In the eighth 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 stressed that it is vital that learning new skills needs to be entertaining and rewarding. This is best achieved by simulating the configuration of your dream store.
This concept gives employers a great opportunity to promote grouped self-learning for their employees. Imagine many people show an interest, covering many different core capabilities, then renting one private training system is very cost effective. Just give the group the same core goal and the same strategy, then results are a given.
Everyone will have their own favourite hobby, sport or leisure activity. This triggers the creation of many different companies. You will discover that all these enterprises will share the same core business processes. At the same time everyone becomes aware what standard SAP has to offer, sufficient to support the most important event in your business: payment receipt of the customer invoice.
Another benefit to learn through play is the awareness that simplification of business processes offers the opportunity to grow your business fast. Many SAP projects struggle with migrating many various sites into one SAP system by using a global way of working. That is why companies are very process driven and eager to define best practice as soon as possible. When you are in charge of your company, then you quickly realise that you have the same desire.
Expect a fast learning curve that ignites the curiosity to learn new skills at a very fast pace. Still, there is this tendency to start a very complex enterprise structure. Richard advises me to think big, but act small. Start with one shop in one country, selling a small range of products. It will be difficult enough to get all the core business processes flow between the traditional SAP modules. Focus on getting this to work properly before you think to expand. This process is also emulated in real life. Companies like Starbucks and McDonalds did not grow overnight.
Next step is to identify the various events that will trigger a business process. Identify the flow of information, the movement of goods and exchange of money. Understand how these flows impact the various departments within your dream company. Imagine how many people would be involved within your business.
The cart with duty-free goods comes into our view. The stewardess stops and has some small talk with us and then continues her trip. Richard then asks me to observe her journey to the back of the plane. She only stops at a few people for a quick chat. Not because she expects to do a sale, as these are quite rare in a plane packed with business travellers. Instead, she chooses to talk to those who acknowledges her existence. This is another “soft skill” at work, where a simple smile does wonders.
The power of your smile is often underestimated. It has been proven many times that you feel good when you smile, even when you feel lousy. Yes, you can trick your body to feel good. But a smile does other wonders. Whenever you walk in a busy shopping mall amongst total strangers. When you smile, others will smile back at you when there is eye contact. That is why they say: Smile and the world smiles back at you. As with all the other “soft skills”, you can apply it instantly for free.
Richard tells me that one more “soft skill” is absolutely vital. This time it is linked to something you should never do. Sounds easy, but for many, it is the most difficult skill to master.
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
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 6: Invest in Tools
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 7: Learn to Listen