6 things I’ve learned since becoming an analyst

I really owe it to you to continue to live and work as transparently as possible, this is after all, what I preach. It starts with me first sharing, so here goes. The last month has been a whirlwind, I’ve traveled from SFO > Boston > Chicago > SFO > Boston with a quick trip to NY met hundreds of people, even more photos, and I’m just getting started. I’ve officially been an analyst for 31 days, and it’s time to take a look back, here’s what I’ve learned:

1) I’ve a lot to learn
I was in training for three weeks, (well I missed most of the second week at a conference) to learn some very rigorous methodology, meet people, and absorb into the culture. I even had a meeting with the CEO on my first week. I was amazed at the organization that a company of 1000 could have. I’ve made a lot of new friends with common interests in the firm, and I’ve come to learn that many are now blog readers who comment from time to time *jeremiah waves*

2) Evolving communications a challenge
A big part of my training is to learn how to communicate effectively and succinctly. I’m already starting to feel this change in how I write, speak, present, and think. Check out the large binders we received in training, they are a desktop reference and I’m using them frequently. I recently tweeted that working along side Charlene is like getting a masters in business.

3) New incoming pipes
There are a LOT of inputs in this role, from vendor briefings, announcement briefings (It’s easier to glance at techmeme and tell what will be reality in 24 hours and what won’t be). Another major input is the problems and challenges I hear information from many clients. I’m even listening to trends from the press (they have many inputs too). Most importantly it’s amazing to have access to hard core data and research from the firm. Overtime, I’m hoping that my analysis will move up a level so I can start seeing macro trends, in addition to the small changes, I’m not quite there yet, but hope to be soon.

4) Helping clients succeed fires me up
I feel good inside when customers are happy as direct result of my actions. In addition to the time I’m spending inputting, a great deal of my time is spent helping clients in advisory sessions and creating reports. On a related note, A CEO of a startup recently contacted me and said that other startups in the valley don’t understand the influence that analysts have, nearly everyday I’ll be recommending vendors to look at. (By the way, the best way to get my time and other analysts is to do a briefing, not send me an email)

5) Time management has become more important than ever
Compared to previous jobs, this role is incredibly more time demanding. I’m rigorous on how I structure my time (such as avoiding IM as much as possible). I read and research and blog for two hours in the morning (I sleep in 2 three hour shifts at night, and am up right now at 3am to blog) as I really believe in paying myself first. Learning how to manage all the input and output time (and time spent writing reports) around travel and speeches is going to be a challenge, maybe I need a lesson from Tim Ferris.

6) I’ll continue to blog and share
Many people are wondering if I’ll continue to share online as I have in the past. Speculation if what I’ve learned and know will be sucked up behind the “paywall” for clients only. Part of why I was hired was because of my blog, so that’s not going away, and I’m a believer in walking the talk. Since I’ve started, I’m still part of the conversation, have been very active on Twitter (add me), and continue to experiment with social media tools. What do I not share on my blog? Research and reports that I work on in the day job based around data that I would not have had access to if I wasn’t an employee. Also, giving advice from a blog is far too generic. Each client has a unique culture, unique market, and is at a different stage in their social media strategy, there’s no way a blog or any other dispersive communication tool can be successful in delivering true value.

So what did I learn? I learned I have a lot to learn! So if you can’t tell, I’m undergoing a metamorphosis right now, and I want to keep this cocoon as opaque as possible, so stay with me, let’s grow together, and thanks for all your support!

If you have any experiences to share about how you’ve smoothly (or not) moved into a new role, I want to hear.

Update: I just learned that a white paper (PDF) I wrote 2 years ago with Dennis McDonald was seen by a client, and they requested my involvement on the account. I’m a believer that one thing leads to another, it’s just amazing that it can take nearly 24 months for work to come to fruition. Then again, the white paper is on IT and Business for social media, it’s just now becoming relevant. At the time, I wrote this as I was frustrated with my own IT department not understanding or supporting the social media program.