions on proper business analysis techniques

One of the problems I had in the interviews was coming up with real-world experience of doing business analysis the right way. No one ever taught me until I went to grad school, and now at my current job, I’m on a team with other analysts in the same position, but who aren’t getting their masters in the subject. We’re not gathering requirements properly, nor are we documenting the right way either, and it’s causing problems on our projects.

So today I sent an email to my boss explaining my idea briefly…and she loved the idea! I suggested 1-hour per week, but it could expand as-needed and include presentations by others on the team. I outlined a few initial topics and suggested we start with the basics (e.g. What is a Need versus a Requirement). We’re going to get together next week to build this up further.

So what does this opportunity do for me?

  1. It shows my boss that I take the initiative
  2. It shows I am willing to lead AND share
  3. It helps my company get more of a return on its tuition expenditure
  4. It helps prepare me for future opportunities by applying textbook knowledge into real-world practice
  5. And most importantly, it’s only 2 months away from my 2-year performance review, and this will be fresh in my boss’ mind. 🙂

This goes to show that you shouldn’t always look at the negatives of a situation gone wrong. Like I said, I could be moping around all day, but instead I thought of a way to encapsulate the experience into a new opportunity that will help me in my current job.

So try to think of ways to turn your mistakes, deficiencies or negative experiences into opportunities in your work or personal life. It’s OK to feel a little depressed sometimes, but don’t let that feeling close your mind to all the potential rewards you can gain if you just think about the experience a little bit differently.

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Clever Dude

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