In the final instalment of a ten part blog series, SAP ERP Consultant and Author Isard Haasakker guides us through his tips on how to have a successful career as a freelance IT consultant.
Do you want to learn a very effective strategy to expand your SAP knowledge that is proven and fun and immediately rewarding? At the same time, are you seeking cheap and fast and pragmatic advice to increase your market value. Look no further. Take control of your career and increase your job security.
Many years ago I had a chance encounter with Richard, one of the top project managers available. He made clear that the cost of goods sold is not the only factor impacting your profit margin, as transportation costs should not be neglected. And the costs for moving goods between locations is a great example how logistics and accounting are fully integrated.
As our plane is making its final approach, Richard suggested to write down the core “soft skills”. Be polite, be on time, do what you say and finish what you start. Also, give people what they want, listen and provide feedback, smile and don’t try to be funny. Apply these basic rules and you achieve something highly desirable: You will be liked.
The power of being liked is not to be underestimated. When it comes to a final selection of various candidates, your “soft skills” could give you a cutting edge. Remember, these skills can be applied instantly for free. So make that change today and people will notice.
Richard believes that you should take advantage to learn new skills outside of office hours. Rent a cheap SAP training system and configure a fictitious company based on your favourite hobbies, sports or leisure activities. First start with one shop and focus on the core business processes. Make sure that you pay attention between the interaction between the traditional logistics and accounting modules. As a “Jack of all trades”, you reach a stage in which you are confident that you can solve any complex puzzle singlehandedly. Also, certification will become much easier, as you have an environment to test newly discovered functionality.
Still, some accounting activities exist that are normally not associated with logistics. But that is because they are the steps to close your shop on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. See it as having the discipline to clean your desk at work. Ideally, every night all invoices from suppliers are registered and invoices to customers issued. Also, no open payments to suppliers and from customers should remain. On a monthly basis you make the payment for Value Added Tax to your government. And of course, at the end of the fiscal year you finalise the Profit and Loss Statement.
Some logistics consultants might argue that these activities are not important for them. However, quickly they will be affected as unfinished business processes makes your system a mess. Many test environments contain hundreds of open sales and purchase orders without any subsequent documents. And even if they end up being billed, chances are that the payment receipt is never processed. Then you lose the overview to assess how many products are available to promise to customers. Also new sales and purchase orders might get blocked due to credit management checks.
Any logistics consultant having the knowledge to finish every business process, and keep a clean system for testing, will stand out. You would go far and beyond to what is expected. And that counts when the pressure is mounting finding a new job or contract.
So when you have followed Richard’s advice, then shout it from the top. Demonstrate your skills via any social media channel available. Your current employer or client will notice you, providing potential chances on promotion or contract extension.
As the plane lands, Richard gave me a vision how to reach the goal to become recession proof. And now you have it as well. Feel free to contact me when you have any questions.
Author of the book “Make F.I.T. Your Purpose”.
Introducing the Fast Implementation Track™ for SAP ERP.
Deploy on time, within budget and fit for purpose.
Read the first chapter for free!
If you’re a freelance IT consultant looking for your next project get in touch.
Previous blogs in this series:
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 1: Boost Your Value
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 2: Manage Your Time
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 3: Learn to Juggle
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 4: Expand Your Skillset
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 5: Make an Impression
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 6: Invest in Tools
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 7: Learn to Listen
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 8: Remember to Smile
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 9: Think Big, Act Small