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Everybody says eating five fruits would make you healthy, but would just eating only fruitsmake you really healthy is the question? You certainly need other food ingredients to keep us fit. In the similar way, just only doing the certification would keep you better is the question. There is definitely something beyond certifications to make us the respected professionals. If somebody asks me why should we eat fruits? There is no answer, they can also live without fruits. In the similar way some of the over smart people would ask this question, why should we need certification? We cannot blame them as they have their own set of reasons. There are even some kind of people you would see in your life that they would really become egoistic if discuss them anything related to certification, because they feel that they know everything? The would always who the hell :mad: to certify their so called self proclaimed knowledge. Let us leave those highly intelligent people alone. Please note I am not here to promote SAP Certifications or their brands, I am only writing this to encourage real enthusiastic people in education. That is the reason I have not mentioned anything about SAP Certification so far. You work hard and try to understand the business processes of the client, communicate more, help people etc., these are all part of job, that everybody will do. But, beyond that is there something that you should look into build your reputation and credibility. Reputation is something you cannot build in overnight, it takes huge amount of commitment to build your reputation. In order to build your reputation among the clients, prospective employers, friends, families and the professional circles, you should start your planning from very early age in life. Time is really gold, once you spent, you cannot do anything. If you start planning at the age of forty, then it is too much, then your kids might be start competing with you. Therefore, you should start your plans now. What is this new year's resolutions? Let us commit ourselves to do something recognizable, quantifiable and appreciative. Learn something new and get it certified by some third party, could it be SAP Certification, Oracle Certification, Sun Certification, Cisco Certification or Microsoft Certification, whatever, just give a commitment. It could even be CCNA, CISSP, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC etc. type of certifications, may be you can also plan PMP, Prince2 type certifications. If you are more academically inclined person, then consider doing Management Accountancy, Chartered Accountancy and Company Secretary type of courses. Do not shy yourself getting the free membership of the other country's professional bodies based on their reciprocal arrangement.  May be you can even try for a MBA, or if you have enough money try with SAP University Alliance Program, may be if you have great capability, then start doing some Phd., but do not stop doing something formidable repeatedly throughout your life.

First and foremost point in life is do not think too much about the job prospects. Just stop thinking that you are doing a course for a job. I have seen number of people repeatedly asking questions like what module is good for me? Would I get a Job? Can you give me some interview questions? What type of jobs are good for women? Please stop this negative thinking. What you should remember is doing a certification is not the ultimate aim of your life. It is just a beginning of your new journey, you should start doing such journeys regularly and repeatedly. Do not stop investing money on you. Trust me investing something for your education would always give you fruits, need not necessarily by way of monetary gains, but it gives you reputation, self-confidence, better skill set and stand out CV. This is the only way you can leave your mark on the future generations. Otherwise, you would become like one in million. Most of people try to get a job, then love to marry a beautiful wife, then get flowers and sweets to wife, purchase toys to kids and enjoy eating lovely Indian spicy food :wink: Nobody is stopping you to enjoy your personal life, but, if you think it is the only aim of your life and rushing to flower stall every evening, then you would go nowhere :smile: . They may even argue why to put extra effort to learn something. They could even argue, I am currently getting handsome salary, if I jump from one company to other company like a frog :razz: I could even get 20% jump (used to 40 to 50 percent jumps in salaries in India, sorry folks, those days are gone now). They could feel that such five or six jumps over a period of 10 years, would help to easily sail the life. Most of them think, once joining the new company, do not do any work, but just do the politics, once company realizes your non-potential, then again jump to another company. Is this something you want to achieve?

Certainly not. If you want only such type jumping in life, probably you would have joined some political party, probably, you would have earned much more money in your life. :wink: The first thing you should remember is stop polishing, stop oiling, stop buttering your superiors. This is not the way to live. More than 95% of people do such kind of buttering to the superiors. Working loyally is different from buttering your superiors, please do not be confused between those two. What you want to do? Have your plan ready for this year. Think how much you invest on your development, if you have limited budget, use it proficiently for your development. Stop doing unnecessary expenses and purchasing luxurious goods. Meanwhile, start diverting that unlimited expenses towards some fruitful knowledge foundation to your life. Learn something, do not feel shy to invest money for yourself. Again repeatedly, I would like to say, do not think too much for the return. Concentrate well on doing something repeatedly and get yourself certified along with your working. Make this a habit of your life, you would surely excel in everything you do in your life. Probably, those who buttered their bosses might also be in the same position after 10 years, but do remember, the butter will melt and become like a 3rd grade palm oil. If you see yourself after 10 years of life, you would get wonderful working experience, plus you have 10 to 15, or may be 20 or more certification. Just imagine yourself and how beautifully you could collectively frame your strong CV.

Always try to aim high by knowing your potential. Intelligence does not really matter. Even if you are ordinary intelligent person, but if you have right attitude and committing behaviour, I am sure you are going to achieve many distinctions in your life. First of come out of the over-smart behaviour and never think you are big knowledgeable person. Always keep your feet on the ground. You should know the difference between gold and bronze. Gold always melt itself to give highest amount of purity, whereas bronze is cheap metal with unlimited and horrible sound. What you want to be is in your hands. If you want to build a gold kind of reputation start planning yourself today, aim something high every time. Trust me those who are laughing at you for your difficulties in learning new would feel lot of zealous when you realize the fruits for your hard work. Therefore, plan today, nothing is too late, put down on a paper what kind of certifications / degrees / skills you are planning to acquire month by month or year by year. Never even shy yourself to learn multiple skills or appear for multiple certification at the same period. Do not much bother about the failures in the exams, they are all part of life, would always happen. Always give your best, hit the bull eye and achieve some quantifiable certifications every year. Please do not ask the whole world which certification is good for you. Open your eyes and plan yourself for the next certification. Your marriage or kids should not be a constraint in developing your knowledge. You should even be ready to go along with your sons to classes, if you feel that is the course something you should attend. :wink:

The achievement gives you greatest self satisfaction which is the key for your outstanding enrichment. Some things cannot be counted with monetary benefits. If you think you can count the values of education with money, they you are thinking on the wrong side. I still remember one of the question posted by my ex-manager. He asked me “You are investing lot of money on educations? What would happen if you are going to die tomorrow and where would that investment goes?” I could only sense the stupidity out of that question. Nobody can guarantee what happens tomorrow, that is for sure, so we do not need to worry about that. But, even if you try to invest in shares, they could go into crashing, if you put in gold they probably it would be robbed, if you invest in real estate, the could a possibility of encroachment. But, knowledge always goes with you till you die. It is a great treasure that you would preserve within yourself forever. Therefore, you should never hesitate or count the money to invest the amount in you. We should never stop the learning new things. Now a days nothing is for free, even education is not an exception to that rule. Therefore, you should plan your monetary resources accordingly and never stop investing your time, effort and money in developing your knowledge.

At the end of the life, if you look back what I have achieved in my whole professional life, you would count your success by number of certifications along with the number of years of experience. That satisfaction is probably greater than the amount of one million dollars that you have saved. Therefore, hope my following suggestion to do any type certification / degree / educational venture would really be handy. The certification need not necessarily be a SAP Certification, but it could be anything that would up your professional career. However, if you are a SAP consultant, I would strongly recommend that you would surely plan to do at least some SAP Certifications.

Hopefully, the following points would be handy for your Certification process:

1. Evaluate the options

You have very limited money, therefore, you need to spend it very cautiously, therefore, you cannot go with the certification that you have seen. Probably, you might be interested to do 10 Certifications, but you cannot go with all of them, that is the theory of life, therefore, you need to choose them wisely. Please note what certifications you are interested on a white paper, then check what are the credentials, whether they are globally reputed, would it gives any job opportunities immediately or whether there are any long term benefits, what would the cost that I would be spending etc. You need to answer all these questions before you are committing yourself to do a certification.

2. Commit yourself

Once you have nailed down the options of the certification(s) that you are intended to, then you need to commit yourself like anything. Commitment means it is a total commitment, nothing short of it. You have decided to that certification at any cost and under any circumstances, now, you have made up your mind, should not look back until you achieve your task. Commitment is not just the physical commitment, which is only 10 percent, but you should have psychological commitment, which is 90% percent, which is more important. Always your mind should be lingering around that certification and you should have all your plans and thoughts in your mind around that. The day starts with the thoughts in your sixth sense with that Certification. That would always drive you towards achieving that Certification.

3. Plan well in advance

If you want to write a certification then you should at least plan 6 months in advance. Then it gives you ample time to plan the activities, execute the tasks and complete the preparation, unless you are a master of that subject. It is always not possible to be a master in all the subjects, therefore, you cannot really afford to decide to write an exam in just few days of preparation. You should hit the small snake with the big stick. Unless you plan well in advance, it would not be possible to reduce all the odds to crack the exam. This would give you ample to collate your materials, select the training institute, taking the bank loan (if necessary) and post training preparation etc.

4. Collate all the study resources

Half of the task for you is to collate the relevant study materials. This is the 50% of your certification task. You need to try with various resources like hard copies, library books, online literature, training materials or notes from your friends, e-books etc. But, you should know, you should not adamantly spend money on the materials. You should try to spend the money cautiously and always try to get the free materials. There would also be some yahoo groups for that certification, you should always refer to those groups where you would be provided with some kind of sample questions, the other important thing is within these groups, you can team up with like minded people share their experiences and updates. Some of these groups are spammed too much, if you are registered with such groups, then get ready for spam mails in your inbox. :smile:

5. Allocate your time

Now the important task is you need to allocate at least 4 hours a day during the working days and 8 hours a day during the week ends, unless you have a strong reason to excuse. Most of the time actuals always deviate too much with planned time, therefore, you should have check on how much you are really spending on study. I know movies, friends and parties are always tempting, and adding to that browsing on the internet is another way to kill the time. But, you need to overcome all these tempting things.

6. Know the pattern of the exam

Each exam is different in its own spirit. Some exams are multiple choice, some exams written and their evaluation process could be different. Unless you have clear idea about how the exam pattern and the evaluation process, then it is really not possible to crack the exam. If it multiple choice examination, then it is always using the elimination technique would help. Out of the multiple choice questions, you need to identify the wrong options first then you would be easily identify the right answers. Usually, you end up with two right answers, which looks too similar and only one is correct. Candidate usually end up in selecting the wrong answer, in such confusing cases, read the questions more than twice.

7. Discuss with like minded people

You need to group up with the like minded people. Combined studies would always studies would always help, this is particularly true if you are below 25 years. Usually for people below 25 years, there are many distractions tempt them to go away from studies, unless you are very committed. If you team up with like minded people, you can work together towards the same goal and discuss with each other the unknown topics. Two minds work better than a single mind. It is also give encouragement as well as fill the competitiveness. This is very much important in order to occupy and accommodate all the available time towards the common goal of passing the Certification.

8. Give your best

The important thing is you always give your best to pass the examination, if you put only half heart, then there is every chance you will end up on the wrong side in the examination. Even if you are expert in that field, you should never go with half heart. The preparation is the key for passing any examination. Many skills and experienced candidates in their own subjects failed because of the over confidence or lack of preparation. Always try to give your best and do not much bother about the result. Pass and failure would be the same. If you are passed, you will get a recognition and if you fail also you would get a great experience, how to pass the examination. Therefore, treat both of them as the same.

9. Follow post passing procedures

Just passing the certification exam is not sufficient. There are many post passing procedures you need to be followed. For example, taking the membership, following the continuous education rules, getting the user ids / passwords for viewing some of their sites, paying the regular membership fee, fulfilling their ethics and code of conduct, writing the future re-certification examination are all need to be strictly followed. Otherwise, some of the certifying bodies may revoke or strip your certification. Therefore, there are lot of elements needs to be considered and lot of money is also involved in paying the membership fee and continuous education etc. Therefore, everybody should be aware these things, before opting to write a certification examination.

10. Never fear of failure

Last but not the least, never fear about the fear of failure. You would hear many horrible stories of that intelligent student or candidate has failed or somebody has not even for attempting three times. You do not need to much worry about these stories. You do not really know what their preparation is, what their exam conditions are and what the questions in examination are. You only need to concentrate is your own ability to crack the exam, you own preparation and belief on yourself. Unless you believe on your own strengths you would never be successful in any of the examination. Do not worry, even if you fail in examination, no sky is going to fall down, still you would have brighter tomorrow to pass the examination. :smile: