Skip to Content

SAP Career – You Owe it to Pay it Forward

One of my lasting memories from the recent SapphireNow and ASUG2012 event was the keynote from Lance Armstrong and would highly recommend watching it if you missed (starts at 50 minute mark). He was an excellent public speaker telling an uplifting story about his successful battle with cancer. I personally found it very moving on a number of levels and whether you are a fan of Lance or not no one can dispute all the great things he has done to raise awareness in the fight against cancer. I loved how he ended his speech quoting Muhammad Ali from being at his 70th birthday Service to others is the rent you pay for your room on earth.” This touched me as about 6 years ago I personally made a real commitment to start giving back from a charitable standpoint as well as within the SAP Community as a light-bulb went off on how lucky I was. Giving back has become something that plays an important role in my career as was as personal life and I have never regretted it for one minute. If you are working in SAP you have been blessed with an unbelievable opportunity on a number of levels and it is important that you do the needful as you will become better for it.  Here are a few ways:

Charity – Pick your favorite charity and either invest your time or money. Having focused on SAP HCM and Payroll consulting for 14 years I am pretty dialed in to what the “average” SAP employee and consultant makes and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be writing some “big” checks but if you don’t have the financial means than start with your time and pick a charity that is near and dear to your heart.  The bottom line is giving to groups/people that need the help is the right thing to do.

SAP Community Network – How many of you are regular users of the content on the SAP Community Network but have never contributed towards the community. When I hear people say they are too inexperienced or my pet peeve “too busy” to contribute I know firsthand those are just excuses. The community is great because of what we all do to make it and it is important that everyone does their part. Make it a goal to write your first blog this year, contribute on the SCN forums, rate/like a blog or even better leave a comment. The bottom line is you owe it to the SAP Community to “pay it forward” and you will become better in your career because of it.

SAP User Groups – There are several great SAP User groups such as ASUG, DSAG, UK & Ireland SAP User Group and they are always looking for volunteers to help with conferences, organize webinars, and facilitate regional meetings. If you work for a SAP customer you should ensure you belong to your countries user group but also as an organization plan to contribute and share your SAP experiences. The bottom line is customers can learn alot from other customers and the easiest way is to start sharing your time and knowledge.

Through some volunteer work I do with ASUG I was lucky enough to meet and get a picture with Lance Armstrong. I also got his autograph on a recent magazine cover he was featured and in the spirit of giving I gave it to a industry colleague who is a big fan. Special thanks to Bridget Chambers and Nellie Greely for the opportunity.


After reading this article ask yourself if you are following the “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room on earth” which is obviously a lot broader topic than I have stated above. If the answer is yes than continue and try to spread the word with others but if the answer is no it is never too late to start and trust me you will be happy you did.

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
    • Thanks Bala and I know seeing you in action that you really giving of your time in the SAP SCN community which is great.

      As far as charity a good friend of mine always preaches "give till it hurts' which is obviously different for everyone.

    • Thanks Steve as talking with you at Sapphire I know that you walk the walk on all three of the items I have list above and it is great feeling to be associated with you on a bunch of different things in the SAP HCM world.

  • Great thoughts and ideas and the key is to contribute in your area of passion.

    Now I must admit when I first saw the photo I thought it was another one of those photo ops where you pose with your own ASUG photo.  Good think you clarified it was Lance as some of us who haven't met you in person might have been confused 😏 .

    Take care,


    • Thanks Stephen and spot on regarding passion. It was funny as everyone was expecting a blog outlining all the great things I learned about SAP HCM and SuccessFactors at Sapphire but the blog above was the one that I was passionate about and of course it is the first one out.

      Funny how many folks said I look like Lance as I dont see it. Guess it is time to get a bike and start riding in parades 🙂

  • Love that you found a way to pay your opportunity to hear Lance forward!

    I think one thing that people often forget about when making use of a community is that communities are valuable because so many people have already filled them up. If everyone stops giving back, the communities will fizzle out.

    Thanks, Jarret!

    • Thanks Jamie and you are spot on with the community and giving back. SAP SCN is great because of its members but I think we have only reached the tip of the iceberg on what it "could" become and the new platform should definitely help engagement.

    • Thanks Barry for the comment as well as the tweet. I was challenged (in a soft way) in the past so if even a few people take to heart the message in the article than it will have been well worth it.

  • Thanks, Jarret. Great post as always. I suspect this one will attract a fair share of comments as well. I can say that the example set by you and the other SAP mentors continues to challenge me to stay involved, participating and giving back, at least a little.



    • Thanks Kevin for the kind words and it has been great to see you more active over the past year on social media as well as commenting on blogs.

      I personally think comments are very underrated on SCN as they play a key part in the advancing the discussion and I have had some blogs where I ranted on a topic and the quality of the comments was far superior to the article

  • Hi Jarret,

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational story!  It's great to see the impact you are having on the community.  Even better, sharing this type of message takes it beyond the community and has an impact on people's lives.  Great message!


    • Thanks Jeanne for the kind words and comment and for folks that havent tried it yet it is extremely easy to blog on the new SCN platform.

  • I like your reference to the power of story-telling via Lance and it's cool that you use your own considerable social klout and social currency to promote many forms of giving here and elsewhere.

    When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.

    (unknown author...or at least unknown to me)

    A good way to give here on SCN is to amplify and acknowledge voices of underserved or as yet unrecognized voices.  If we think of ourselves as enablers we can help surface inspirational voices. I like that you are an active commenter not just an active blogger.

    • Thanks Marilyn and that is an excellent quote.

      I love to "discover" new bloggers as it wasnt long ago that most of us were in their shoes and one of the best part of the new SCN is that the barriers of entry and complexity to blog have been reduced and it is very easy.

      I love seeing comments on my blogs and try to pay it forward to others and often it helps to move the conversation forward which benefits all of us.

      • Thanks for the very positive take on the ease of access.  It reminds me that to democratize knowledge it needs to be accessible (think Gutenberg all the way up to present twitterfeeds).  It's a two way access paradigm though.  Ease to create AND ease to find.  I've actually found some improvements in the TREX search (upper right corner of every screen).  My colleague Audrey Stevenson made me aware of them.  Pretty cool actually.  I can narrow down search not only by asset type but by Spaces (topics) .  Suddenly my search for contents got easier.

  • Great blog! Don't find excuses, find the time to pay it forward.

    • The community is ours, we got it from SAP - let's make it worthwhile.
    • The world is ours, ... (you can fill in the dots)
  • Hi Jarret

    This is so inspirational and impact very well as you shared it as a doer.  I always believe and follow - Pleasure of sharing knowledge is greatest of all pleasures....and implement with a step up level.  Thanks for this.