I recently read an article about the correlation of economic downtime and applications to grad schools.
Interestingly enough a lot of people choose to go back to school during rough economic climate to invest in their education and acquiring new skills to be prepared when the economy improves.
On my current project (a global HR portal implementation) we are soon loosing one of our key consultants as this person has decided to say goodbye to the great weather in the UK and head for a warmer place (much, much warmer place).
We need to fill this gap and by accident I got a message from a fellow SAP Mentor who is currently looking for a new engagement.
I forwarded the resume and the client decided to conduct the interview.
The client checked the resume and asked the person what he did to occupy his time from his last project up until now – last project ended end of 2008.
The answer given is what motivated me to write this blog as the person said that he used his time to update his technical skills using SAP Netweaver, Development Subscription.
His last roles in projects where more related to BPX and project management and he could not do much hands on technical work.
To refresh his technical expertise he decided to use SAP Netweaver, Development Subscription and also spend time on SDN to answer questions. We then discussed the details on what he did but it certainly impressed the client as it showed a self motivated individual and this is a key character trait to have in our implementation team.
I have used the SAP Netweaver, Development Subscription for almost a year and some of this time I spent on looking at stuff that I normally don’t get exposed to at projects e.g. BI/XI.
I am not pretending to be an expert in BI/XI but when I am managing implementations that include those products it helps to have a basic understanding and allows me to communicate with the subject matter experts in those areas better.
Even though you can’t change these difficult times you can make a decision to invest in yourself and the subscription program is certainly an option – well, it’s an option if you are living in a country where it is available.
There has been a lot of discussions around the new SAP certification process and levels but the client actually never asked about this during the interview – looked to me that carrying the SAP Mentor credential and having the experience he had was far more valuable to the client. I am in general supporting certification as it least shows some level of commitment but in this case it was not touched during the interview.
If you are a freelancer and live in a country where you can get the subscription program then I would recommend giving this a second look – it’s not just great to update your skills but you can also get exposed to products that you are not familiar with and in times like these you need any competitive advantage you can get.
How about being able to tell clients that you not only worked on portal and KMC projects and about your experience but being actually able to show it to them right on your subscription system!
You can show various Uis you created for clients, a demo KMC setup and tools that you have developed to improve productivity – remember that seeing is believing.
If you think that you would not be able to install all the components of the subscription program then please note that there is plenty of help available in the Wiki area for different subscription landscapes and setups – even I was able to get it up and running.