How is the life after SAP Certification?
You need to really experience the life after a SAP Certification. It will not make any much difference for the professionals who are already working in SAP arena. However, the life of the people, who are really anticipating a job in SAP arena or breaking into SAP Consulting world, is with full of anxiety and tension. Taking any SAP certification will surely require considerable amount of time, resources, money, effort and patience. This is particularly true in case if you are going for the certification through training. Some people are lucky enough to know which SAP Certification they are going to do it. However, it is not the case with all the people. They have to first of all enquire which certification is suitable for their future career. This may take a couple of months research in the market. Once they have finalized the Certification to be written, then they will have to plan for the Certification in terms of arranging for the money, taking leave from the current employer (if any), collecting the documents / materials etc. This would further take another two months of time. Then, if they are planning to attend the training, you can add further one month time. Some people are usually eager to give the certification immediately after training. This is good to some extent, because you will be surely in that flow. However, some people are really sceptical whether to go for certification after training or prepare for another month or so and then give the certification. This may also be good to some extent that you can plan well but at the same you will become more and more frustrated and nervous. Because you are reading the same material again and again, this makes you much nervous. By, putting all these items together, it may roughly take six months of your time from the day you decided for Certification in your mind to the day you really attempted the Certification. If the people are not lucky enough to pass for the first time, probably, they may have to add another month or so, which is really nerve wrecking period. You are already giving the Certification for second time, this makes more nervous, because you are investing more amount of money with lot of uncertainty. Therefore, six months of period in a professional’s life is really a big amount of time.
Congratulations!!! You have passed the Certification, you are happy and everybody is happy. However, the real test is going to be started from the next day. The days are more nervous after certification, particularly for the people who are looking for a job / SAP consulting job based on their certification. They might have invested large amount of money and spent 6 months of marathon preparation and effort, but it does not give any guarantee that you are going to get a job in the market. The market has become extremely competitive and employers are more cost intuitive in rolling out the offer letters. You might be attending number of interviews and blowing off each interview with different reasons. In some cases, you are going up to last round, but at the end of the story you are listening story like you have not selected for the position. This type of interviews are really painful to the heart, it will take a week’s time to come out of that disgust. The number of interviews you are going to fail, you would be getting mentally that much stronger.
I am not going to put down the pessimistic views but even I had to undergo all these difficult periods in my life. There could also be some fortunate people who have taken a month’s leave to attend the training and certification, but as soon as the certification, they had to go back to their previous job, which is in a remote area. However, most of the consulting companies are in cities and they may need the people at a shorter notice. Furthermore, nowadays companies are expecting the candidates to attend the interviews by face to face interview. It would be difficult for such candidates every time to come for an interview from such remote area to the cities and attend personal interview. Due to logistics constraints, some of the opportunities might have been evaporated for such candidates.
Some of the people might have resigned their jobs with a hope of getting job after certification and taken a huge amount of loan. For those kinds of people, the life is really unimaginable. Because, the monthly income from salary might have been stopped and the bank might be started charging the EMIs on a monthly basis, otherwise, the interest might be charging to your loan account, if they have taken the loan by pledging gold or valuables. For them the life is astonishingly difficult and every day is a sleepless night because of the amount they have spent on training and certification. They would really praying every day, that any type of SAP job is OK and even they are really ready to compromise in terms of salary. The employers who really can gauge these candidates may benefit out of the salary negotiations. Those candidates who are desperately looking for a break into the market may not be much worried about the salary and ultimately this turns to be a heaven on the part of the employers.
Let us think you have done everything you would like to do in order to get a job. However, unfortunately, fate, market conditions, luck, economy is not in your favour. You have spent lot of amount for training and certification. You have attended few tens of interviews (if not hundreds), still you have not received any job offer from any employer. What are the things you must essentially concentrate after passing for your SAP Certification?
1. Prepare up to date CV
As soon as you have appeared and passed the SAP Certification, take 2 – 3 days rest, which you really deserved, this would make your mind refresh. Then prepare up to date CV, may be you need to emphasize on the following points while preparing your CV
a) Detail your SAP knowledge or skills you have acquired
b) If you have any SAP project experience / end user experience / core team member experience, write down specifically what type of important tasks that you have performed
c) Try to give more weight to SAP Skills than your previous non-SAP skills
d) Always try to show positive attitude and willingness to learn qualities
e) Use your SAP Certification logo that you have received from SAP Education Team
2. Improve the contacts
You do not know who is going to help you or guide you. Everybody is looking like a god in their own way. You must have increased your listening skills for getting best and improved suggestions. You may better use different social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin etc. to your advantage. Particularly, you should utilise the power of Linkedin and update all your achievements, experiences, Certifications etc. Furthermore, try to be in touch with number of HR consultants, who are looking for skilled people. In addition, regularly watch the job sites and different reputed companies’ career sites. It would also beneficial if you could send your CVs to the companies through employee referral rather thandirectly applying on the website, as thousands of people might be uploading their CV and they might not have any time to look into those. Last but not least, do not forget to give a copy of your CV to training Institute, they might be having some contacts with some of the companies and they should be able to arrange the interviews for you.
3. Read and practice regularly
As soon as you are certified, your responsibility will be increased and you need to improve the habit of reading. There are different sites particularly https://help.sap.com, https://service.sap.com, www.sdn.sap.com, where lot of information and knowledge is available. Continuously reading these important sites would give you an up to date knowledge. This will not only improve the knowledge, but also give an idea what is happening with new technologies in SAP. In addition to this, continuously practice on the system. The better way to practice is to get the documents from SAP Best Practices and configure them. You have configuration, business process documents and presentations for different industries / countries. The more number of times you are configuring them, the confidence will be increased. No experience can replace you a real implementation project. However, these guides will gain you tremendous hands-on experience and keep you ready for next assignment.
4. Keep attending interviews
Interview is a chance to showcase your knowledge and skills and every interview is different in its own way in terms of expectations. There is no need to worry much even if an interview gone wrong. There could be different reasons why an interview has gone wrong and it is not necessarily relating to your skills and knowledge. However, each interview would give you an opportunity to know the expectations and what type of questions are expected. These interviews would give you an opportunity to refresh your knowledge and better prepared for the next interviews. Usually, your confidence will be increased from the interview number one to interview number five or so on, as you might be sensing the level of expectations from the interviews. At some time point, you would reach to a stage that you are going to convince the interviewers. This is almost like driving test, wherein only few lucky people are able to pass in the first time, but others have to try little more times. Perseverance is the key here.
5. Do not leave your passion and hard work
The most important thing you must remember is you are learning not just for job and money, but to keep up your passion on SAP. If you believe in your passion and hard work for SAP, the money will follow. Even after getting the job, you should never lose the same interest and intensity on SAP. This intensity and eagerness to learn will always put you ahead in getting the new skills and knowledge areas. Enthusiasm and passion to learn more and more areas in SAP is the key for success. Please remember that the skills are not developed over night. It takes years and years of continuous hard work to get to an master level. The kind of projects you are working will also take pivotal part in quickly developing skills. Working on few end to end implementation projects may give you more overview of the system than working on few years of support project. Whatever be the project, be pro-active and take every challenge as opportunity and try to help your colleagues and share knowledge. This is the key for your success.
Looking forward for your valuable comments.