Times change. Most of us are stuck in rotes that are so far from what we dreamed off when kids. So many nights wondering to where life fled, what have we done wrong, why are we so far away from what we thought life would and should be. Many of us feel drained and with less hope and strength. Considering change seems impossible. After all, where does one begin? “Well, maybe things will change tomorrow.” But in comes another day, with the same-old-same routine, nothing changes for good.
“Leave my secure job for a childish dream?! What if it fails? Wouldn’t it be better to endure the rote life I have, instead of venturing out at my age, after so many years in that job?”
Normal doubts to have. Remember that your job experience no one can take from you. That will always be there. Who is to say that your childhood dream won’t work out? We will show you a true story that achieved this dream. A story of courage, patience and determination which are the key ingredients to any happy-ending.
“Amazing how time can fly! It was in February 2014, I completed 8 years as a SAP Consultant. Who was to say I would do it? Let me tell you something about me: I am not an engineering person, nor am I a college recruit who directly became a SAP Consultant. After college, I started my career in marketing, and spent in six and a half years in that field, before I decided, it was time to change to the SAP field. What a big transition it was in my life.
How did I do it? How did I handled all the changes throughout the transition process? How on Earth did I get such a great job only two months after being a SAP certified?
Maybe to answer these and other questions you might have, here is the brief story of what I did and how. I hope it can help to find a “happy-ending” story, as I found in mine.
My career was in marketing, and I was in a stable and comfortable position: almost seven years in the field. I had a good, well-paid job. However, I decided to change. I left my marketing job and went to a SAP Authorized Training Institute, to get a SAP certification.
Even after more than eight years, I still remember the month I spent on the Institute: getting up in the morning and being there from 9am to 5pm. I also remember the thousands of dollars spent on getting that certification without having any reassurance of a job. However, I was determined and I studied hard.
Within a week after I finished the course, I took my SAP certification exam. It was February 2006 and I was certified in SAP. I was happy with that conquest. Now, all I had to do was apply to jobs.
I swiftly started applying to any job I could see in the SAP field. I applied to hundreds! But a month passed and all I was getting was the same rejection-letter due to lack of prior SAP experience. I was beginning to stress. So many questions started ‘Have I made a mistake?’ ‘Can I be a SAP Consultant?’ ‘Should I go back to the marketing?’ Or, ‘Should I continue with SAP and wait another month?’
I did have a money-cushion to pay my daily life, plus the installment of the personal loan I had taken to study SAP. I decided to wait another month and see how it would play out.
One day, a SAP companion from the job search group, told me about a company that was looking for SAP freshers, certified in SAP Sales and Distribution. I knew this could be my opportunity. He gave me the contact of the responsible HR person. I ran home and I sent my resume to the company.
After waiting a day or two, I got a call. It was the company scheduling an interview. I went through two technical rounds and one HR round. In April 2006, I got the job offer to the consulting giant Accenture. From that day on, I was a SAP Consultant. Believe me when I tell you that that day was the most awaited day of my life. I was on cloud nine!
But how did I do it? What strategies did I pursue to get where I am?
Here you have a guidance that can help you become a SAP Consultant. Either you are a college graduate, or you want to transition from a different industry into the SAP consultant’s world. Regardless, this is what I did to become a SAP consultant from a fresher start.
- SAP Certification: ‘Knowledge is Power’: I have always admired this saying. Be sure that the money you invest on your SAP studies will double or triple. These studies and courses will get you your dream job. So, do not even hesitate: go to a SAP Authorized Training Institute. Get your certification based on what you like, but also on what the SAP market is looking for. (Right now, new dimensional products like SAP CRM, SAP NETWEAVER, SAP SRM, etc. are hot in markets). Simple guidelines: college grad choose a certification based on course and that will allow a career in SAP ABAP, SAP NETWEAVER, etc. People coming with industry experience, take a certification based on preferences and interests. Nothing states that if you are an accountant, you need to be a ‘SAP Financial Consultant’. From where I stand, my Sales and Marketing experience is not taken into account in interviews. What companies want to know is if you have work experience with SAP and the modules and systems of SAP you know. Before choosing any authorized training institute, ask them if you get campus interviews, and/or if they do placement assistance or forward your SAP profile to partner companies.
- Campus Interview: Most of the companies have campus interviews, in view of offering a job in their consultant departments. Companies like Accenture, HCL, Delloite, IBM, Wipro, Infosys, etc., do this. They train graduates in their companies and, after recruited, they are placed in a project, from six to 12 months, as a ‘shadow resource’ with experienced SAP consultants.
- End-User Companies: Get in touch with companies which ERP software is SAP, and join as an Internship. You will get a role as a SAP Super User or SAP Power User. Companies will train you to become a SAP consultant, and to be part of their SAP implementation team in the near future.
- Make a Good Resume: You do have to write a good resume. Do it with time. Write ‘Achievements’ instead of what you have worked on.
- Group Job Search: Have a group of people to look for jobs together. Searching as a group allows you to talk about the companies each one is looking into. Allows discussing about events one is going to. In these events, meet employees and know who is the HR person responsible for SAP Practice.
- Prepare a List: Make a list of the companies you desire, and talk regularly to one or two persons from the company. They know when the companies are looking for SAP freshers.
- Google: Internet is a blessing. Especially Google. Do searches like ‘Job for SAP Certification Fresher’s / Job for SAP Fresher’s ’. Create a profile in LinkedIn and add the desired HR departments: they share on LinkedIn openings for SAP freshers. Call third party recruitment companies to help you with recruitment on SAP consulting.
- Track Your Progress: Prepare an excel sheet with different columns (company name, phone number, email ID, person contact, etc.). Capture your progress and update the status of such progress, per each column.
Last but not least: do not lose your HOPE. You can be a SAP Consultant. Just get into action, follow the steps and conquer your dream of being a SAP Consultant.”
This story can help you and guide you in your path and journey. Start right now.