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What You Need to Know: From Analyst to Associate

There is something you need to understand when you think about moving up the ladder: There is no job that will make you happy 100% of the time, especially at junior level.

A lot of the better paying jobs are intense, demanding, has long hours, and sometimes your coworkers are mean. So what? That is exactly what you signed up for. You need to deal with the pressure, the hard work and all the other mess if you want to move up to the next level. If you can’t, feel free to go somewhere else that does not require you to be good at so many things. And honestly it’s okay too.

But it doesn’t have to be this hard all the time. Attitude is the key and if you always look at things from a positive perspective you can enjoy your work more, and at the same time, gain more respect from other people.

So first of all, stop complaining. If you can’t stop, try this: 1) Nobody wants to be with someone who constantly complains. 2) I could spend the next 15 minutes complaining or get more work done so I can go home early.  3) Complain has never and will never get you where you want to be.

The major difference from an analyst to an associate is that you started managing other people. As an analyst you need to understand: Nobody wants to cover your ass, so you better cover your own: meaning please do a good job, and keep your associate/manager involved as much as you can. The worst situation you want to put your associate in is you do not involve him/her at the beginning of a certain project, and only when something goes wrong, you turn for their help. They will probably cover it for you, but when their boss yells at them, they will probably do the same to you.

Your job, as you advance in your career, is to help other people and to have others help you. When you become an associate or you start to manage other analysts, make sure you help your analysts grow too because they will be willing to help you more down the road. People have a tendency to weigh more on mistakes, because when everything is going great, you don’t have much pressure hanging over your own head, so naturally you don’t appreciate your analysts as much as you should be while they’re doing a good job. But you yell at them big time when something goes wrong, because you feel you need to cover their ass, and you feel more pressure, which is a situation you’ve been trying so hard to avoid.

So my suggestion to you is that try to compliment your analysts as much as you could when they are doing a good job. Keep them motivated and let them feel they are adding value and are appreciated by the team. When something does go wrong which apparently happens to everyone now and then, try your best NOT to make it personal. It is about business and business only. You don’t have to expect everyone to like you but at least you don’t want your analyst to hate you.

Finally, if certain situations got out of your control, it is okay to get senior management involved, especially after trying to improve the situation several times yourself already. Again it is important to leverage resources as much as you can when you try to achieve a certain goal, and you have every right to make your senior managers be aware of your commitment, your effort, and your concerns. Sometimes your analyst might need a stronger voice from senior management to “shape it up”. And your job is to be vocal about it when you do need the help. 

Good luck managing your own analysts or associates!

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