Budgeting is a team sport. Budget analysis is fulfilling and interesting. It can also be the basis for a successful and rewarding career, but I am biased on this matter. After all, I have spent over 40 years doing this. I enjoyed myself, and I was rewarded.
I would like to help you to have a rewarding and successful career, and to assist in deciding if budget analysis has a role in your career. (And I make no distinctions between budget and program analysis. To do budget you must know the program, and to do program you must understand the budget.) There is much help available on the Internet and other places for making career decisions and finding work. The sources of information are useful if you are a budget analyst and want to further develop in your career. They are also helpful if you are investigating budget analysis as a career for your future. (The links are organized by my areas of inquiry.)
Seeking a Job/Career – Find out what is right for you. Before you go looking for a job, a career, or make a career change, make sure that you have fully researched what you are about to engage in. Many people waste time looking for the right job or the right career. But there are efficient ways to do this. These ways are not easy, and they involve work, but doing the work is much better than wasting your time or life on the wrong thing. I have enjoyed, by and large, the work that I have done as a budget analyst and related activities, but this does not mean that you will get the same enjoyment out of it, or succeed at it. It may not be for you at all. You have to assess your own interests and desires and capabilities, reach your own conclusions, and make your own decisions:
- If you are a college student, go to your career counseling center. These centers usually have many sources of help and can assist you in figuring out what is right for you. If you have graduated, check with your college, especially if you are in the same geographic area. Many of them provide assistance to alumni.
- If you want to use the Internet, there are also many sources for assistance in self-assessment. I would start with http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/. This site is replete with advice and links to many sources of advice, self-assessment, and other help. (It is "designed as a supplement to ...What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers," by Dick Bolles.) Another source, for more intensive directed work (for a fee), is the Rockport Institute (http://rockportinstitute.com/), which provides "career counseling, coaching, life planning and leading edge career testing services for people seeking a career change leading to increased career satisfaction and success, as well as for younger people making an original career choice." (Nick Lore, the founder of Rockport, also authored The Pathfinder.) By using these sources and doing your homework, you should be ready to make some career decisions.
Finding a first or new job.
- You should be organized and know how to set priorities for yourself. If you are not, you will have a problem in doing budget work. Things do get hectic, and you cannot do it all - you can do anything, but not everything. You have to set priorities. Doing so applies very much to career choices and job choices. If you need to figure out how to set priorities (yes, it is essential for everything you do), I recommend you visit David Allen (http://gettingthingsdone.com/) Even if you are the best at setting priorities and know where you are going a visit is worth it.
After you have decided what career to pursue, or before you change jobs, or start out on the search for that first one, and after you are sure of your priorities (or at least that you need to set them), visit and take a careful look at http://www.asktheheadhunter.com. The Headhunter tells you many things directly relevant to workplaces and careers, as well as what to put on your resume and how to go about getting the job you want. The point of view and the information are invaluable. If you want a new job, or if you want to reinvigorate your existing job, visit and study this site.