Back in 2012, I was fresh from my post-college backpacking trip in Thailand, and I was ready for my first big girl job.
But the issue was that I had n0 internships throughout college, I had no experience working for somebody in the field I was interested in (online marketing), and I had no idea what I was going to do next.
Luckily I had invested in a program called Find Your Dream Job by Ramit Sethi and I started to realize that getting a job was not (just) about your education and your experience, but who you know.
Even though I felt a bit frustrated that it was not what I know but who I knew, with his system I realized that it wasn’t rocket science, and if I could graduate from college, I could figure out how to get people to know me, too.
Here are the 3 steps that I took to become a business analyst.
Step 1: Have Coffee Meetings With People Smarter Than You
This is something that most people think is “weird” or even a bit terrifying. But truth be told, I knew that my major had nothing to do with what I wanted to do, so all the professors I had were not really the most effective contacts in this case.
I started to search for people who were much smarter than me who were experienced in the online marketing field. Initially people did not reply, but once I got my first coffee meeting, I realized how incredibly important actually meeting people was, and on one of the first coffee meetings I was even offered an internship!
This experience taught me that if you can take some initial rejections or no responses, and if you don’t give up, there will be people who actually want to help you. In fact, one of the conversion optimization specialists I talked to eventually gave me so much info that I knew exactly what to say on subsequent interviews, and we still keep in touch, and it was all from the power of one coffee meeting.
Step 2: Make Linkedin Your Best Friend
I know it’s almost become a trend among people my age to disable our Facebook profiles or change our names in order to not have potential employers search for us and find incriminating photos that may damage our professional credibility, but I take a different stance.
I went on another social network and absolutely used everything I could to showcase that I was able–I used Linkedin extensively during my job search.
Facebook is for your friends and family, but LInkedin is for your future job prospects.
If you haven’t been having luck on job forums, it’s time to take a proactive approach and approach the employers.
With one e-mail I sent to a CEO I found on Linkedin, I had an interview within the next 24 hours.
And that brings me to my 3rd and final tip for landing a business analyst job:
Step 3: Master Skype Interviews
You’re only as good as your interview, and early on I realized that I had all the knowledge, but did not know how to sell myself.
It was after much trial and error, and about 50 interviews, I finally nailed the interview process and could even predict what the interviewer was going to say next.
I would say that if you are not comfortable promoting yourself, get ready to, because that’s probably one of the only distinguishing differences between an employed and an unemployed person.
Of course you do not want to lie ever on interviews, but understand how you can present yourself in the best light even when asked tricky questions is one of the most important skills you can have.
And most importantly–remember to always know that there are tons of jobs out there for you, in the beginning you have to be more proactive than most people and you have to put yourself out there, but once you master the game of self-promotion, you’ll never be out of a job ever again.