Unfortunately, I was one of 200 people laid off by ConocoPhillips on March 18, 2015. After the layoff, I found it was extremely challenging to find work as a Business Analyst / Project Manager in Calgary.
I applied for many jobs through various employment agencies, and there were consistently 100 or 200 people applying for the same positions. Recently, an article in the Huffington Post indicated that Alberta’s Unemployment Rate Hits Highest Level Since 1994. I’ve written five tips for finding work as a Business Analyst during a recession.
Related Article: 7 Reasons I Didn’t Hire You for That Business Analyst Position
1. Get certified
A month after I was laid off, I earned my CBAP certification in April 2015. When I applied for multiple positions on http://www.indeed.ca, it has become increasingly common for employers to ask for Business Analysts with a CBAP certification. A Watermark survey in 2014 indicated that there are 4,049 CBAP professionals worldwide, and 723 CBAPs in Canada. A CBAP designation sets you apart, because only a fraction of experienced Business Analysts has taken the necessary time to go through the exam process.
2. Participate in your local IIBA chapter
After I passed the CBAP exam, I started volunteering as a Study Group Coordinator for the Calgary IIBA® Chapter. It was helpful to meet other Business Analysts in Calgary. Occasionally, people that I met would share information about various employment opportunities.
3. Expand your job search
Since it was difficult to find work in Calgary, I expanded my job search across Canada and the United States. Finally, after 15 months, I found work as a Business Analyst in Regina, Saskatchewan.
4. Talk to employment agencies
Currently, I work as a Business Analyst Consultant for Visionpool Business Services Incorporated. When a contract opportunity came up at SaskEnergy, Visionpool paid for my flight ticket from Calgary to Regina so that I could interview in person. I’m extremely fortunate that Visionpool was willing to take the risk to purchase my flight ticket in the event that I was hired by SaskEnergy.
5. Be persistent
In a 15 month period, I sent out 500+ resumes and had 20+ interviews. In my case, persistence finally paid off when the right opportunity presented itself in a different province.