In the sixth 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 advised me to rent a cheap SAP training environment on a monthly basis to learn new “hard skills” through play. At the same time, he told me the most vital “soft skills”: Be polite, be on time, do what you say and finish what you start.
We continued chatting about goals. Richard learnt a wise lesson from Zig Ziglar: You can get anything in life you want, as long as you give others what they want. Identify what others need. Give them what you can, without expecting anything in return. Eventually, they will give you what you need. Just focus to give, give and give. But in order to give you have to master another “soft skill”.
The co-pilot interrupted our conversation by providing the current altitude, speed and expected time of arrival. Richard now wanted to continue about our dream company. To my surprise, he would like to own a teddy bear shop. Many people collect them and they could become quite exclusive and expensive. He fantasised about owning a spot within a small arcade shared with other like-minded shop owners. Unfortunately, there are many things you need to learn that are not that much fun, however very vital.
You need to record your assets, liabilities, profits and losses as soon as you engage with customers and suppliers. Imagine all shop owners in the arcade share the same IT system, then anyone could make changes that directly impacts your preferred settings. You probably do not like that prospect. Therefore, it makes sense to set-up an independent area within this shared IT system, avoiding others to corrupt your configuration. You should also apply this approach within your rented SAP training system.
SAP is first and foremost an accounting tool, so you should have a basic knowledge regarding Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement. Then it makes sense to have your own Chart of Accounts for your fictitious company within a rented SAP training system. Many logistic consultants would argue that this is not a priority. However, learning basic accounting is one of those sacrifices you need to make to achieve your overall goal. Ignoring this skill will make you vulnerable, forcing you to spend a lot of energy to fix errors in financial postings triggered by logistic events. You quickly learn that these accounting errors prevents you to finalise a business transaction.
You might have discovered that your first computer did not always perform tasks as desired. Quickly problem resolution forced you to make adjustments in the start-up procedure or software registry settings. Stuff you really did not want to know, but you had no choice. Compare those experiences with the hurdles you need to take when you want to become a valuable “integration consultant”. True integration is not achieved by only focusing on logistics or accounting. Instead, you need to master basic skills within logistics and accounting.
Luckily setting up a secure accounting framework only needs to be done once when you want to configure multiple businesses in the same SAP training environment. Mainly because you probably want to apply similar accounting rules for all your fictitious companies. At least, those are the guidelines used by successful multi-national enterprises owning dozens or even hundreds of different legal entities.
Now back to the fun part. Think about the products you would be selling in your dream company.
Author of the book “Make F.I.T. Your Purpose”.
Introducing the Fast Implementation Track™ for SAP ERP.
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Watch out for the next instalment from Isard’s blog series, and make sure you don’t miss out on all our latest blogs by subscribing to our mailing list below!
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