Career Corner Blog Posts
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It is always challenging task to resume SAP career after having considerably long gap due to maternity leave, long physical injury or sabbatical leave etc. The primary reason is changed market conditions, increased competition, reduced confidence, lost hands on experience, emerging technologies, increased family responsibilities and prospective employer’s recruitment policies etc. People are always willing to come back with lot of vigour, whereas, all these adverse areas put the questions on their abilities. But, they might be having lot of passion to work on SAP again. They might have been confused what to do, how to do and in which way to break this jinx in order to resume their SAP Careers. The only thing that you should remember is resuming their SAP career is not that difficult that you thought to be.

SAP is not a rocket science and you are not working something in a different world. You have already worked on the same technology, the only thing is you have some break. It is as simple as that. If you have right vision, good attitude, proper planning, it is not at all that difficult to fetch the job / contract. However, your patience and perseverance is the key to your success. Usually, all humans would have lot of anxiety until we reach or get the goal, which we intended to achieve in our life. Therefore, you must make sure that your mind is free from all those anxieties. If you believe in your abilities, brush up the grey areas, improve your body language, resuming your new SAP career is not a big deal. You always needs to remember some of the motivating quotes, “No instrument is created, unless it is fully melted”, “gold will always come from the mud”. Recently, I read somewhere the quote made by legendary Bruce Lee, “I am not afraid of a person who knows 10000 kicks. But, I am afraid of a person who knows one kick but practices it for 10000 times”. If you deeply look, it shows the enormous importance that he has given to word “Practice”. Please remember the greatest idiom “practice makes man perfect”.

“Survival of the fittest” is the common idiom we have seen many times. The people will right knowledge and skills will always survive, whatever be the economic condition or situation of the world. Therefore, always try to reach the perfection. Whenever, I remember a word called “Perfection”, I remember the quotes of none other than the great visionary, industrialist, philanthropist, honourable JRD TATA.

"One must forever strive for excellence or even perfection, in any task, however small, and never be satisfied with the second best." - JRD Tata, 1965.

I strongly believe this quotation inspired enough for my life and is going to motivate future generations to come.Now, I strongly believe that you are also must have already been motivated enough and understand that resuming your SAP career after considerably long gap is not that difficult. However, I would like to touch upon the following points, which could be helpful in your career goal.

1. Mental Strength

The main problem of the people who has long gap is always short of mental strength and belief in their own abilities. Due to long gap, they always think they are very incapable to achieve anything. Few years back, I was watching a television episode, where a very young boy swam the channel between India and Sri Lanka. The tides were very dangerous and the people watching the program were very scary to see those tides. The commentator asked the question to that young boy, what is the key to your success in swimming across this big channel. The only reply I still remember is “90% is my mental strength and 10% is only my physical strength”. Therefore, if you believe in your abilities, noting is really impossible under this sun. In my childhood days one of my teacher advised us to stand up against the ocean and talk to it. It gives enormous strength and courage. If you are not fortunate enough to see an ocean, at least talk to yourself in front of mirror, it gives you tremendous power to your inner abilities. Regaining your mental strength and believing your own abilities is half of your success in resuming your SAP career.

2. Identify Key Strengths

You should know your key strengths, which module you have earlier worked, SAP Basis, ABAP or functional modules. Within those modules which are the sub-modules you have mastered earlier. Check for the demand in the market for those modules. If you believe your key strengths will not suffice to fetch you a job in the market, then look for the kind of additional skills are required to be learned. The key strengths may always not be knowing SAP modules. Your key strengths might be communication skills, industry knowledge, business process knowledge, efficiently working in a team, soft skills and cultural fit etc. Sometimes, if you are having excellent contacts and professional networking, probably, that could itself is a great key strength for you. You can easily turn the tables by using your good contacts and get the opportunity.

3. Update Your CV

Updating the CV is one of cumbersome task, as you were away from these activities for a long time. Your CV is reflection of your abilities, skills, knowledge, achievements. Now a days, every job is having very intense demand. Your CV will be scanned through by the recruiters or prospective employers in a few seconds time. It is your responsibility to win their hearts within those precious few seconds. If you cannot impress them at that point, then the total game is lost. Therefore, updating the details with best impression possible is your task. I do not believe in taking the help from “Professional CV Writers”. If you cannot project yourself on a piece of paper, then I do not think anybody in the world would project your abilities or skills. Therefore, please give utmost importance in preparing your CV and not to mention you are going to take care of all grammar and spelling mistakes. I personally do not believe in multi CV concept. You cannot have multiple CVs for multiple type of jobs. You are what you are and that is your CV.

4. Explore New Areas

The technological world is changing is so fast and the technologies are becoming redundant within months. Gone are the days you will learn a software package and you are going to work on that for your life time. If you cannot win the race with this pace and learn new technologies, you are out of the race. Therefore, get ready and pull your socks to learn the new technologies. SAP is not an exception and their technologies are changing at breath taking pace. To name the few niche areas like HANA, BPC, Mobile Computing, SAP Business Objects, FSCM and SuccessFactors etc. You need to see you could fit into which of these niche areas. Start learning them on your own, however, when it comes to technological modules, you will have a limitation, therefore, you might have to take the help from the class room training / e-learning courses and start practicing it.

5. Understand the Demand

You might have read the demand supply theory in your college days. If the supply increases, then the demand decreases. They both have inverse relationship. It is also true in SAP resourcing world. If you are in a market where lot of supply is then automatically the demand for those resource and the rates / salaries would touch the land in no time. The only thing which can help you is to quickly identify the demanding skills in those markets and try to get grip on those technologies. Every New Year, new resources are adding to the economy by increasing the supply. You may have to compete with new work force all the time. Therefore, you always needs to be something different to break into the market. At times when you are trying to break, you should not much concentrate on the money. The more you are increasing your rate / expected salary, the chance of getting opportunity would be diminished. Therefore, not too much bargain on the salary, as your resume is desperately on the cards for job.

6. Ability to Convince

The toughest job is to convince your prospective employer that you have right skills, more that you should give the genuine reason why you have break in your career. This is one of the toughest task, as your prospective employer is skeptical on your abilities and skills. For companies recruiting you is a great investment for them, therefore, from the company point of view, they would expect so many things. The most important thing they would look at you is whether you are able to win the business and generate the revenues. That is their biggest concern. Therefore, you should be in a position to show your right attitude and your willingness to learn, share the knowledge and help the people around you. Within the short time available in your interview, you should be able to demonstrate and impress that you are going to be an invaluable asset to the company. If you can convince them that you are a committed individual, then getting job is not at all that difficult.

7. Concentrate on Hands-on

Being a SAP Consultant, you should always brush up your hands on skills. I have seen a small example in my life how important the hands on experience is. In my college days, I used to get always first prizes in all typewriting competitions. I would say I used to breathe in typewriting. Then I left touching type machine and shorthand for 15 years, though most of the typing is on now on smooth laptops :wink: . Recently, I had a chance to type on a manual type writer. I was so excited and put the paper in the machine. I felt it was totally something new different machine and I felt I had never seen this strange machine. Then I felt is this the machine that I typed day in and day out. Then I understood, whatever skillful and intelligent you are, if you do not practice enough, all your skills are going to be rusted gradually. Therefore, keep practice all the times and improve your hands on experience. They would be really helpful in your technical interviews.

8. Expand Professional Network

I cannot stress enough how important of having good professional network in this expanding world. If you have right professional network, probably, you can get the jobs with less stress. If you have worked or interacted with them or you made a good impression on them in the past, then, you can always contact them to know if there any opportunities available. Everybody is spending at least some hours of their daily time on Linkedin, Twitter etc. Keep your linkedin account up to date and keep watching available jobs / opportunities etc. At the same time, also keep a vigil on the jobs available to your skills in various web sites. Keep in regular touch your useful contacts and I am sure there must be some helpful people there to show you a way. At the same time, it is also important for you to leave your own brand. “Personal Branding” is also a major factor in crystallizing the potential opportunity.

9. Improve on Mistakes

“Nobody is perfect in this world”. So, please not much worry even if you terribly messed up few initial interviews. It all happens. In one way or the other, it is good for you. You will learn what kind of mistakes you are doing in interview. I still remember, I was scary to handle my first technical interview. It is a different matter later I have taken few hundreds of interviews :wink: .  Therefore, everything is an experience in life, and the experience is the best teacher of your life. But, the important things how quickly you will learn to rectify your mistakes that you have committed during the interviews. The number of interviews that you are going to give, it would give your enormous confidence for your next interview. At one point, you would feel interviews are child game. Keep improving on your mistakes from one interview to the other, then surely success is yours. At the same time, try to improve your communication skills during this game.

10. Perseverance

It always gives a great feeling when the blog is summed up with the greatest point. This might be the last point of my blog, but definitely not the least one. If you do not have this quality in your life, then whatever qualities that you possess and whatever skills that you have are meaningless. If you have this quality and believe in hard work, then nothing can stop you. Therefore, you should always believe that you will never give up until you reach the target. Once you are committed, you should never go back until you achieve. The more you heat up the gold, then better purity you will get. Hurdles, odds, obstacles are all part and parcel of life, without them, there is no enjoyment in life. Keep accepting challenges and win them with your continuous focus. Perseverance is not just for getting a job, keep up this habit in your life, all success will be at your feet.