Breaking into your First Data Role as a non-analytics manager
What advice do I have for someone interested in transitioning into a data role, from a non-analytics management role? Here are some recommendations.
First, in your current role, think about:
What's motivating the change? What is and isn’t working in your current role?
Employees want [HBR]: Career, Community/relationships, Cause
Is it a bad job or just a bad day?, by Nick deWilde
You know your company's culture. If something from (1) isn't working, do you think it can it be improved if you talk to your manager/HR/someone else? What needs to happen?
Book recommendations to help communicate ideas: Radical Candor, Crucial Conversations
Since you're in a management role, other than suggestion that you work on a side project on the weekend/after work, is there bandwidth to introduce 20% time for your current team, to try out proof of concepts that use data to bring value to your current company?
At this point, you've tried the above and have decided to switch roles and companies.
Have the end goal in mind. What would you (ideally) do in the role?
What's the (approximate) breakdown of responsibilities by business, technical and statistical expertise that you'd prefer to do?
Does this translate into management, IC, or split* (management + IC) role?
Does it address (1) above?
What’s directly translational/applicable, from your current experience and industry to a new role?
Research (ideal) job postings and figure out what (if any) skill gaps you have.
Please see my blog with advice on how to "Breaking in and Address gaps"
When interviewing, ask questions about your non-negotiables in (1)
Keywords: Data Science careers, breaking into data, data products, management
You may also like:
Talk: Tell me what you want, what you really really want: How to identify the real business question
How to Break into your First Data Role: Tips to Tackling the Cold Start Problem
Alison Green of Ask a Manager shares advice on how to transition from management to IC
Career Decisions, by Elad Gil
6 Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job, by John Coleman for Harvard Business Review
How to Build a Career in a New Industry, by Dorie Clark for Harvard Business Review