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Establishing a part-time SAP consulting role

I wanted to explore the SAP consulting market as I plan to semi-retire from my current position by 2006 & relocate to Prescott, AZ.

BACKGROUND: Over 34 years computer systems experience-17 years in the military and 17 in local municipal government (Public Sector); SAP BASIS administrator the last 4 years on version 4.6B with FI-CO-FM, MM, SD, LO, HR/PY, etc. using HP-UX, Oracle RDBMS, and Netware. My expertise is systems analysis and hardware, although I have done programming and Project Mgt. in the past. My forte is troubleshooting hardware & software problems and coming up with solutions.

TRAINING: Attended most of the SAP BASIS courses; last course the 5-day ABAP Workbench course; no formal certifications.

I would appreciate any approaches to establishing a part-time consulting role in the SAP world! Thanks!

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I like the sound of retiring in Arizona, but maybe that's because it's been a very long winter here in Massachusetts. As for the plan to support yourself on part-time SAP consulting, that's where I become skeptical. Part-time SAP opportunities are real hard to come by, especially on the consulting side (I assume you are thinking mostly of remote consulting, which is an even tougher find). Most consultants I know who have part-time roles are very well established, and usually support themselves with long-term client relationships that they have developed over many years, usually by starting as a full time consultant and working into a part-time role over a number of years. These part-time roles are plum positions that are very hard to come by in the open market. But don't take my word for it, go into SearchSAP's career section and do a job search for yourself. You'll see how few part-time positions are out there.

My feeling about SAP careers is that you're either all the way in or all the way out. This is a very tight and demanding market where your skills are only as current as your last project. In terms of your retirement, I have no idea of your overall financial situation and objectives, but assuming you only need a limited income stream, I could see you doing better for yourself by finding a smaller company local to Arizona that needs part-time IT administration/support. Believe it or not, with SAP's small business initiative, there are even some SAP shops amongst those companies now. My point is that you don't necessarily need to stay in SAP to find a position that fits in with your schedule, and allows you the lifestyle flexibility that retirement is supposed to give you. Good luck.

This was first published in April 2004

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