Years ago, I wrote some code for a mobile device management startup, that accidentally grew into a multi-million dollar business. What started as a side gig, turned into a more-than-full-time job, managing the development of a company that was growing a mile a minute.
On top of that, I was a new mom. I was tired. I had baby-brain. I wanted to spend my evenings with my son instead of fighting with new security updates or figuring out how to speed up a page that kept timing out.
I desperately wanted a new job…
The problem was, any work experience that was worth mentioning on my resume, was related to jobs I no longer wanted to do. And, I didn’t know how to make a living doing the things I liked to do (writing, chatting with people about software enhancements, documentation, etc.).
My Step-Dad gave me some great advice…
He told me to check out job search websites. But, instead of searching for jobs, he said I should search for job descriptions. Once I found the perfect job description, all I had to do was:
- Tweak the description and save it somewhere that I would see it regularly.
- Figure out the skills required to do the job.
- Practice those skills at my existing job.
- Re-write my resume around my new job.
- Get a new job doing what I loved.
So, I started searching for job descriptions…
I don’t remember the exact terms that I searched for, but I’m sure they included terms like “sample job description” or “job description example”, followed by things I wanted to do (writing, software enhancements, documentation, etc.).
After about 15 minutes, I came upon the job description below…
Business Systems Analyst
Solves organizational information problems and requirements by analyzing requirements; designing computer programs; recommending system controls and protocols.
Business Systems Analyst Job Duties:
- Determines operational objectives by studying business functions; gathering information; evaluating output requirements and formats.
- Designs new computer programs by analyzing requirements; constructing workflow charts and diagrams; studying system capabilities; writing specifications.
- Improves systems by studying current practices; designing modifications.
- Recommends controls by identifying problems; writing improved procedures.
- Defines project requirements by identifying project milestones, phases, and elements; forming project team; establishing project budget.
- Monitors project progress by tracking activity; resolving problems; publishing progress reports; recommending actions.
- Maintains system protocols by writing and updating procedures.
- Provides references for users by writing and maintaining user documentation; providing help desk support; training users.
- Maintains user confidence and protects operations by keeping information confidential.
- Prepares technical reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends.
- Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; benchmarking state-of-the-art practices; participating in professional societies.
- Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
(See full article)
It was perfect!
As a Business Systems Analyst, I would be able to use my existing skillset and developer background. But, instead of coding, I would get to spend my time doing the things I liked to do.
So, I set my sights on learning those skills, and practicing them at my existing job.
- Software Design
- Software Documentation
- Software Development Process
- Software Requirements
- Software Maintenance
- Written Communication
- Process Improvement
Within a Year…
We turned over all of the coding to the other developers, and I moved into a Business Systems Analyst role where I acted as a buffer/translator/filter between the developers and the other departments. (Loved it!)
Within 2 Years…
I had enough experience as a Business Systems Analyst to move to a different company, in a new industry, where I was (and am) able to work from home, on a flexible schedule, with a team of amazing people who work remotely from all over the world.
Then, something cool happened…
It turns out, the skills I learned to become a Business Systems Analyst are similar to the skills needed for a lot of other jobs such as product development, marketing, copy writing, and more.
Not only am I able to save the company money by wearing multiple hats, but if I ever decide to do something different, I have tons of new career opportunities that I can take advantage of.
Whether you already have a job you love or are looking to do something different, writing out your job description can help you solidify your goals and keep you on track.
The next time you have a few minutes and access to an Internet connection, take a moment to find your perfect job description. You can start by checking out these sites: