Gartner Blog Network

Wanna Be An Analyst – Why I Love My Job?

by Hank Barnes  |  September 29, 2015  |  1 Comment

I love my job.   It is both the most challenging and rewarding position I’ve ever held.    I wouldn’t trade it for the world and hope to be doing “the same thing” until I can’t work anymore (I can’t imagine ever retiring from something this fun–but every day is different, hence why “same thing” is in quotes).

Why am I sharing this?   Well, our team is looking for someone to join us, based  in Europe.  A link to the requisition is here.  Connect with me on LinkedIn if you are interested or apply directly.  Additionally, there are lots of other analyst  positions open throughout Gartner due to our growth.  Perhaps me sharing what we do might inspire some of you to consider a move to “the dark side.” (as I was told when I joined by my friends in industry.).


I’ve always enjoyed working.  I’ve really liked all of the companies (and worked for a lot of great people) and roles I have had (except one glaring exception that those who know me, know well).   But I’ve also moved around a bit, particularly when I was younger trying to find the best fit.  Working in startups also drove some changes from time to time.   Through all this, there were always times, at every job, where I thought about wanting to do something else.

That doesn’t happen anymore.  I have not had one minute since I joined Gartner over 2 1/2 years ago where I have ever even thought about doing something else. So what do I do?  (M wife says I love my job because “You don’t have to do anything, you just tell people what to do!  She’s teasing, but there is an element of “advice v. execution in the role.)

  1. I get to work with, and try to help, different companies every day.  Lots of them.  Over the past few years, I’m pretty sure I’ve worked with well over 1000 different companies.  They are all interesting.  They are passionate about their business.  They are receptive to suggestions.   And, they give feedback.  So I think I’m helping a lot of them grow.  That is extremely  rewarding.
  2. I get to research and write about interesting topics.  Since I’ve been here, I’ve been able to dig into topics like the buying cycle, advocacy marketing, storytelling, business moments, and segmentation.  I’ve explored how some of Gartner’s big themes (bimodal IT, digital business, customer experience) impact tech providers.   There is much more to cover   in all these and more areas.  And I get to review the research of others (a key part of the research process).  This is the “execution” element of the job–planning your time to get research out in a timely fashion.
  3. I get to work with motivated sales people.   Part of the role of an analyst is to help grow the business.  We don’t “sell”, but we do participate in selling efforts, since in some sense “we are the product.”   I like working with prepared sales reps to help show prospective clients how they can get value from Gartner.

Those three areas:  Advisory Service to Clients, Research, and “Sales Support” roughly describe how my time is spent–a third on each.   With a few special projects mixed in.  I’ve worked on keynote development for major events, the creation of new products, improving materials for our sales teams, and more.   These extra projects have helped me get exposure to working with a bunch of smart, fun people.    I’m learning things every day.

I’ve never worked harder in my life (even compared to the startup life).  Everyday it is something new.  Lots of thinking, brainstorming, and discussions.  But I’ve also got a lot of flexibility.  It’s a great balance.

If you come here, you need to produce.  It is a very much a meritocracy—and there are lots of metrics in place to measure contribution.   My favorite metric is client value ratings–and it is in a top priority.  Clients can tell us, after every interaction, how much value they received.   Including in sales situations.   You always know where you stand–in the eyes of the clients you are serving.  And client value is the most important metric at Gartner (for a guy that believes in customer experience, that is great to see).

So, if you like learning new things, helping companies and people make better decisions and grow, and working in a challenging environment, maybe it is time to think about being an analyst.

I’ve never been happier.  Maybe you’ll feel the same.


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Category: career-planning  

Tags: analyst-role  career  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Wanna Be An Analyst – Why I Love My Job?

  1. David Burt says:

    Great to see the third bullet in there. Personally speaking, it’s also rewarding on our end to collaborate with analysts to deliver value, drive growth for our clients, and constantly continue to learn and get better. Thanks for sharing this Hank.

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