On a daily basis I do receive number of emails asking me to help whether the Certification would get them a job? Which module is having good demand in the market? Whether a direct a certification can be done without training? The gist of all these questions is the same to complete a SAP Certification and get the job. But, what is SAP Certification? Is it a miracle? Is it a life changer? Is it a jackpot? Is it a free pass to get a job? At least 15 to 20 years back, these statements were true to some extent, but no longer now. There are various factors that changed during these 20 years. The numbers of implementation projects are dried up. Market has matured to a greater extent. The number of consultants in the market has multi-folded. Furthermore, number of new consultants added to the work force on a daily basis. In addition to that, the Clients are now more matured, focussed, cost conscious and choosy. The user community is more matured and knowledgeable now than ever before. Most of the users at the clients know much better than the Consultants. Many people have used SAP Certification as a route to get into SAP Consultant roles. But, now this route has become harder and no longer working. If the people think that they could achieve the SAP Consultant jobs, just by passing a certification, then they are under some misconception. In reality, some of the SAP Certifications are just common sense and even less difficult than the Theory Driving Tests. Therefore, if you rely on SAP Certification to get a job, then you are missing something core in this process.
During the olden days, people used to have some domain experience, which is very much essential to become a SAP Consultant. If you want to become R2R Consultant, you must have worked in Finance and Accounts, P2P – Procurement, SCP – Supply Chain areas, O2C – Sales and Marketing etc. This domain experience is very much essential to become a SAP Consultant. Having said that, not all the people who worked in these areas can become SAP Consultants. You should have the catchy eye for the technology, passion to learn new things and heart to help others all the time. On top of this you should have the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm to learn. Then all these things put together drive you to become a SAP Consultant. Without all these, if you are just looking for a SAP Certification without having any domain experience, then it may not work. In this world, whatever training you take, they would be able only teach you the fundamentals, but, you would never get the real project experience. The training is only a flavour and gives the knowledge about the conceptual and fundamental concepts.
If you are using SAP Certification as a means of getting a job, then definitely it will not work. If you only show Certification without any knowledge, then it is as good as A4 size paper, nothing else. SAP Certification is a means of attaining fundamental knowledge and conceptual understanding of the underlying configurations. Most of the companies are now looking for few years of implementation or at least some kind of support experience. If you have such experience coupled with some kind of domain knowledge, then that would help to get a bigger and challenging role. If you just come out of the college by passing the graduation and invest huge amount on SAP Certification and if you expect to get the job based on that training, then, it is most unlikely to be succeeded in the current scenario. May be few people might have been lucky enough to get through. But, you cannot simply follow the same route. If you have done your SAP Certification and not getting any interview calls, then, please do not blame SAP Certification. It has nothing to do with your job. You must introspect yourself and look into your credentials, capabilities, experience, education and domain knowledge. Probably, you might be falling short somewhere. Even SAP Certification cannot help you to survive. If you do not have other credentials, then SAP Certification will become a piece of paper. If you have other credentials, then your SAP Certification will have value and become an addendum to your career. From there, you have to acquire knowledge and skills that are required to build your career.
Before writing SAP Certification, anybody or everybody should understand that SAP Certification is not meant for getting job. SAP has never promised this A4 paper is a 100% guarantee for your job. Even after passing 8 SAP Certifications and worked on SAP for long, still I was on the bench at times. I cannot simply blame my SAP Certifications for not getting me the intended job. You must understand, SAP jobs market also follows the simple Theory of Supply and Demand. You must always ensure that your skills in real demand. If there is too much of supply in the market, the demand of that product or skill will get automatically reduced. Your job is dependent on many factors like your skills, the demand and supply of the job market, local and political conditions of that market, internal decisions of the management and cultural fit. Therefore, your SAP Certification will play a small role in getting you a job. It is highly unfair to blame SAP Certification for not getting the job. If everybody is trying to do SAP Certification, it is most unlikely that all those Certified consultants get SAP jobs.
If you are not getting interview calls or failing in the interviews regularly, then, before blaming SAP Certification, just check whether if you are missing any of the following things:
1. Did you lose the steam after your SAP Certification?
Most of the people after passing the SAP Certification, they would think, they have achieved the pinnacle of the life. In reality, it is nothing. It is just a process of learning in your long career. Most of the people would stop concentrating on SAP anymore. The most important skill for any SAP consultant is reading, reading and reading. If you stop reading the fundamentals and referring to the SAP screens after passing your SAP Certification, you are tend to forget everything in few months of time. Therefore, it is very important for you to keep focussed on the topics that you have learned during the training. After passing the certification, every day you must spend at least 4 to 5 hours on revising SAP and the fundamental concepts. It may take 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or more. But, you must revise the fundamentals on a daily basis. Once you get a job, then the knowledge that you gained during this period would help you to perform efficiently in your job. Therefore, SAP Certification is not an end of learning process, but a starting point to get more focussed and refresh your knowledge levels all the time.
2. Are you using illegal means by faking your CV to get into job market?
In this competitive world, everybody wants a job. People does not matter how they get it, but they would only concerned whether they are able to get it or not. In this process, they are not even thinking twice in fabricating the CV and putting some fake experience into the CV. The minute your mind prompts you to put a fake experience on your CV, then, you have already lost the race ethically and mentally. From that point onwards, you need to live every minute with fear. If you are really caught, then it is a bad reputation for you, your credentials and if you are certified, then to your Certification. Articulate properly your experience, education, knowledge, achievements etc. on CV. That does not mean you add some fake experience into the CV. Many people would put fake experience into the CV and if they do not get the job, then they start feeling so sad, as if they worked very honestly in life. Check your CV again if any of such fake experience is included in your CV, then, please remove it.
3. Are you so eager to become SAP Consultant just by tomorrow?
If you want to become a SAP Consultant, in particular, a Functional Consultant, you cannot straight go to the training centre after your graduation. If you are in such hurry to become SAP consultant, most likely, it is not going to work. You should at least build up few years of domain knowledge. You must spend some time in the industry before you convert yourself as an SAP Consultant. You should work in Accounts, Finance, Marketing, HR, Procurement or Supply Chain etc. based on your education, before you step up as a SAP Consultant. If you are missing this important ingredient, then no training course would give you an in depth foundation. They would explain your some fundamental concepts in SAP and take you through the SAP Configuration screen, but, cannot help to become a full fledged SAP Consultant. When you fortunately become SAP consultant with the help of such training exposure, you will feel most unfortunate when you are discussing with the users of the Clients. Because, they talk at a different business language and you would never be able to understand, as you are missing the most important ingredient of domain knowledge. Therefore, you must always make yourself dirty by working in industry, before move up the ladder to become a SAP Consultant.
4. Are you failing to learn a leaf out of your failed interviews?
Let me be honest, it is very unlikely that you get interview calls with just your training knowledge. In most of the cases, your CV will not even get shortlisted, if you only have the training knowledge, but no real experience. If you are still getting interview calls, meaning that you have something else in your CV, might be your past experience, domain knowledge or even education. You must feel lucky that you are getting some interview calls. You must not waste these interview calls that you are getting from the prospective employers. Every interview you must take it up very seriously, as you are in a desperate situation to break into the market. Unless you are very much fortunate, you may fail in tens of interviews, if not hundreds. Every interview is a pain, but you should look at them in a holistic view and learn what you are missing to answer them. You must ensure that those errors should not be repeated in your next interview. Therefore, by preparing well for the next interview, your confidence levels are going to be increased interview by interview. At one point, you get to a confident position and are able to convince the interviewer and hopefully break into the market.
5. Did you forget that SAP Jobs are not just simple configuration roles?
Please note that SAP jobs are always need not necessarily be a configuration roles, though in most of the roles to some extent the configuration of the SAP system is involved. Therefore, the expectations of the interviewers are always different when interviewing. Though I hate to generalise, if the interviewer is with Indian background, mostly you would expect the in depth technical details and configuration screen details and would be very difficult for you to bluff. If the interviews are being taken by Western counterpart, usually, they would give high preference to process oriented interview. They would try to gauge your understanding around the process rather than configuring the particular functionality. This is particularly true because the educational systems of East and West are totally contrasted. Never take this as a strict rule; you may be surprised to find the vice-versa. Therefore, you should always make yourself ready to answer both configuration types of questions as well as process related questions. Always your confidence is the key in answering the questions.
6. Are you only desperate for SAP Certification, but not knowledge?
From the emails that I receive on a daily basis, I understood, the people are only desperate to pass the Certification at any cost. If SAP Education in India is not accepting you to write directly, then they would not hesitate to go to any other country where they would be allowed to write the examination. To some extent, I would appreciate that they have high commitment to complete the SAP Certification. But, at the end of the day, you never know how much that SAP Certification would help to get a job and survive in the market. My intention to say use the SAP Certification or Education as a knowledge enhancer rather than a free pass for your SAP Job. If you change your mind set to gain the knowledge rather than finding jobs for your Certification, the jobs would automatically follow you in the long run. Your utmost important is to gain the knowledge and learn the new things on a daily basis, during this process if you gain few SAP Certifications, then it is a bonus. But, if you are only concentrating on passing the SAP Certifications, but reluctant to gain knowledge, then it is a total waste of your time, effort and money.
7. Have you done SAP Certification based on somebody else advice?
Hundreds and thousands of people asked the same question, which is the best module for me to pursue? Which is the best module for me to complete the SAP Certification? Which is the best module to get a job? Honestly, if you do not know, what you are going to pursue, then why in the first place you are trying to enter the SAP market. If you go to restaurant, you cannot ask somebody to suggest you to eat. You should clearly know your taste and what you are going to eat. Therefore, please do not pursue any course or Certification based on somebody else advice. If you failed to achieve success, then you may either start blaming the person who has suggested you or even the SAP Certification. You should clearly know your past education, domain knowledge, interest, experience and then look at the demand in the market for that module to take a reasonably good decision in selecting the module. You cannot change the modules like your mobile phones. Once you have selected the module, most likely you have to expand the wings within the same module, but not in other modules. Selecting the correct module will get you 50% of your success.
8. Have you ever introspected yourself, before blaming Certification?
You put lot of investment into SAP Education and Certification. You passed the Certification in flying colours. You are happy and all are happy. Then the days, months, probably years passing on, but you failed to get into any job. Then you start worrying and getting panicked that your whole investment you made on SAP Education has gone into drain. During this process, you have attended number of interviews; however, all the interviews you have attended are failed. During this time you need to introspect yourself. Everybody will fail in the interview, that does not matter, it this becomes a regular practice then you need to rethink. You might be expecting the result with lot of positivity; however, they said you are not selected for the role. Then it becomes more and more painful. You do not even understand what really went wrong. You must take a white paper and write reasons that contributed to your failure? No one is better judge than you to introspect yourself. If you do not do this introspection, then you will never find a chance to rectify your mistakes.
9. Are you to ready to improve your skills beyond SAP Certification?
It is good news that you have passed the SAP Certification. But, have you tried to improve yourself beyond your SAP Certification? Have you ever observed your soft skills? How is your attitude, communication, cultural fit, team work, dress sense, learning zeal and hard work? Unless you improve all the qualities on a daily basis, SAP Certification is of no use. When you go to the interviews, it is very much important to show your positive attitude and professional character. At times, the interviewers would look for your character and attitude than your skills. If you are knowledgeable, but if you show arrogance in talking to the interviewer, then most likely, your application may get rejected. You must try to demonstrate these attributes to the interviewers during the interviews. These qualities you cannot build in a day, you should have been taught in the childhood and build them up over a period of time. If you feel any of these qualities are missing in you, then start inculcating them in you.
10.Are you ready to realise your potential beyond a SAP Job?
You tried your best to find a SAP job, unfortunately, not succeeded, but that is not the end of the world. Even few people have written to me that without getting SAP job, there is no life at all. I sincerely understand their situation and frustration. They must understand even 10 million skills in this world are just for food. You must understand that simple principle. Life is very short in which your professional career is further short. You cannot regret the whole life for not breaking into SAP market. If you have decided that you cannot succeed in SAP filed, you cannot repent for whole life. Open your eyes and look at the other opportunities around you. Think beyond SAP and try to realise what you are missing in life by not realising your full potential. Once you have decided SAP is not your cup of tea, then, you must not waste any time here. Look at other professions or even try to start up your own new ventures. You never know where that new destiny will take you. Life is full of taking calculated risks all the time. Keep motivating yourself and try to prove nothing is impossible under this sun.
All the best.