How an SAP Career Can Be Like a Train Journey
It was during a train journey 2 weeks back we had this experience. Myself and my 2 friends were on our way to attend our friend’s marriage. We were having fun talking about various things around us. After one hour of journey, the train reached the next main station. There was a halt for around half-an-hour. When the train was about to leave the station, 2 guys rushed in to our compartment and occupied seats beside us. From their face, we were able to make out that they are new to that place. They enquired about a place where they wanted to go. We just told them where to get down and how to go to that place.
Do you know what SAP ABAP is?
And then one guy told us that they are going to attend a job interview for SAP ABAP and then started talking about the job profile. It was very easy to understand that they have just passed out of college and don’t know anything about SAP ABAP and the profile that they are talking. Seeing the fun we had been having in the train, they just underestimated us as some college students. After their conversation about their job profile, my friend asked them if they have any idea where I work. They were surprised to hear that am a working professional. After a while, a little hesitantly they asked me. I told them that I work at SAP Labs. Then they asked my friends, an SAP consultant at HP and other works at IBM. Needless to tell their reaction then. We could hear the sound of silence. I should admit, they did not believe us. We had the SAP TechEd Laptop bag with us. That was a bit convincing, though we were not bothered to convince them. Then they told they didn’t know anything about SAP ABAP. They didn’t even know that ABAP is the programming language. It was just that, one of their cousins told them, they can build a good career with SAP ABAP.
Do you know where you are going and what can hinder your path to reach the destination successfully?
The concern that they had is the salary offered for this job is less. As almost any other fresh graduate thinks who haven’t got proper guidance, they also thought in the same lines. They already had a far better offer from another IT company, but talking with them we understood that the job profile there is not that good. But these guys just look at the salary. Another major concern they had is the weight of the engineering degree. The company in which they were going to give interview is having arts and science graduates on their rolls from non-engineering streams. This dejects these 2 guys as they felt they have to work with non-engineering graduates at the same level. From their point of view, if the job can be done by non-engineers, what is the need for engineers? We got their problem then and talked to them. It is not the engineers, but the ability of the person that makes him qualify to do a work. And also informed them the necessity and importance of building a career with proper research and guidance instead of running behind the salary during the initial stage. Most fresh graduates fail to build a good career because of this kind of mindset.
Do you know who your fellow passengers are?
It has been a herculean task to make them understand how SAP works. There are certain things one should know about SAP, especially one who is new to SAP. They are ‘SAP Helps Companies Run Better’, ‘The Best-Run Businesses Run SAP’. That means it is not just about the business of the SAP as a company, but we are talking about the businesses run by other companies. In such case, there will be business minded people, functional consultants, business analysts who are not necessarily be engineers but from various other backgrounds with whom we will have to work closely. It will not be like some other IT companies wherein you will be working(programming) closely with a team of which most of them would be from engineering background. In SAP, especially in the consulting field, there will be many people who knows business, but not necessarily be engineers. And there will be programmers/technical consultants who work closely with the functional consultants in order to realize the business scenarios of the companies. This coupling should be well understood by anyone, especially fresh graduates. Otherwise you might miss/not be able to pursue a good career ahead in SAP due to misjudgement.
Do you know the type of train that you should/shouldn’t board?
Also running just for higher salary is not a good trend. It is not something that should be given higher priority especially in the initial stage of your career. The priority should be given to learn and perceive the things that you are working with. You should know what you are doing, how is it used and how will it help you in the future. If you learn and know these things, you will be able to apply your learnings in future and thereby build your career. Once you become a knowledgeable person, the best salary will be available for you in the market. You don’t need to run behind the salary, instead the best jobs with the best market salaries from the Best companies will run behind you and hunt you. You just need to choose the one you like, among them.
For a successful train journey.
Building a career is like a train journey. If you don’t have any plans, you will reach nowhere. You should know where to board/unboard the trains in order to reach the destinations(career milestones).