Monday, May 30, 2011, AM | Leave Comment
A friend of mine worked in computers all his professional life as software engineer. Before he was recently laid off, he was a Principal Engineer (PE). The steps, he explained, to become PE is first you are hired as Junior Engineer (JE), then after a couple of years you are promoted to Senior Engineer (SE).
He said he worked as SE for more than 8 years when he was promoted to PE. Anyway, he said he was making good money, a family of four, living in a nice house in a new development. It has been more than a year that he was laid off. But during this time, he worked on and off, for about five months as a contractor. He worked on two short projects.
When he met with managers for those contracts, two different companies, they asked him questions, mostly about managing projects, how do you start and end a project. What are the different steps involved in between? He said he had previously, in his “permanent” job, worked as someone who always got involved in the details of his project, including the actual development of the software, along with managing the project.
During his course of employment for more than twelve years, he had sat in meetings with personnel from other departments – marketing, customer service, field service, sales and most importantly with Business Systems Analysts (BSA.)
When he mentioned BSA, I asked him if he could and be willing to work as Business System Analyst. He said, yes of course. As a matter of fact in his senior position as PE, he worked basically as a BSA as well. On a project or two, he said that’s what his responsibilities were. But he always thought of himself as software engineer.
First when he got laid off, he started to look for a Senior-level Engineer. But except those two short projects, he was unable to find permanent job.
So he changed his resume a little. He changed his objective to that of a BSA. Then he made changes to the work he had done as PE and added some functions, those of a typical BSA. He, then, wrote a cover letter to that effect for a specific job position in a bank.
He went in the interview, spent a few hours with the bank senior managers. Two days later he received a call followed by a confirmation letter of acceptance. His paycheck is a little more than what he was making as PE in his previous job.
You know what his official position is with the bank? Well! the designation is not that of a BSA but he is working as a liaison between the business people and the technical people. He is called, officially, Sr. Liaison Officer between business and technology.
Come to think of it, that’s what Business Systems Analysts do, for the most part anyway. He is learning about the banking business and he is applying his technical know how to better the business for which he was hired.
So he says, as far as his job is concerned, he is happy with his work. It is a little different than what he was used to working but still he has a chance to keep in touch with his passion of technology and the newer things that would come along in his professional life. The company is sending him to in-house training for banking-specific business.
In a Nutshell
The moral of this talk is that when you make some changes like that on your resume and write a cover letter to that effect, you are not lying. On the contrary, you are enhancing your know-how and your abilities to the fullest.