In the second instalment of a new 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 told me to accept that education is done out of office hours, and at your own cost. SAP is so highly integrated that you should know how the traditional SAP modules interact with each other.
The plane was about to take flight when Richard showed me a handful of wrapped sweets. They were secretly given by the stewardess when he got on board. This is the reward for mastering your “soft skills”, and the first rule is to always be polite. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Surprisingly many do not take the effort.
But back to business. When you agree that it makes sense to learn SAP system integration, then teach yourself how to configure SAP functionality covering as many traditional modules as possible. Richard recalls a chat with a consultant pondering how to make this quantum leap. The conclusion was that you need to be able to demonstrate that you have hands-on experience how to configure logistics and accounting when you want to stand out.
That might seem as an impossible mission. Luckily there is a proven method to solve that hurdle.
As the plane took off, Richard pointed out that project managers need a highly productive and effective team. You make a contribution when you are able to make progress independently. Employers also benefit, as your abilities have a direct positive impact on customer service, avoiding bureaucracy. That is demonstrated when you get involved in fixing issues voluntarily, especially when it is not your responsibility.
That takes us back to time, which is often limited during projects. However, that is done on purpose, forcing the need to focus on what is truly important. For example, the ability to execute end-to-end business processes is more vital than optimising only a handful of steps within that process. The latter is more likely to happen when your team consists of module experts without strong integration capabilities. You add value when you evaluate cause and effect between modules. In fact, employers or customers tend to expect this quality without them realising.
When taking a closer look at time, self-made millionaires create time by being selective how they spend it. They hardly watch television or play video games. Long car journeys are used to listen to audio books. Many tasks are delegated or outsourced, even when they would be capable in doing them. They focus on having a vision, translating them into a plan, splitting them into long and short term goals and finally making sacrifices to achieve results. Your journey is not going to be any different.
Most already get stuck with defining a vision. However, in your case this vision should be quite clear. Richard stated the obvious, saying that there is no business without a customer. But what type of customer do you need? Many instinctively take the direction of customer satisfaction, which is understandable. From a business owner perspective there is a different angle that is linked to the most important event in your business. It was up to me to guess.
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!
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 from this series: